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Press Release

Part 3: Evolution of the Contact Centre research reveals an industry at a turning point

Part 3: Evolution of the Contact Centre research reveals an industry at a turning point

March 4, 2021 – London: New research from the CCMA (Call Centre Management Association) reveals an industry undergoing profound and rapid transformation. The CCMA’s Evolution of the Contact Centre research initiative with Puzzel, a leading Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) provider, has been documenting this transformation over the course of the past 12 months.

“I am so proud of what the industry has done in the last year,” says CCMA CEO, Leigh Hopwood. “This latest report unflinchingly chronicles the toll that the ongoing pandemic has taken on the people working in our sector. Leaders of contact centres up and down the country are united and single-minded in their commitment to prioritising the wellbeing of colleagues. As the country begins to reopen and bounce back, our industry will emerge a more resilient one, better equipped than ever to deliver the experiences that colleagues and customers demand and deserve.”

In August 2020, the CCMA started on a journey to track how the contact centre is evolving during times of real change by inviting contact centre leaders representing a diverse mix of vertical markets, contact centre types and experiences to a series of focus groups. The first wave of research revealed how contact centre operations were responding to the first lockdown, rapidly ramping up remote working and agile operations. The second wave published in November 2020 examined how contact centres were faring several months into lockdown. This third report explores the ongoing impact of the pandemic on people and operations.

“Being the front line for organisations, contact centres’ resolve and tenacity has been tested like never before this past winter,” says Stephen Yap, Research Director at the CCMA. “The industry has responded by implementing step changes in technology, processes and most importantly empathy, all of which have left contact centres very well prepared for whatever new challenges 2021 can throw at them.”

What has emerged from the research is a clear state of play for 2021:

  • Our collective resilience has been challenged. Winter lockdown has taken its toll on colleagues across the industry at all levels, as well as customers. Mental health is top of the agenda, while boosting empathy with colleagues and customers will be a permanent component of training and day-to-day operations.
  • We need workspaces that work. While remote working has been hailed a great success, much is yet to be done to embed this approach into a long-term, hybrid way of working that delivers for both colleagues and organisations.
  • Balancing needs is harder than ever. The pressure has never been greater for contact centres to maintain the balance between happy colleagues, meeting the expectations of customers who are looking for fast and effective resolutions, and managing costs.
  • No one size fits all. The most effective new operating model will be specific to each organisation and its own dynamics and customer expectations.
  • Technology has so much more to give. Even as many contact centres have adopted cloud infrastructures and digital channels, additional innovations such as smarter call routing and speech analytics pack the potential to unlock further productivity.

“This research programme has been fascinating. It has bravely explored the real issues that the contact centre industry is facing, and has made sense of these challenges in order to support contact centre leaders as they advance through 2021,” says Jonathan Allan, CMO at Puzzel. “Contact centres have shown extraordinary resilience over the past 12 months. They have become a critically important touchpoint for their brands and are juggling more responsibilities than ever before. Contact centres have a lot to look forward to in 2021, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the landscape evolves next year and beyond.”

For more details on the partnership and to register for updates on the research, please visit https://www.ccma.org.uk/insight/evolution-of-the-contact-centre/.

About the CCMA

The CCMA (Call Centre Management Association) is the longest established association representing the contact centre industry in the UK.  The membership organisation supports contact centre leaders through providing opportunities to network; to openly share best practice and to increase their skills and knowledge through specialist training. Its aim is to offer timely and impartial advice to its members; to keep contact centre leaders in touch with changes in their industry; to provide credible benchmarking information and to help individuals maintain an awareness of the latest trends and developments.

For more info, visit www.ccma.org.uk.

About Puzzel

Puzzel is the leading European Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) provider. Our award-winning Customer Service Platform consists of three fully integrated, cloud-based solutions, including an omnichannel and AI-enabled Contact Centre, advanced email and Ticketing and Workforce Management, which are easy to use, quick to set-up and scalable for contact centres of all sizes. Customers can also customise the platform with dozens of third-party integrations available through our Puzzel Marketplace. Puzzel was recognised as a Challenger in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant report for Contact Center as a Service in Western Europe and ranked in the top three European CCaaS providers for 2020 by Frost & Sullivan. Based in Norway, and with offices across Scandinavia, Europe, the UK and Asia, we work with more than 1,000 customers across 40 different countries, helping businesses to achieve success beyond voice, connected experiences and empowered employees. For more information, please visit www.puzzel.com.

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