The domestic contact center industry can be a growing source of good jobs for Americans looking for work. More and more businesses are tapping into the reserve of talented Americans looking for work and harnessing high-speed broadband and other technologies to create contact center jobs in the U.S.
More Than 5 Million Americans Work In Contact Centers in More Than 50,000 Locations Across The Country, Representing Nearly 4% Of The U.S. Working Population, according to one study.
- Trends Are Driving Contact Center Jobs to the U.S.: Accounting and consulting giant BDO USA recently reported sharp cuts in the use of offshore contact centers by U.S. tech companies. A BDO survey of 100 CFOs found that just 12% of firms currently maintain offshore contact centers or help desks. That's a dramatic drop from 35% in 2009 and 19% last year.
- Domestic Contact Centers are a Major Opportunity for the U.S. Economy & Job Growth: There is tremendous room for growth for the U.S. contact center sector. The Philippines will earn $5.7 billion and India will earn $5.5 billion for contact center work this year from the U.S., Europe and Australia, according to the Everest Group. The two hub countries account for about half of the $21 billion global industry, according to Everest data. According to Datamonitor, an estimated 243,000 offshore agents currently handle calls from U.S. consumers.
- U.S. Virtual Contact Centers are Growing Faster Than Other Contact Centers: New home-based contact center jobs in the U.S. are outpacing other contact center jobs. The number of U.S. home-based contact agents will have grown at an annual clip of 20% between 2009 and 2012, from about 50,000 to more than 80,000, according to Datamonitor projections. That's much faster than the growth rate for contact centers in India (+4%) and the Philippines (+9%).
Home Based Contact Centers are Leading the Way In the Digital Age: More and more U.S. home based contact canters are using new technology like video conferencing to improve the customer experience. Eleution, a Wyoming-based company, employs several hundred teachers who teach English to students in Asia via videoconferencing software. Companies like Myngle and EduFire are improving the educational process through U.S. based home contact centers that use teleconferencing.
- Virtual Contact Centers are Growing: A growing number of Americans do contact center work from home. More than 200,000 Americans work “virtually” from their home offices and an estimated 60,000 Americans work as contact center reps from their homes.
Keeping contact centers close to home makes sense for many reasons:
- Good for America. If American businesses can harness the growing ubiquity of broadband and new technologies like VoIP and cloud computing to enable companies to create new jobs here in America, we will have retained an entire service industry. We believe that the U.S. business community is strong enough to help hard-working Americans return to the workforce and revel in the pride of a regular paycheck.
- Good Customer Service. Studies indicate that customers prefer dealing with customer service representatives in America, who understand the cultural context or have knowledge of products that may not be widely available elsewhere. Americans say they have more trouble getting inquiries resolved efficiently when they're routed to contact centers outside the U.S. According to CFI Group’s 2010 Contact Center Satisfaction Index, customers who perceived their calls were handled offshore were 27% less satisfied than those who believed they were speaking with a U.S. worker.
- Good for People with Disabilities. Disabled Americans are leading the charge to bring contact center jobs back to the U.S. Nonprofit organizations now assist companies and government agencies like the IRS in creating virtual contact centers that employ Americans with disabilities. By hiring highly qualified individuals with disabilities who work from home, organizations become eligible for a $2,400 Work Opportunity Tax Credit for every individual they hire.