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Dimension Data Launches 2007 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report in Australia

  • 23 March, 2007 13:00

<p>For further information please contact:</p>
<p>Helen Han</p>
<p>Dimension Data</p>
<p>Tel: 02 8249 5684</p>
<p>Email: helen.han@didata.com.au</p>
<p>New research launched today shows that only 60 percent of contact centres’ investment in agent seats is directly linked to customer interaction, driving companies to invest in convergence technologies to boost productivity and efficiency levels from their contact centre resources.</p>
<p>The results are from Dimension Data’s Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report 2007, which canvassed 403 call centres from 42 countries across five continents. Australian contact centres represented 9.4% of the survey sample – the fourth largest country representation after the US, UK and South Africa.</p>
<p>In Australia, companies are spending on average just under $US5,000 ($AU6,200) per month per agent to provide customer service through their contact centres. This figure includes staff, technology and other facilities and management costs. When applied to the 6.5 million contact centre seats globally, this is a staggering industry investment of $US33 billion.</p>
<p>Key global findings on contact centre productivity trends revealed:</p>
<p>- A drop has occurred in the share of calls resolved by the first agent: from 82.1% in the 2005 Report, to 80.7% in 2006 and 69.8% in 2007.</p>
<p>- Permission-based sales and marketing campaigns to prospects and existing customers are more than 200 times as effective as calls to a prospect list.</p>
<p>- Contact centre agents spend 60% of their time on customer interaction: speaking to customers, responding to emails and managing queries. By comparison, Australian agents spend more time engaging with customers with a reported utilization higher than the global average, at 67.5%.</p>
<p>- 40% of the investment made in agent seats is not directly tied to customer interaction – and when it is, only seven out of 10 calls are resolved by the first agent. Again, this is slightly better in Australia with nearly 76% of enquiries being resolved by the first agent offered the contact.</p>
<p>- Process automation has become a critical way for contact centres to improve how they operate. Self-service is a popular automation strategy for more businesses today - 13.5% of contact centres currently use speech-recognition, while a quarter plan to adopt it.</p>
<p>Launching the report in Australia this week, Cara Diemont, the Report’s editor said: “The challenge for executives and contact centre management is to ensure organisations get the best ROI for business and customers.”</p>
<p>Diemont said contact centres need to focus on two key areas to improve their operational efficiency: call resolution and automation systems.</p>
<p>“Unresolved calls frustrate customers and cost organisations money. If companies improve call centre resolution and agent utilisation, contact centre effectiveness can be substantially improved.”</p>
<p>Highlighting the value of the findings of the report, Jason Thals, Dimension Data’s national solutions manager for Customer Interactive Solutions, said: “The report has significant implications for Australian organisations, because it shows how the contact centre industry is being compelled to change from a processing-bureau mindset to one of customer-centricity.”</p>
<p>Thals added: “Contact centres need to reinforce a positive level of customer satisfaction, and resolution of customers’ queries is critical. While the report has shown first call resolution has fallen dramatically, this is also a symptom of the increasing complexity of the contact centre’s function and the growing significance of its integration into the back office function of the organisation as a whole.”</p>
<p>Meanwhile, the Report found that convergence technologies are enabling contact centres to innovate their process automation by combining previously separate entities, like data and telephony systems, networks and equipment to improve efficiency and service.</p>
<p>“Converged technology is driving tangible business benefits – typically, allowing agents to handle contacts, get customer information faster and penetrate information silos by enabling contacts to be handled throughout the organisation,” Diemont said.</p>
<p>According to the Report, convergence technologies are increasingly on the uptake in 2007, namely:</p>
<p>- IP-based or hybrid IP PBX/ACDs – 60% of centres have introduced those solutions, up from 50% last year.</p>
<p>- Computer telephony integration (CTI) and universal queues are on the increase - 53.4% of companies are currently using CTI and 23% intend to do so. 28% have implemented universal queues and 15.9% plan to implement.</p>
<p>This week, and next, Cara Diemont is presenting findings from the Benchmarking Report relevant to Australian contact centres, with events starting on Thursday, 22 March in Perth, followed by Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney, in partnership with the Customer Contact Management Association of Australia (CCMA), For more details on these events, please go to: www.ccma.asn.au.</p>
<p>-ENDS-</p>
<p>About Dimension Data</p>
<p>Dimension Data plc (LSE:DDT), a specialist IT services and solution provider, helps clients plan, build, support and manage their IT infrastructures. Dimension Data applies its expertise in networking, security, operating environments, storage and contact centre technologies and its unique skills in consulting, integration and managed services to create customised client solutions. www.dimensiondata.com</p>
<p>About the Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report</p>
<p>First published in the UK in 1997 by Merchants, Dimension Data’s specialist contact centre outsourcing and operations division, this year’s edition is the ninth in a series of the industry-renowned benchmarking reports. The report has balanced global and industry representation from 403 contact centres located across 42 countries and five continents, and is an invaluable reference for all contact centre professionals. It provides managers with a set of best practice standards and benchmarks, including staffing and training, performance metrics, technology usage, budgets and development plans. The report is researched and published by Dimension Data. For more information about the Report, please go to www.ccbenchmarking.com</p>

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