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Voice of the Customer

Some key findings from the latest UK Contact Centre HR & Operational Benchmarking Report, a major study of 215 UK contact centre operations include:

·        Average speed to answer has jumped by 27% and stands at 55 seconds for large contact centres

·        New agent salaries have risen to £16,027

·        Call duration for a service call has increased to almost 5 minutes, despite improvements in contact centre technology and business processes

·        Agent attrition rates in large (200+ seat) contact centres are 2.5 times higher than in sub-50 seat operations

·        Agents in the manufacturing, retail & distribution and technology, media & telecoms sectors spend more than 15% of their time handling emails and web chats.

The report's author, Steve Morrell, commented "The continued strong growth in both email and web chat, as well as mobile and web-based self-service, means that the remaining agent-customer voice conversation is now on average longer and more complex, requiring different skills and capabilities from agents which current systems and processes may not yet support. Furthermore, the connected increase in call handling times – now almost 5 minutes for a service call, and 6½ minutes for a sales call – supports the finding that the voice queue is often under pressure.

“Twice as many contact centres are planning to increase headcount in 2015 as are expecting a decrease, which suggests that the movement towards self-service has not yet taken the pressure off the voice channel. In part, this will be due to the disconnect across channels found in most businesses, where the customer may have to engage multiple channels repeatedly in order to get a resolution to their query – a case of ‘multichannel’ rather than ‘omnichannel’ – where the final destination for many is still a live voice call.”

The UK Contact Centre HR & Operational Benchmarking Report (4th edition 2014/15)", is a major study of 215 UK contact centre operations, looking in depth at salaries, attrition, absence, recruitment, training, operational performance benchmarks, budgets and growth, with forecasts to 2017. The report costs £295 + VAT and is available from www.contactbabel.com/reports.cfm

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