Call centres set to spend on technology

Call centres are set to increase their spending on new technology but claim they are more likely to go with the "tried and tested."

According to an ACA Research study, commissioned by contact centre solution provider Concerto Software, new technology implementations rank in the top three operational priorities for Australian call centres in the next quarter.

Dr Catriona Wallace, ACA research director, said this high level of intention to purchase hasn't been apparent for the past three years.

At the same time, however, the respondents claim they have low to average confidence in the technology currently available.

An anticipated increase in customer transaction volumes due to new sales and marketing campaigns as well as the release of new products and services, is behind the push, Wallace said.

"This is resulting in four out of five call centre executives expecting to recruit additional staff over the next quarter."

While the research indicates a high degree of conservatism when it comes to purchasing, CRM and IVR (interactive voice recognition) software top the shopping list.

Wallace claims that despite the introduction of more advanced technologies, IVR systems are still perceived to have the greatest impact on call centre productivity, and expects the trend will continue with IVR ranking second as a future purchase.

But the big surprise is VoIP, which fails to even make a blip on the radar, ranking 11th on the call centre executives' shopping list.

Meanwhile, Genesys Laboratories also released research of its own last week showing technology purchases are high on the agenda.

Jason Stirling, Genesys A/NZ managing director, agrees IVR ranks highly with the focus on self-service to generate savings.

"But there are certain segments that aren't happy with IVR and I think it comes down to design. Organizations need to be smart and careful in how they create and organize their IVR systems," Stirling said.

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