Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Study Finds Salaries for Contact Center Executives Are on the Rise

February 25, 2014

When most people hear the job title, “call center workers,” they don’t often think of high salaries. Contact center jobs have often been the butt of jokes – and even a film and television series called “Outsourced” – for their low pay, unsavory jobs and high turnover. While this may apply to the people who sit in cubes all day taking calls from customers, it no longer applies to the people in upper functions of customer support.

As companies are more compelled today to offer personalized, “omnichannel” customer support through every possible Web, phone and wireless channel, they have found that hiring high quality customer support executives and paying them well is becoming a necessity. This isn’t just conventional wisdom: the numbers are bearing this out.

The 2014 edition of the “Contact Center, TeleSales and Customer Service National Salary Guide,” which is published annually by TeleManagement Search, measured contact center executive salaries during the last quarter of 2013. It found that salaries rose more dramatically over the last year for many vice president- and director-level positions than during the last several years. The growth numbers aren’t staggering -- the average corporate VP and director salaries increased approximately five percent over the last year, with some average salaries increasing as much as 8.3 percent – they indicate a recovery since salaries had been stagnating for some time.

The news isn’t as good on the call center agent, manager and supervisor front. The report found that increases for staff and support positions that have less of a measurable direct impact on the bottom line remained flat. One of the most notable standouts in salary increases, however, was seen for the most senior workforce management executive, a position that saw an average increase of nearly seven percent.

According to TeleManagement Search, as the contact center becomes more omnichannel, increasing complexity raises the stakes for individuals managing the customer support function.

“Some of the more dramatic salary increases for operations positions can be attributed to the increasing complexity found in many contact centers interacting with customers through multiple touch points,” wrote the study’s authors. “As the number of contact center channels have increased to include live chat, email service, social service including Twitter and Facebook, and mobile service delivered via text messaging, in addition to traditional live agent/IVR servicing, and the number of professionals with multiple channel expertise is limited, salaries have risen.”

In the near future, the contact center industry may find that paying executives more will only get them so far: they will also need to recruit more educated call center agents who can perform more complex tasks reliably and who are less likely to leave their jobs after only a few months. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker