Why do we hate call centres?

Business and public service call centres are losing money every second because they are managed so poorly. In the UK last year alone, nearly 18% of new agents left within six months of joining their company.

Yet this is a growth area. It’s estimated that 1 million people will work in a call or contact centre by 2007. There are currently around 4500 contact centres in Britain with that number expected to rise to 6,000 by 2008.

But there’s no doubt customers are fed up. Research has shown that people simply want to speak to knowledgeable, friendly and clearly spoken staff. They don’t want to be read scripts.

They hate queues, the recorded message saying their call is important (even after 20 minutes of waiting), and having to repeat their details when passed between departments. Is there any way round these problems?

A new company, Contactcentre.com plans to set up a ‘Centre of Excellence’ to alleviate that situation and show companies from board level down how it should be done.