Avaya: UK Call Centre Industry Embraces OFCOM’s Silent Calling Regulations

Research from Avaya reveals in a survey of 118 UK call centre managers that 93 per cent unanimously agree that failure to comply with OFCOM’s silent calling regulations will continue to damage the reputation of the call centre industry.

Conducted by Keynote in September 2006, the survey found that 70 per cent of respondents reported being compliant with OFCOM’s regulations, introduced 6 months ago, and believe that silent calls cause inconvenience, frustration and stress to the public. Another 89 per cent believe that punishment for companies who persistently break the rules for silent calling should be more strictly enforced.

Gordon Loader, Director of Business Communications and Applications at Avaya said, “The survey shows that the majority of call centres are stepping-up to OFCOM’s challenge. This is an encouraging sign as without standards, public confidence and appreciation of the services that call centres provide can not be maintained.”

Silent calls occur when automated dialling systems used by call centres generate more calls than the available agents can deal with. When the person dialled answers the telephone and there is no agent available, there is just silence on the line. These abandoned calls can cause significant anxiety and annoyance. From March 1st 2006 OFCOM legislation required that a message is played to the called party giving details of the company that has dialled them.

Avaya commissioned the research, carried out by Keynote, to determine what impact the silent calling regulations have had on UK call centres, whether the industry is doing enough to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the call centre industry, and whether customer care has really been enhanced.

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