Cloud computing, social media and demand for a new kind of customer service are transforming the contact centre industry landscape, according to a new report launched today by FuturePeople Recruitment, Australia's most awarded contact centre recruitment specialist.
The Heartonomics Report (www.heartonomics.com.au) is a guide specifically for Australian contact centre managers that helps them understand and take advantage of the current contact centre revolution.
FuturePeople CEO and founder Linda Simonsen, launching the report to the packed audience at the 2012 ATA Contact Centre Summit, says that that the contact centre industry is in the throes of massive change, as the rise of technology and both staff and customer needs challenge the way the contact centre industry has always done business.
“To meet the two core changes of technology and people, the industry must put a philosophy like Heartonomics at the core of their priorities. I define Heartonomics as the economic value of genuine human connection,” she says.
It’s a definition supported by the report’s 28-pages of case studies and interviews with contact centre industry leaders, like Daniel Bergan, Head of Contact Centre Operations, Australian Financial Services, Westpac Group and Paul Cahill, Director Consumer Services, Telstra Customer Sales & Service.
“Already cloud computing and social media are changing the environment and the NBN will just put everything on steroids,” Cahill told the Heartonomics Report. “Service, and in particular situational service, will morph into an amazing number of areas – and so too will its agents.”
Simonsen points out that Heartonomics is far from a touchy-feely concept but addresses the big money at stake.
The Australian contact centre industry has some 3,820 contact centres, is worth more than $15 billion per annum and is responsible for approximately 77% of an organisation’s interactions, which equates to processing about 16 million interactions per day.
Yet the industry is now challenged by two core elements: technology and people.
“We all know technology is challenging every industry. But on the people front, the contact centre space faces a unique situation: changing customer demands and staff turnover. Today, the Australian contact centre industry has 100,000 vacancies every year. At a cost of $20,000 to train a new recruit, the industry spends some $2 billion per annum on new recruits,” says Simonsen.
Simonsen says that Heartonomics is very simply about the fact that happy staff equal happy customers equal profits. They also equal lower turnover.
“People who are engaged at work are happier, smarter, more productive – and therefore also engage better with customers. Customers are in turn more satisfied and that leads to better economic returns for an organisation. The evidence of this chain of connections is now insurmountable,” says Simonsen.
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