A New Survey Reveals Challenges for UK Contact Centres

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UK contact centres are entering a transformative period in 2024, facing increasing workloads and the complex impacts of emerging AI technologies, according to a new report by MaxContact.

The “2024 UK Contact Centre KPI Benchmarking Insights Report”, based on a survey of 500 contact centre leaders working in sales, debt collection and customer service, paints a picture of an industry at a crossroads, navigating post-pandemic changes and technological advancements.

The report uncovered challenges across different sectors:

  • Debt collection teams are having a tough time, reaching the right person in only 26% of calls. With household debt rising, this low contact rate could have significant implications for the financial sector.
  • Sales teams are struggling, making an average of 56 calls a day but closing deals in fewer than 7% of interactions. This low conversion rate indicates a need for better lead qualification and more targeted sales approaches.
  • Customer service teams are finding it hard to balance speed and quality. The average call takes 7.82 minutes, with only 45% of issues resolved on the first call. This suggests that while agents are spending significant time with customers, they’re often unable to resolve issues in a single interaction.

The report also highlights issues for the human side of contact centres. Agent workloads have increased by 11% on average, but only 44% of contact centres have raised salaries, with an average increase of 7%.

This gap between workload and pay may worsen the industry’s high turnover rate, which the research found averages 30% annually.

However, amidst these challenges, nearly 60% of respondents believe AI will have a significant impact on the industry within three years, with 38% expecting its main benefit to be reducing manual workloads.

The report shows increasing emphasis on quality assurance, with 83% of respondents finding it important. Yet, only 39% use speech analytics, indicating room for improvement.

This report acts as both a warning and a guide, suggesting a need for significant changes in contact centre operations as traditional metrics fall short and new challenges emerge.

These findings are a wake-up call for the industry,” warns Ben Booth, CEO of MaxContact.Contact centres are clearly under pressure, and traditional working methods are being pushed to their limits. Those who embrace AI and other innovative technologies now will be the winners of tomorrow. The rest risk being left behind.” 

For more information about MaxContact - visit the MaxContact Website

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Author: Hannah Swankie
Reviewed by: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 4th Jul 2024 - Last modified: 9th Jul 2024
Read more about - Business Insights, ,

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