High Attrition Continues to be Major Challenge in Contact Center Industry
April 02, 2008
The contact center industry overall faces significant challenges. While these centers often operate as the key interaction point between customers and the company, they can sometimes suffer in performance due to staff shortages, high attrition, budget cuts and other internal challenges.
For the Indian contact center industry, the biggest challenge seems to be employee attrition, agent training and implementing new service channels. These challenges were identified in new research from callcentres.net.
According to the newly released 2008 Asian Contact Center Industry Benchmarking Report, Indian contact center executives are seeking to improve human resource management results by offering financial incentives, reward and recognition programs and better career planning for agents.
While such initiatives can help to drive change within the contact center industry and the individual centers, India still faces the obstacle that the average tenure for an Indian contact center agent is lowest in the region at 9 months.
Sponsored by Autonomy etalk and Genesys, this study included an examination of 539 contact center executives representing 2,488 contact centers and 259,699 contact center seats across Asia, including 107 centers in India.
The study looks at outsourced contact centers (72 percent) and in-house or captive centers (28 percent). These centers reported that agent absenteeism, or sick leave in Indian contact centers had reduced on average from 15 days in 2007 to 9 days per annum in 2008. Despite this improvement, employee tenure remains a critical problem.
As for the rest of the industry, the Global contact center market is projected to reach US$195 billion by 2010, according to a report by Global Industry Analysts. Asia is expected to lead this growth.
North America and Europe continue to dominate and account for about 85 percent of the service revenues. Asia-Pacific holds enormous potential, and is projected to drive growth in the global arena.
The global market is also experiencing changing trends. Major trends creating influence include the expansion of operational costs and budgetary allocations, declining telecommunications costs, a rise the in number of hosted contact centers, and the growing significance of Asian call centers.
The transformation of call centers into contact centers is also expected to have a continuing impact. The report noted that despite its status as the fastest growing employer, contact centers continue to face challenges in the shortage of skilled employees and high employee turnover.
At the end of the day, it is unclear how much these challenges will effectively change and improve over the long term. While many organizations are taking the proper steps to make improvements, it is consistency in strategy that will make the most impact in the end.