The June 15 issue of BusinessWeek summarized a few interesting findings from a global call center study, covering 2,500 call centers in 17 countries.
The research was led by Cornell University, but according to the study’s web site: “The Global Call Center Project is a collaborative network of over 40 academic researchers in 20 countries. The focus of the project is to assess the development of the emerging call center sector in each country and to compare the management strategies and employment systems and outcomes of these enterprises within and across countries.”
With all the media attention to outsourcing, it might surprise you to learn that two-thirds of call centers are run in-house, and that 86% of call centers serve their own domestic market—except India where 73% serve foreign markets.
Other fun facts:
- 49% of call centers provide service, 21% conduct sales, and 30% do both. No word on how many are considered profit centers.
- Annual turnover is 28% in the US, vs. 39% in India.
- The annual cost of a call center agent is $2,667, versus $29,000 for an in-house agent in the US. No wonder that call center jobs are going to India.
- Calls are responded to in 20 seconds or less by 85% of in-house call centers (90% of subcontractor call centers) and last an average of 3 minutes and 10 seconds
Strikes me, though, that’s there is no mention about customer satisfaction in the stats. All these stats are interesting, but it would be nice to know if the call centers were actually achieving their intended business objectives.
Further details on this study, including an executive summary and the full report, can be found at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/globalcallcenter/.