Telemarketing & Call Centers Solutions Magazine’s Twelfth-Annual Top 50 inbound Service Agency Ranking & Industry Profile

Telemarketing & Call Centers Solutions Magazine’s Twelfth-Annual Top 50 inbound Service Agency Ranking & Industry Profile

This is the twelfth year Telemarketing (R) & Call Center Solutions (TM) magazine brings you its “Top 50” Service Agency Ranking & Industry Profile. In this issue, we’ve showcased the “Top 50” inbound portion of the ranking. (The outbound portion of the ranking was highlighted in the March 1997 issue.)

Since its inception in 1986, our “Top 50” ranking has been used as the benchmark for choosing large-capacity/sized telemarketing service agencies.

Ranking Basis

Since the basis of our ranking is company size, Telemarketing (TM) & Call Center Solutions (TM) uses a measurable, third-party-verifiable aspect of telemarketing service to arrive at our list of the “Top 50” agencies: the number of minutes each agency was billed by each of its phone companies for telephone service for 12 months, encompassing November 1995 through October 1996. We have found this to be an accurate and reliable reflection of the amount of telemarketing each agency does, and therefore, provides a true reflection of its size.

Qualification Criteria

To qualify for inclusion in this year’s “Top 50,” the agencies had to answer a questionnaire detailing the nature of their business and listing their number of billable minutes between November 1995 and October 1996. The questionnaire had to be verified with the signature of each agency’s president/CEO. In addition, each agency had to submit a letter of verification from each of its telephone service providers certifying the number of minutes for which it billed the agency during the designated period. (Our sincere gratitude is extended to all the carriers for their thorough and expeditious provision of this data.)

Exceptions

Agencies that did not supply this third-party verification were disqualified, with the exception of three circumstances: 1) a client of the service agency was billed directly for its telephone service and would not provide a letter of verification for anonymity reasons; 2) part of the billable minutes were with a foreign telecommunications carrier that could not provide the data by the deadline; 3) legitimate business situations prevented an agency from obtaining verification from certain of its carriers or a certain carrier. For each of these circumstances, we required a letter of explanation and signed verification of billable minutes pertaining to the explanation from the president/CEO of the agency. You will find an asterisk next to the name of all “Top 50” agencies that supplied a portion of their verification from their president/CEO due to one of the three circumstances identified above.

In all cases, from the questionnaires to the letters of verification, the agencies were warned that should falsification be detected, they would be disqualified from this and all future “Top 50” rankings. And indeed, Telemarketing (R) & Call Center Solutions (TM) magazine’s editorial staff carefully verified calculations, discrepancies and other aspects of the supplied information to ensure that this ranking is of true value to you.

Understanding The Chart

As you read through the following list of “Top 50” agencies, you will notice that we have provided a numerical ranking of 1 through 50 (1 being the largest), but have not revealed the number of billable minutes used to arrive at this ordering. This was done out of respect for the confidential nature of this information to the many agencies included here that are privately held corporations.

In addition to the rankings, we have provided background information on the agencies, such as number of call centers and last year’s ranking in the “Top 50” (where applicable) to give you a broader picture of each agency and help you narrow down your selections. It is important to note that information provided under the following categories is reflective of both the agency’s inbound and outbound work: areas of specialization and ratio of supervisors to TSRs.

This year we have separated out all international telemarketing done by U.S. agencies and ranked those companies’ international minutes in the International category, category C. Domestic companies that are also ranked in the International category are marked with a dagger (t) in their domestic ranking.

You will notice that the “Top 50” inbound has been divided into three categories: A, B and C. Category A is composed of U.S. service agencies whose primary business function is provision of telemarketing services for outside firms. The list of companies in category A runs from page 36 to page 42. Category B was created six years ago to let readers know that companies ranked in this section do SO percent or more of their telemarketing for a parent company or a company that owns an interest in their agency. As always, we feel that companies in Category B deserve “Top 50” recognition for the notable contributions they make to the telemarketing industry. It is important to note that companies in Category B, found on page 44, have all indicated that they can accept new clients, so don’t hesitate to call on them as you would any of the companies listed in Category A. If you are considering an international telemarketing campaign, Category C consists of international service agencies. Companies ranked in Category C are found on pages 46-48.

Since we could not publish the actual number of minutes used by the “Top 50” companies, as a measure of the astounding growth of the telemarketing industry, we have included a chart showing the increase in number of workstations and full- and part-time TSRs (telemarketing sales representatives), which can be found on page 50, under the title “Growth Areas in the Top 50 Inbound, 19941997.” Each company was required to furnish the numbers for its company in these categories, and the figures in the chart represent the cumulative numbers for companies ranked 1 to 50 in each of the years from 1994 to 1997. (A similar chart for the outbound portion of the “Top 50” was included in March’s outbound issue.)

A final note is to examine the technology and service usage chart on page 50. This chart was compiled from the 131 companies that entered this year’s “Top 50.” It’s plain to see that telemarketing service agencies purchase incredible amounts of technology — technology that in-house call centers should endeavor to have in place as well.

We hope you will use this “Top 50” feature, both inbound and outbound portions, for your outsourcing needs throughout the year, and be sure to tell the companies you found them in Telemarketing (R) & Call Center Solutions (TM) magazine. Thank you.

Copyright Technology Marketing Corporation May 1997

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