News: RP call center seat capacity projected to grow 23% in 2008 -
08 Mar 2008
The country’s contact center industry is growing extraordinarily, with seat size projected to increase by 23 percent, close to 30,000 more, from the present 129,000 seats to 159,000 in the next 12 months. However, the high attrition of 26 percent for fulltime agents and 37 percent for part-timers plus the low recruitment rate is a grave concern, according to the 2008 Asian Contact Center Industry Benchmarking Report.Despite the high growth, one in four Filipino agents leave the industry. The average tenure of fulltime agents leaving is 22 months, with an average of 10 months for part-time agents.
Some 51 percent of agents leave the contact center industry entirely while 49 percent move to other contact centers. By contrast, team leaders stay for over 3 years and contact center managers stay longer at almost 6 years.
Agents leave the industry for lack of career path, lack of things to do, insufficient monetary rewards and lack of flexibility, according to Dr. Catriona Wallace, President of callcenters.net, the research firm which Autonomy etalk of the United Kingdom and California-based Genesys commissioned for the report.
The Callcentres.net survey covered 539 contact center executives in 2,488 contact centers and 259,699 contact center seats across the Philippines, Singapore, China, India, Malaysia and Thailand.
The most effective strategies used to retain employees are financial incentives, reward and recognition programs as well as paying above market rates, according to the study.
"High levels of employee turnover can have a devastating effect on all aspects of customer service, disrupting operations and decreasing customer satisfaction as well as increasing costs for new hire training," Autonomy etalk Asia Pacific Director Don Lee pointed out.
Hence, organizations need to interest themselves in the career development and continuity of their agents. Formalized career development plans, coaching and training tools along with performance analytics can help, he suggested.
Significantly, the study also revealed that Asian contact centers are already in the midst of a transition period. They are evolving from the traditional service and support facilities cutting costs for client companies to becoming profit centers, generating revenues.
Already, 72 percent of the 124 call center companies operating in the Philippines, are already classified as profit centers, as opposed to Singapore, where only 32 percent of contact centers turn up sales.
"It shows that the Filipino contact center industry is leading the market in the region in this global trend of transitioning from cost to profit centers," Dr. Wallace underscored. "The contact center is fast becoming an organization’s most valuable revenue generating asset. Filipinos recognize this."
This makes it more important for local contact centers to address the setbacks besetting the industry, she acknowledged.
Source: Manila Bulletin Online, by Emmie V. Abadilla, 8 March 2008