Nadahl Shocair, Communio Networks’ CEO, comments:
It’s great news for our industry that a good portion of the sample of managers we spoke to are planning to increase their IT spend next year – with some looking to invest as much as 50% more than this year. The priority now must be to identify those areas that can provide a strong improvement to the performance of the call centre and the customer experience, while providing the necessary return on investment to keep the Finance team happy. This is not an easy challenge but we’re confident that the UK call centre industry has the skills and experience to succeed.
We’re a little surprised not to see more homeworking positions out there, as this is an area where the new world of IP telephony can really make a difference. However, despite the press attention it’s received recently, VoIP is still relatively immature, so we can expect this figure to rise significantly over time.
Other significant findings of the research include:
b2b or b2c?
- 44% of those surveyed operated b2c contact centres;
- 25% of those surveyed operated b2b contact centres;
- 22% of those surveyed operated blended b2b/b2c contact centres;
Tech investment trends
- 28% of contact centres said that their technology investment has been static over the past year;
- 25% have increased their investment by a quarter;
- 27% have increased their investment by 50%.
- Over the coming twelve months, 24% said that their technology investment would be static;
- Just under a quarter (22%) said that their investment would increase by 25%;
- A fifth (19%) said that their investment would rise by 50% over the next 12 months;
- Over a three year period, 24% do not expect their technology investment to increase;
- 15% expect it to rise by 50%;
- Only 3% believe that they will invest less in technology.
- The majority (76%) of contact centres surveyed handle non-voice media;
- 11% handle email in addition to voice;
- 42% handle fax and email;
- 15% handle fax, email and SMS;
- Webchat was less popular – only 10% of contact centres we spoke to handle these types of communication with customers.
- Only 39% of contact centres are IP-enabled, although more people (44%) believed that IP had had the greatest impact on contact centres in the last three years.
- When it comes to what other technologies were thought to have had the greatest impact, 13% thought that workforce management software was the most influential and 30% plumped for voice recognition.
- Agent performance measurement is achieved in a number of different ways.
- 80% of companies surveyed use silent monitoring of live calls;
- 74% monitor agents manually, using tick sheets;
- 63% use automated agent evaluation systems;
- 76% use the ACD’s reporting functions to monitor agents.
 Note: Communio Networks, the telecommunications reseller, recently conducted a technology benchmarking study among 220 contact centre managers to assess their views on a range of technology issues. These are the findings of the research.