Top call centers

How Big The Global Call Center Industry Actually Is In Statistics And Numbers

Zurab Samushia
Sep 20, 2021

Did you know that the first-ever call center in its modern interpretation appeared in Birmingham in 1965 and the term ‘call center’ was coined in 1983?

Today, working in a call center is one of the most widespread jobs which people can do both from the office and at home. This sector of the economy is so huge globally, that it accounts by the beginning of 2022, around 0.4 trillion US dollars in market value – that’s more than the annual GDP of every country below the top 20 in GDP. Let’s view some of the facts and statistics about call center companies. The numbers below are shown for 2020 or 2021 if not stated otherwise.

Worldwide call center industry facts and statistics

  1. There are 3.4 million call center workers in the US alone, working both from home and the office. In India, it is 1.1M and as for the Philippines, it is 1.15M (with 1.8M to be reached by the end of 2022).
  2. The US share of the global market is 30%, India and the Philippines both have 9.5%; and the rest of the world shares 51%. In the global number, cloud-based (no-premise) call centers take 2.2%.
  3. Nine US states including Florida, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, and Virginia have more call center employees than the entire of India.
  4. As of 2020, the size of the global market for call centers was $0.339 trillion and is expected to reach $0.4T by 2022 and $0.496T by 2027 showing about 6% annual average growth despite the pandemic.
  5. The share of outsourcing in the entire market of call center companies is estimated at 23%.
  6. Call centers are usually segmented into their specializations, here is what those segments look like globally: 26% financial services, 24% consumer services, 13% hi-tech, telecommunication, media, 11% healthcare and life sciences, 9% resources, energy, industrial, 4% public services, governmental 13% other services.
  7. The average speed of an answer to a caller is 28 seconds, with the average length of conversation being 4 minutes.
  8. 13% of all call centers have annual gross revenue of over $25 billion. 23% of companies make from 5 to 25 billion. 19% make 1-5 billion a year according to existing call center statistics. 17% make 0.25-1 billion and the rest make below that or an unknown amount.
  9. The software market dedicated specifically to call centers has a market value of $21 billion.
  10. The global increase of customers needing call centers has been predictable as it follows a general pattern linked to industrialization. 39% are Americans, 31% are Asians, 25% are Europeans, and 5% are from Oceania.
  11. 49% of consumers use 3 to 5 channels of communication.
  12. 61% of callers dislike IVR systems with prerecorded messages and computerized algorithms of voice recognition, preferring live operators.
  13. 66% of companies in B2B and B2C sectors have a textual live chat and also in-app messaging.
  14. Only 18% of customers prefer no-voice no-video channels of communication (social media, push notifications, messengers, letters, and emails).
  15. In the pandemic, the biggest increase regarding the contact of customers included these platforms; Instagram spurring by 75%, Facebook messaging increased by 20% and video chats – by a third.
  16. The best channels of communication for consumers (survey taken with a possibility of multiple-choice, so the percentages do not make 100%) are phone (65%), online chat (63%), email (61%), self-service through FAQ or online helpers (53%) and mobile self-service in an app (52%).
  17. Only 13% of all call centers have a fully deployed AI in their textual support.
  18. About 40% of all US-registered call centers outsource their labor to India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, as one average call centers employee in the US costs around $20 per hour while it is just $12 in the aforementioned countries (considering labor, phone routing, technology, and the rest of associated expenditure).

And here are some interesting facts (although this is not a statistic per se) the longest ever recorded phone call lasted for 10 hours 43 minutes and the longest time of being on hold was 5 hours 40 minutes.

Top call centers to work for

Here are the largest call centers to work in, by the number of employees (in thousand people):

  1. Allorica and AT&T (both 47)
  2. Blue Cross Blue Shield (41)
  3. Wells Fargo and Verizon (both 40)
  4. Citigroup and Conduent (both 29)
  5. Bank of America (28)
  6. JP Morgan Chase and State Farm Insurance (both 26).

However, you should consider that the turnover of the workforce in the largest call centers is also the largest, 44% (compared to 37% in mid-sized call centers and just 17% in small ones).

The annual salary ranges broadly. In developed countries, the average is from $22,000 to $39,000 a year but it is dramatically lower in developing countries.

Conclusion

The size of the global call center market is huge and has also been known to drive technology forward. It also has a fast pace of development and growth so it can meet new business expectations – no wonder so many companies resort to outsourcing call centers as they react to global demand.

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