ContactBabel’s latest ‘UK Contact Centres: 2016-2020 The State of the Industry & Technology Penetration’ report is revealing in that it highlights the fact that over 4% of the UK's working population are employed in contact centres.
There are now 6,200 contact centres in the UK, with 734,000 agent positions. This is a marked increase compared with figures taken from 2009, a period ContactBabel calls the industry's “decline”, when many UK call centres were outsourced abroad to save costs.
However, the sector is in a period of robust growth, and the report states that large contact centres (with over 250 agent positions) employ “around half of all contact centre staff, despite only accounting for less than 9% of physical contact centre sites”.
The finance industry is the largest employer, with over 212,000 contact centre jobs in the sector.
Interestingly, outbound calling activity has declined to 22.3% from 33.7% in 2004, although more service-focused outbound calls are being made. ContactBabel predicts that mobile customer service app penetration will grow to 60% by 2020.
The figures match industry expectation that contact centres will evolve to become one of the UK’s most important sectors in coming years.
Despite this, customer service salaries still remain far lower than the national average, at £23,629 compared with £31,625.