Thankfully, Call Centres Are Becoming Irrelevant

Fact: no-one likes having to ring a call centre. And new data suggests that given the choice, we'll choose any other option.

Call centre picture from Shutterstock

Dimension Data's Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, based on surveys of 817 contact centre managers in 79 countries, underscores that most call centres now have to handle email and social media as well as phone calls. In Australia, the proportion of centres which identify themselves as "voice only" has fallen from 76.5 per cent last year to 51.7 per cent this year.

Unsurprisingly, there's a clear preference for phone calls amongst older citizens, but for anyone under the age of 50, the "channel" largely becomes irrelevant. Web chat, Facebook, Twitter or email are all valid options.

The lesson? If your business wants to roll out or subcontract a new call centre with an emphasis on voice, time to think again. Customer contact matters, but phone calls shouldn't be the primary focus.


    Fact - some demographics like to call call centers but some demographics prefer digital channels

    The headline is inflammatory and wrong.

    As you've alluded to, the CC is CHANGING to (using the Gartner term) a customer engagement center which adds proactive engagement to the existing CC model. This does not mean it's irrelevant and quite the opposite actually as the CC will become MORE relevant as more digital channels are serviced.

    From a business perspective, I believe specifically trained members from a marketing department should be handling social media.

    I'm surprised it isn't mentioned that business's that source off shore to cut wage costs, in turn reduce the number of people calling, because they have difficulty in understanding both theirs and our vernacular. Which in turns forces some people to move to the other forms of contact. Negative media about off shoring doesn't help either.

    I've resulted to email in cases where ones accent is so strong, that we spend 30 minutes just trying to understand each other.
    So no it's not irrelevant, it just seems that way due to business's trying to save a few dollars at the expense of customer satisfaction.

    Anything I can do via self service, I will do so. If a webpage can launch a script or you can make it a unique code you type into the phone, make it happen and make the information as public as possible. it'll save us all time in the long run.

    Text-based support I have mixed feelings about. Email support is best for non-urgent queries, because a conversation can easily take a week. 'live chat' sessions can be efficient, but unless I'm just asking a simple question I always seem to get redirected to phone support anyway. If you treat it like a full support system (with first/second/third level support) it can work great, as you don't need to explain yourself to each new person - they can just skim the log.

    This article is largely irrelevant given for years they have been known as contact centre's instead..

    this is nothing more than a natural evolution of an aging product.. As happens to all eventually..

    Honestly, I've been in the call center environment for quite some time. And I have seen it evolve as time changes. But one thing is for certain that will never change. That is that we as humans, not all, but a majority, if given the choice of having something accomplished without us having to put forth much effort, we naturally will go that route. True call centers involve having to use an automated system, but for most people it beats having to go to a physical building, if even possible, to take care of something that can be done over the phone. As far as web chat, and other internet based means go, some people are hesistant to give their information over the internet, I being one of them. As crazy as it sounds, most would be more willing to give our personal information over the phone than the internet. I actually works for a company where if account information must be given out, we ask the client to call into help desk. I say all of this to say, though call centers don't operate exactly as they use to, their general purpose is still being realized and they will be around for years to come.

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