Companies can still have British-based call centres with high productivity without excessive costs, according to data centre and communications firm Node4. The company says that a move to creating more efficient call centres based in the UK, through the use of smarter technology, will create jobs and enhance customer service.
The comments follow a speech from the Employment Minister Chris Grayling to the Policy Exchange. He argued that firms should repatriate their overseas call centres to boost the number of jobs available in the UK at a time when vacancies are scarce.
Andrew Gilbert, Managing Director of Node4, said, “We witnessed a period of seeing far too many companies outsource their contact centres overseas in a bid to save costs. However, this is a false economy when you factor in the dissatisfaction many customers have when speaking with customer service staff that don’t match their expectations. We have found that through making an investment in the right technology and implementing it in UK centres, companies can add value instead of detracting from it. At a time when there are falling loyalty rates among customers, areas such as this demand immediate attention.
“There is a growing trend among more progressive companies who are investing in call centres in the UK and are making a positive feature of it in their marketing and communications to the customers and target markets. This is helping drive growth and differentiate them from their competitors.”
Node4 recently struck a partnership deal with multimedia contact centre specialists Zeacom to offer a hosted calling platform that helps businesses to become more efficient and help contact centre staff to deal with customers more effectively. It is delivered through Node4’s cloud based infrastructure and is offered on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. It includes a dashboard that details how quickly calls are answered, how many calls are received and peaks and troughs during each day. Managers can then act on this data by having the right amount of specialists available for most types of enquiries, route calls to the most suitable members of staff and use sophisticated techniques to make various cost savings in many areas.
Andrew continued, “Customer demands have changed drastically over the last few years and so must the way they contact customer service departments. They expect their experience to be smoother and to have their queries handled by the right person without being passed from pillar to post. If companies have the tools to facilitate this without having to pay for the costs upfront, there will be no need for overseas centres that are quickly falling out of favour. At a time when there is the requirement for improved customer service and a need for jobs in the UK, this presents a fantastic opportunity to take action.”