Call center growth is continuing at a record pace. And, as emerging countries’ economies stabilize, call center sourcing is becoming more and more global. While India was once the center of all call center development, now Jamaica, Ecuador, Brazil, the Philippines, and other countries are quickly developing call center production. Regardless of location, call centers still face many of the same challenges.
The importance of call centers
In today’s global economy, businesses rely on call centers more than ever. According to Gallup, three out of five firms cite contact centers as one of their leading sales and marketing platforms. And currently, the U.S. accounts for around 12% of the global telephone system market. The country is home to 481,500 call centers and is second only to India. The call center industry is absolutely booming and expected to be worth $120 billion by 2025. In fact, the top five players account for nearly 70% of the market. But, while the industry is booming, there are many challenges call centers face today.
Challenges faced by call centers around the world
A lack of available talent is a common challenge faced by organizations. The rise of communication technologies has created a serious talent shortage, leaving companies struggling to meet customer needs. By 2025, the global market for customer service agents is expected to reach more than 1.9 million employees. To secure the best talent, organizations need to address their organizational needs and increase their digital investments to support their people. The advent of artificial intelligence and robots in customer service roles is also a massive concern for organizations. While AI helps human workers provide better and more customer-centric service, there are still concerns that AI is only part of the solution.
1. Poor contact centers are not profitable
It is very important to point out that offering high customer satisfaction is definitely a worthwhile effort, but the expense of doing so does not compensate for the losses incurred due to poor contact center performance. Often, the unexpected outcomes of poor contact center performance outweigh any financial gains. In such cases, even the most valuable investments do not pay off. To run a successful call center, your contact center must provide the highest level of service and be available for customers to contact you at any time. To ensure that your call centers offer the desired services, it is important to identify and solve the following major challenges faced by call centers.
2. Difficulty keeping up with customer service
A major challenge faced by call centers across the world is keeping up with customer service demands. It seems to be an uphill task to tackle the growing demands of the customer. Today, customers expect their queries to be solved immediately and not to fall into the typical call center cycle of repeating history. Difficulty in identifying the right call agents is a tall order. Talent is aggressively targeted and stolen. Some of the new and advanced technologies in the world – Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, analytics, and many others—provide amazing opportunities to leverage the acquisition and retention of talent.
3. Limited contact center budgets
As is the case with any tech sector, as the price of calls per minute goes down, the cost of call centers also goes down. Nowadays, a manager who previously spent $600 per month for a corporate phone number can cut that number to as low as $120 with a call center. However, a call center needs to maintain its rates in order to make a profit. Over the past 5 years, the rate of the average CX Call Center Revenue per month has gone down by 28% to $236. Finding ways to automate through processes and technology must be a top priority for the immediate future.
4. Failure to recruit and retain good talent
Employees enjoy working for good companies, and companies find it beneficial to retain good talent. Call centers are no exception—that’s why they provide great training and ensure that all employees are up to date on industry standards. However, there are several challenges associated with retaining good talent.
One of the biggest challenges to address is the fear of change. A new hire may not be open to a new role, especially if it means working for a different company. There are many market conditions that affect the way call centers operate. For example, some regulatory authorities mandate that their call centers follow a specific workflow and standards. Open employment in many countries gives employees the ability to change jobs quickly. As the demand continues to grow for call centers, employees can pit opportunities against each other, and demand better pay and working conditions. Only call centers that develop employee growth and retention plans will remain competitive.
5. Inadequate technology
Data management is one of the biggest challenges faced by call center managers today. They face several challenges when it comes to data management, which includes the following: the ability to access call records and information on the same day, the decision to change business rules after the call or to postpone all inquiries related to the same time at a later date, delays in the creation of new database records and conflicts in their handling and management.
Companies must maintain an advanced technology advantage to stay competitive in the industry. Technology and infrastructure could completely destroy a business operation in countries where infrastructure is weak and support is limited. Redundancy, business continuity, and planning are critical for long-term success.
Call centers must innovate their business model to remain competitive and successful. The industry has traditionally lagged in innovative strategies; and while that may seem like a disadvantage, you can quickly make that your unique value proposition. Technology solutions such as Emmersion.ai that immediately give you language capability results can rapidly improve your business model. Take a moment to solve at least one of your problems, and try a demo of Emmersion’s English testing services.
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