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The global call centres market has been forecast to hit a market value of US$337.8 billion by 2018, with the industry set to be driven primarily by the increasing corporate focus on providing efficient customer service as a part of business development.
Furthermore, renewed business process outsourcing activity and the increasing use of innovative IT technologies also bodes well for the future of this market.
A call centre is a centralised office used for the purpose of receiving or transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone. An inbound call centre is operated by a company to administer incoming product support or information inquiries from consumers. Outbound call centres are operated for telemarketing, solicitation of charitable or political donations and debt collection.
A call centre is operated through an extensive open workspace for call centre agents, with work stations that include a computer for each agent, a telephone set/headset connected to a telecom switch, and one or more supervisor stations. It can be independently operated or networked with additional centres, often linked to a corporate computer network, including mainframes, microcomputers and LANs.
Revenues of several companies in developed nations took a hit due to reduced demand of products and services in major markets and loss of key sales contracts in 2009. Call centre service revenues fell from grace as a result of companies throwing outsourcing plans on the backburner, renegotiating existing contracts at lower prices with existing service providers and postponement of contract extensions, and renewals.
While call centres previously focused on providing customer service functions, they are now seen as an essential element of corporate business development strategy. Modern call centres can provide services beyond simple, one-dimensional customer service, and they are now considered as important tools to create value for customers and shareholders alike.
The scale of rigorous process improvement and standardisation achieved by call centres of late, additionally make these establishments perfect partners for corporate success. Mirroring the trend is the growing adoption of latest information technology (IT) such as Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Call Routing, ACD, Voice Response Systems (IVR/VRU), VoIP, CTI and sophisticated CRM tools by call centres.
Another trend being witnessed is the delivery of call center services in the form of mobile apps. Thanks to the smart phone revolution, call center companies are launching innovative apps for the customer to directly interact with the call centers using their smartphones. With smartphones poised to emerge as the preferred mode of communication, call centers are projected to offer enhanced value added services through mobile apps.
For more information on the global call centres market, see the latest research: Global Call Centres Market
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