The People Factor

9th September 2021

Understanding the future nature of work in customer service 

The megatrends shaping future customer service have been clear for some time. Automation and self-service, whether online or  via the phone, are providing the means to drive efficiencies while meeting customer desires for speed, availability and independence. In many businesses, the lion’s share of transactions now take place with minimal involvement from staff.

The call centre has been a lynchpin of customer service since the 1970s1 but over the last two decades its importance has soared. By 2003, following the rise of online businesses, there were an estimated 500,000 contact centre advisors in the UK, plus many more in off-shore contact centres serving UK businesses. By the end of 2015, this number had risen to more than three quarters of a million2 and some studies suggested that by 2020, it was over 1.3 million. 

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