Call Centre Boom Set to Continue, Says Survey

Figures issued by the
Enterprise Customer Management Show
reveal that the call centre boom is set to continue.

quarters of firms that already have a call centre will
expand it during the coming year.

Other statistics show that while only 11 per cent of
call centres in the UK will be web-enabled by the
end of 1999, within three years the number will increase
to 46 per cent. In Europe as a whole, the number of
web-enabled call centre seats will grow from
240,000 this year to three million by 2004.

With over two per cent of the UK’s population already
employed in the call centre industry, the sector is
clearly of huge importance to Internet workers.

“What’s changed in the past couple of years is that the call
centre on its own is no longer seen as the quick fix to a
company’s customer relationship management challenges,” said
Andy Center, managing director of
Penton Media, which runs
the ECM show.

“Today, companies understand that getting a call centre up
and running is merely step one on the road to a fully
integrated sales, marketing and customer service solution.”

The recent turbulence and consolidation in the industry, Center says, is only the result of competitors in pursuit of “runaway” market leader Siebel Systems. He pointed to Nortel Networks’ acquisition of Clarify and Alcatel’s purchase of Genesys as indicators not only of a fast maturing market, but of a shift to Internet and other new technologies as vendors seek to plug
holes in their portfolios.”

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