VoIP no call centre must-have: survey

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Australian midsize to large contact centres are expecting to invest in new technology next quarter but IP telephony is lower on the shopping list than IVR, workforce management and CRM applications, a new study has found.

Australian midsize to large contact centres are expecting to invest in new technology next quarter but IP telephony is lower on the shopping list than IVR, workforce management and CRM applications, a new study has found.

Contact centre software vendor Concerto Software sponsored a study by ACA Research that surveyed 100 executives from Australia’s 1500-odd call centres with more than 50 seats.

Catriona Wallace, research director at ACA Research, said the survey suggested that some 73 percent of call centre executives expected transaction volumes to increase in the next three months.

“Twenty-one percent of respondents answered neutrally or weren’t confident they had the right technology,” she said.

However, Wallace said that VoIP and IP telephony did not feature as highly on executive shopping lists as might have been expected, given the amount of hype the technology had sparked. VoIP had come in at eleventh place.

Instead, 50 percent favoured Interactive Voice Response (IVR), workforce management and CRM software as a critical way to increase productivity. New types of speech recognition software had considerable appeal, the survey found.

Some 78 percent of respondents also expected to hire more staff as a direct result, the survey found.

“The major message is that there is high business confidence in the call centre industry, reflecting in a projection of increased activity over the next three months,” Wallace said.

Gerry Tucker, general manager at Concerto Software, said the research results suggested sales and service opportunities for the channel.

“It shows what our joint customers are looking to focus on in the next three to four month period,” he said.

Tucker said Concerto would use the results to have “more relevant conversations” with customers. The company was also planning a series of seminars for channel partners that would take in the research results and what it all meant.

“For our channel, it becomes part of their sales toolkit. They can more effectively target their conversations with customers,” Tucker said. “And we’ll be working with our partners to actually build specific sales campaigns.”

Another survey would be done in the next quarter, Tucker said.

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