Orange County is one of the most expensive regions in the country in which to operate call centers--offices where banks of workers don headsets to field customer questions, take orders or hawk products.
The average annual operating cost for a 300-worker call center in the Anaheim/Santa Ana area is $19.2 million, the sixth highest out of 25 metropolitan regions studied by the Boyd Co., a corporate relocation consultant. The most expensive area cited in the study was San Francisco, with a $21.6-million average annual operating cost. Los Angeles was third, averaging $20.5 million.
The call center industry is one of the country's fastest-growing business segments, as corporations increasingly use telecommunications to connect with their customers, said John H. Boyd, president of Boyd Co. But these operations are increasingly being set up in far-flung locations where companies can keep a lid on expenses, he said.
Because of their lower costs, certain regions in Canada are emerging as preferred sites for call centers, Boyd said. New Brunswick province, which has attracted call centers for major corporations such as General Electric, IBM and Federal Express, has become known as the call center capital, Boyd said.