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12 Major Challenges Faced by the Call Center Industry
Call center industry is one of the most powerful sectors, which contributes majorly to the economies of Asian countries like India, Philippines, Malaysia, and China. As per the report published by a leading group, total spend of call center operations stands at approx. USD 350 billion. Even the call center outsourcing market has seen a steady growth over the last 5 years, and accounts to USD 75 billion currently.
Though these numbers portray a rosy picture for the call center industry, there are couple of challenges that the top management has to face on a day-to-day basis. Considering the fact that call centers are the world's toughest work environments, this is not surprising! Handling irate customers, dealing with crazy work timings and schedules, sustaining on the shoestring budgets and ensuring highest levels of customer satisfaction are just some of the challenges faced by the top management.
What Are the Problems Faced by the Call Center Industry?
There are umpteen challenges faced by the call center industry. Here is a list of some of the major challenges that the call center managers have to face frequently:
High Attrition Rate: The call center industry suffers from a high attrition rate. Every time a trained agent leaves the firm, there are few people at hand to ensure the smooth execution of work. This forces the company to hire more people to balance out the attrition, which results into excess cost of recruiting, hiring, training and developing new staff.
Changing Geo-political Scenario: Political situations in Europe and US can affect the call center industry drastically. Wars, bad economies, and citizen protests forcing the governments to pass bills preventing outsourcing can be major reasons for political unrest, and adversely affect the call center industry.
Increasing Client Expectations: Satisfying irate customers has always been a difficult task, but the increasing customer expectations due to various social media channels and increased business competition has made the situation even worse.
Flat Organizational Structure: The company structure at call centers is usually horizontal. The career prospects of the employees are usually limited and this results in the organization losing top talent. This flat work structure additionally demoralizes top performers from doing well, which hinders productivity and growth of the call center.
Lower Employee Engagement: Call centers are not able to keep their employees excited and involved in their work. Due to the repetitive and stressful nature, call center jobs tend to become very monotonous and fail to keep the employees engaged.
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Tight Budgets: This has always been a major problem for the call center industry. Managing the entire process with limited amount of resources has been a big challenge. This is particularly relevant to the public sector call centers which depend on funds allocated by the government.
Health Issues: Working in night shift leads to serious health problems such as insomnia, RLS, hypertension, and stress making the work timings debatable, which is one of the major reasons for attrition, as candidates don't want to work at graveyard shifts, which can take a toll on their health. After being in the call center industry for a considerable time, candidates find it difficult to venture outside the BPO sector, as changed biological rhythms makes it difficult for the candidates to accommodate to a different work environment and timings.
Reduced FCR Rates: FCR or First Call Resolution rate is important to achieve customer satisfaction, and an extremely critical metric for call centers. With increasingly complex queries coming in, it is not always possible to provide an immediate solution. If the callers end up talking to multiple agents, the satisfaction level reduces drastically.
Failure to Improve Beyond a Point: It's being too optimistic to expect the performance graph to be on an upswing infinitely. At some point, the statistics may plateau and the call center may fail to improve its performance level beyond a particular point. This phase may or may not be temporary. This leads to frustration of the managers and also the front line staff, as at the end of the day they need to meet their targets!
Client Attrition: Customer attrition is a huge problem in the call center industry. At some point or another, a customer may decide to deliberately end a deal with the service provider or opt to avail the services of a competitor for different reasons. The cost of such losses can be humongous.
Multitasking: Modern day call centers are equipped with latest software and tools to manage different tasks. With a variety of products and vendors, an agent may be working on more than 10 tools at any given time. With the process becoming complicated, agents may find it difficult to tackle different systems at once.
Multi-channel Communication: The way people communicate has changed drastically over the past decade. Apart from call and mail, people have resorted to using social media to send the message across. This creates problems as it leaves call center agents puzzled which channel to focus on.
The call center industry has been repeatedly written off by some critics, yet it has not only survived, but grew tremendously over the last decade despite several hurdles and provided jobs to billions of youth globally, and continues to do so! Slowly, but surely, we have come to accept global call center industry as an unavoidable part of the modern business environment. Today, almost all big businesses avail call center solutions, and the revenue generated by the industry is at an all-time high.
Many smart organizations today choose to overcome typical call center challenges by outsourcing their call center services to a reliable service provider, which helps them bypass all infrastructural and administrative hassles while curtailing costs.
Partner with Flatworld to Overcome Your Business Challenges!
Flatworld Solutions has been providing call center services for over 16 years, and knows how to overcome the call center challenges and provide the best cost-effective solution. We hire native multi-lingual call center agents to deliver the best services and build long-term relationships with customers. Additionally, we have set up multiple delivery centers across the globe which allows us to work in different time zones and even out any regional challenges and ensure quick response time.