The Perception of the Call Centre

Call Centre Solutions

We’ve all been there in the past. Stuck on hold to an outsourced call centre employee trying to find the answer to what should be a simple question. Felt the frustration of hour long or more waiting times. Since COVID however, and arguably before, call centres have become increasingly aware of their public perceptions and have actively been working to change it. So, have call centres changed? What are the benefits to using one for your business? Does the future lie in a direction away from call centres?

The technological revolution in the call centre

The world has been advancing incredibly quickly in terms of technology since the internet became widespread in 1997 which has helped transform businesses away from customer facing, local stores to creating helplines which have since been outsourced abroad. This has not come without frustration from the customers perspective, with major companies such as Virgin, Telecomm providers such as 02 or even more middle-sized consumer companies delegating their call centre tasks to cheaper labour in countries such as India. 

External pressures

Nothing highlighted that this needed to change like COVID. With all physical stores shut, companies needed to provide a better service or risk losing out to their competitors. Online assistance became more important too. Suddenly, the first and only place you could contact a business became online or over the phone, resulting in a need for a number of new telephone departments. This resulted in a growth of companies recruiting for telephone and online only based positions, allowing alternative means of working such as remote based, working from home (WFH) or hybrid means which are still offered as an incentive to employees in a post COVID world. In fact, a recent study found that 4% of people of working age in the UK now work in a call centre, translating to 812,000 people. 

New technology and improved service 

Whilst companies such as Nespresso had already been using a call centre for many years to place orders, repair technology, answer questions and be the focal point of their business in the UK, others benefitted from having workers from other industries suddenly inserted into their business. This allowed them to provide better customer service, reduced waiting times and could better anticipate customers’ needs. The perception of a building filled with staff with headsets on trying to get you off the phone changed, as customers realised this was now the solution rather than needing to leave the comfort of their homes. Many companies who did not have internal systems or up to date software to assist customers suddenly found they had the resources. This also reduced company expenditure in not needing to pay all the traditional utility overheads, business premises, insurance, lights, power, water and so on. Traditional call centres who work for several providers, suddenly found themselves in an immediate position to assist numerous companies, so better customer service and undercutting each other turned call centres into a more helpful, competitive service.

So, what are the benefits of using a call centre today?

Call centres are now more competitive and will go the extra mile to ensure your businesses customer service needs are more than satisfied. This leads to other benefits such as:

  • Outsourcing your customer care, service, payment plans and frequently asked questions
  • Call centres already have a wide array of experience handling these areas
  • Removing financial and personnel strain by removing physical business premises needs
  • Adding a ‘bolt on’ of experience and expertise to help your business
  • Rapidly meet customer needs so you can concentrate on the expansion of your products or services
  • You can offer a 24/7 service
  • They can act as your brand ambassadors

So, does the future lie in call centres?

Well with the advent and integration of AI, you might be tempted to think that the future lies away from call centres. Currently companies such as 02 or even hospitals use AI in order to help you reach the correct department. However, whilst the world of AI is developing rapidly, it can only provide services based on its own knowledge of the world. For now at least, that will mean people are required not just to provide a human touch, but in ensuring that AI supplements everything that it needs to correctly. Whether that may change in the future is up for debate, but for now call centres remain the best option for your outsourcing needs as a business.

Do you have any telecommunication needs for your business? We’re here to help. You can contact The One Solution on 0330 094 5545 or use our contact form here.

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