Is 2014 the year home working will revolutionise the contact centre?by
The contact centre could be on course for a home working revolution according to a recent survey from the Customer Contact Association (CCA), which concludes that the majority of centres in the UK are planning to ramp up levels of home working.
As many as 61% are planning to have more employees working from home, while 92% of those that already do have cited improved flexibility as the key benefit of using home workers.
The research goes on to show that it is boosting productivity, and delivering cost savings through a reduction in having to house employees in bricks and mortar.
The rise is attributed to a growing volume of customer service enquiries.
As a result, 59% of contact centres have either already begun home working , are trialling it, or at least investigating it.
“We are on the brink of a home working revolution in customer contact as an increasing proportion of the UK’s biggest businesses have begun using home workers to achieve greater operational flexibility and reduce costs,” confirmed CCA chief executive Anne Marie Forsyth.
She prescribes the trend to the economic climate, which has forced businesses to find innovative ways to do more with less.
“It has led to a growing appreciation of home working as a flexible solution for coping with mobile and demanding customers making contact 24/7 across more channels than ever.”
Traditionally, home working has been a marginal practice at contact centres. But, now that technology has addressed concerns such as data security and access to systems, the attitude among contact centre leaders has changed.
However, Philip Vanhoutte, senior VP and managing director E&A at Plantronics, which worked with the CCA on the research, said that it goes beyond business benefit.
“Successful pilots have shown the wide range of benefits that home working can deliver not just to the bottom line but for individuals seeking a better work-life balance, for rural communities seeking employment opportunities, and also for the environment and the economy.”
The CCA is an independent body that researches and analyses customer experience. It assembled its findings based on a members’ survey, original interviews, and further research.
Subsequently, a report titled ‘Homeward Bound: An analysis of home working trends in customer service’ was compiled.
It can be viewed in full on the CCA website.
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