As satisfaction with Customer Service across the UK continues to fall, industry experts from the Contact Centre sector are coming together to understand the changes in the industry and the skills required for the contact centre of the future.
Research has revealed that as customers become more self-serving, many transactional activities previously carried out by contact centres have moved online. As a result of this change in customer behaviour, contact centres now find that they are dealing with more complex issues – often customer service complaints. This change in activity has resulted in organisations having to provide more comprehensive skills training for their frontline advisors and managers to handle these types of enquiries.
The findings were revealed by recruitment specialist, MERJE and the Call Centre Management Association (CCMA) – the industry body for call centre professionals. The parties have formed a relationship and committed to share knowledge and expertise in a bid to offer an improved insight into the industry.
Ann-Marie Stagg, chief executive of CCMA, said: “As customers become more independent and the activities within contact centres advance, the quality of Contact Centre teams – particularly at management level – and best practices must develop too. The Contact Centre industry is changing and, in order to meet demand and customer needs, it’s vital that people are well trained to handle more complex enquiries. Failure to do so could result in damaging our industry’s reputation.”
During a recent roundtable event held by the CCMA and MERJE for judges of the annual UK National Contact Centre Awards, a think tank dedicated to the development of people within the industry discussed how the sector is progressing and projected their expectations for future advancements. It is hoped that the research will provide valuable insight to assist contact centre employers in ensuring that they are recognised as a profession in their own right.
Neil Johns, managing consultant of the contact centre division at MERJE, added: “Over the years, the management positions we recruit for within contact centres have changed drastically. The skill-set required is becoming more specialist and the day-to-day job requirements is more complex. Consequently, demand for positions is higher and there’s a drive for the recruitment of mid-level management across the sector.”