New research carried out by the Contact Centre Management Association of Ireland (CCMA) into the role of contact centres throughout the country has revealed that the sector employs more than 29,000 people, with a spread of over 100 contact centre operations nationwide. Carried out in the 2nd quarter of 2011 with the support of the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, the research provides key insights into the industry sector, including its capacity for growth, competitiveness, skill levels and the challenges which it is currently facing.
The contact centre sector is highly valuable to the Irish economy, and is in a significant period of growth, 52% of respondents grew in absolute revenue terms in 2010 and encouragingly, 73% of companies who completed the survey stated that they expected to grow in terms of revenue over the next 2-3 years, 13% expected no change, These figures show very positive results against the backdrop of a challenging economic climate, and emphasise a focus on growth and business retention within the sector.
The CCMA research also revealed the high volume of communications which are taking place within the sector, with over 150 million customer interactions in 2010 alone. 90 million or 59% of these interactions were telephone calls, with inbound calls accounting for double that of outbound calls, while electronic communications (SMS and email) accounted for a relatively low 16% of all communications, significant growth is forecast for these channels in the next 12 months.
Commenting on the research, Tracy Kennedy, Board member of the CCMA and Head of Customer Operations for Bord Gáis Energy said: “These figures outline the crucial role the contact centre sector plays in the Irish economy, and the high level of service which is provided by skilled professionals throughout the country. However, it also highlights issues such as achieving and supporting new business, management of costs and competitiveness and economy related issues which need to be tackled in order for us to continue to grow.”
With 37% of respondent companies requiring multi-lingual skills, languages are crucial for industry growth.
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