Significant differences between large and mid-sized contact centres

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Research highlights differences in investment, in take-up of technology to improve email response times, and in take up of Capex-enabled cloud-based technologies

Genesys announced the results of recent research conducted with ContactBabel which analysed major differences in the take-up of new technology between large and mid-sized contact centres.

The research looked at different elements within the contact centre – such as the use of multimedia and the average speed to answer calls – to examine the differences between mid- and large-sized contact centres and outline the evolution required by the mid-sized contact centre in today’s market.

The research found that in 2010-11, mid-sized contact centres – with 50 to 200 agent positions – devoted significantly less investment to the use of email than larger call centres, with 69% of operations choosing an ad-hoc approach to email management, compared to just 50% in large contact centres. Only 1 in 5 mid-sized contact centres use a universal queue model, resulting in 40% of emails taking longer than 24 hours to resolve. Another area of significant disparity was in the differences between Capex and Opex. During the same period, only 33% of mid-sized contact centres saw any Opex growth, much lower than in the 51% for large contact centres.

The first area which the research looks at is the average speed to answer (ASA) within mid- and large-sized contact centres. ASA has a huge effect on customer satisfaction, and the research found that mid-sized contact centres have the lowest performance of the three size bands, with an average of 31 seconds, against the sub-50 seat score of 26 seconds and the large 25 second ASA. Mid-sized operations in this case often don’t have the efficiency-enhancing solutions that are available to larger operations.

Email is actually more important to mid-sized contact centres than to large operations, with 9.7% of interactions in mid-sized contact centres being email, compared to only 5.8% in the largest size band.

However, the research found that mid-sized contact centres currently do not devote significant investment to email, with 69% of operations choosing an ad-hoc approach to email management, compared to 50% of large contact centres. Fewer than 1 in 5 mid-sized contact centres use a universal queue model, resulting in over 40% of emails taking longer than 24 hours to resolve, indicating that multimedia handling is both important and ripe for improvement in the mid-size contact centre sector.

One other area of significant disparity is in the differences between Capex and Opex. In 2010-11, only 33% of mid-sized contact centres saw any Opex growth, much lower than the large contact centre sector (51%). 54% of mid-sized operations experienced further falls in ongoing expenditure, and also had the greatest proportion of contact centres reporting lower levels of investment in any size band.

A spokesperson stated “Mid-sized operations need the ability to implement solutions traditionally implemented by larger centres at a lower price-point, but with the same powerful functionality which has enabled many large contact centres to improve their operational performance,” said Keith Wilkinson, Vice President of Genesys for the UK, Ireland and South East Africa. “We offer the ability to package quick deployments for on-premise solutions which offer an ‘off-the-shelf’ option for those contact centres which require a fast implementation, but are still looking to significantly reduce TCO. We are already working with mid-sized contact centres to develop strategies which add simplicity and usability without taking away useful functionality – we joined with ProtoCall One at the end of 2011 to provide the UK’s first fully-hosted Genesys contact centre solution to the mid-market as a SaaS offering.”

“This research shows that mid-sized operations do indeed face many of the same issues and problems of large contact centres, but have not been able to implement similar solutions due to budgetary restraints and the lack of dedicated resources to implement and maintain them,” said Steve Morrell, Principal Analyst at ContactBabel. “Businesses should look for solutions which have been re-engineered to remove the requirement for complex technical and training capabilities, while retaining the functionality that is really required by their contact centre.”

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