Thirteen-annual top 50 inbound service agency ranking

Telemarking & call center solutions magazine’s: Thirteen-annual top 50 inbound service agency ranking

This is the thirteenth year Telemarketing & CenterCenter Solutions magazine brings you its “Top 50” Service Agency Ranking. In this issue, we’re presenting the “Top 50” inbound portion of the ranking. (The outbound portion of the ranking was highlighted in the March 1998 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& Call Center Solutions 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 1996 through October 1997. 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 1996 and October 1997. 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 thirdparty 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 SO” 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 & 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 Charts

As you read through the 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 category of “Specialization” reflects both the agency’s inbound and outbound work.

You will notice that the “Top SO” inbound has been divided into four categories: A, B, C and D. Category A is composed of U.S. service agencies whose primary business function is providing telemarketing services for outside firms. The list of companies in Category A runs from page 88 to page 94. Category B was created seven years ago to let readers know that companies ranked in this section do 50 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 94, 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. Again 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. Companies ranked in Category C are found on pages 96-97.

This year we have added a new category, Category D, which is comprised of companies that provide purely interactive inbound services (no live operators). We added this category to reflect the growing demand for such interactive inbound services. Companies that are in the Domestic and International categories that are also ranked in the Interactive category are marked with a double dagger (t) in their Domestic and International rankings. Companies ranked in Category D are found on page 98.

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@ & Call Center Solutions magazine. Thank you.

Copyright Technology Marketing Corporation Apr 1998

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