Systems and network integrator Dimension Data has revealed we may be on the “cusp” of a massive change in the contact centre environment,according to findings in its latest Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report.
According this year’s sample of 554 operations spread across 36 countries – the 12th such annual survey conducted by DiData – the contact centre is moving from being a cost centre that is derided by customers to a potential sales generator, helped along by the recession.
DiData UK director of Customer Interactive Solutions, Howard Spinks, said: “The primary business focus [in the contact centre] was on decreasing costs through consolidating and rationalising processes, functions and activities.”
“Our report suggests that we are on the cusp of a contact centre evolution driven in part by the tough economic conditions. Within three to four years, we expect that most contact centres will become a key source of value creation for businesses,” he continued.
Among other findings, the survey uncovered a 22% rise in contact centres putting in place processes and systems to identify sales opportunities in inbound calls, with 61% now boasting the feature. The number of organisations with a strategy in place to reduce the cost of serving customers also grew to 67%.
Implementation of IP telephony technology is also on the up,with 60% of UK call centres integrating the technology into their systems, edging out out-style CRM projects.
Busting a few myths, DiData said service levels in the UK,particularly in consumer-facing situations, were also found to be improving,while staff churn was among the lowest in the world and the low cost of recruiting and phone calls also made the industry more attractive to investors.