The National Outsourcing Assocation (NOA) predicts that call centres will be phased out in the near future, leaving many thousands of call centre operators potentially jobless.
Martyn Hart, chairman of the NOA commented: “Call centre operations are notoriously expensive and are regarded by many companies as a temporary customer service solution.
The NOA research has found that financial services companies in particular are planning on implementing Customer Self Service systems, pushing customers to use the Internet to solve problems and post any queries they may have on their account.”
The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) which represent call centre operators condemned the predictions.
Usdaw spokesman told HRZone: “Usdaw believes that our members in call centres provide an invaluable service to the public that cannot be replaced by technology and we oppose any threat to our members’ jobs.”
Estimates on the number of call centre staff operating in the UK differ. Figures from ContactBabel claim there are currently over 790,000 people employed in 4,300 centres around Britain.
Other predictions from NOA include:
- Organisations will be less prone to hide outsourcing and offshoring intentions and will work more closely with unions
- Offshoring among small and medium sized businesses will grow
- 2005 will see a focus on best practice to ensure offshoring and outsourcing causes minimal disruption to employees
- The impact of offshoring on the UK will be realised
Hart concluded: “2005 will see the emergence of stronger growth and further changes in what areas and services are outsourced.
“There is little doubt that the interest and debate in outsourcing and offshoring will continue to burgeon in 2005.”