Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Jul 10, 2006
Info-Tech - Performance
Indian contact centres see highest profitability rise
About 64% of contact centres in India reported an increase in profitability
The increase in profitability was due to introduction of new technology
Half of the Asian contact centres reported an increase in profitability
India posted lower than average performance in HR Management
New Delhi , July 9
India beat five Asian countries including the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore to report the highest percentage of contact centres with increase in profitability this year, although it posted lower-than-average performance in human resource management and agent turnover parameters, according to Aspect Contact Centre Index.
According to the findings of the Index, which measures key contact centre indicators including customer service, human resource, revenues, sales, operation and technology across India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines, virtually half of the Asian contact centres that were surveyed reported an increase in profitability since January 2006. Only seven per cent of the centres reported a decline in profitability.
"About 64 per cent of contact centres we spoke to in India reported an increase in profitability in the last six months (January to June).
In fact India (64 per cent), the Philippines (59 per cent) and Malaysia (54 per cent) reported the highest percentage of centres with increased profitability. Thailand reported higher percentage of centres that had decreased profitability in the last six months," said Dr Catriona Wallace, Director of Callcentres.net, a research firm, which conducted the study on behalf of Aspect Software. The increase in profitability was largely on account of better revenue generation and introduction of new technology, she pointed out.
The survey was based on a sample size of 200 interviews across the six nations, including 31 in India.
Each of the respondent in India had anywhere between one to five centres within the country, thus expanding the scope of the research.
India along with Thailand, however, trailed the other nations on customer service parameter.
Against an overall mean level of 77 per cent for Asia, South Korea reported the highest level of First Call Resolution Rate with 89 per cent of all calls resolved on the first phone call.
"Seven out of ten calls that came in Indian centres were resolved in the first contact.
"Although it is behind most of other nations surveyed, we feel the situation is improving. In fact, India came under severe criticism by the end of last year on the poor service levels, but we have seen much of that criticism dying out with Indian call centres focusing on improving customer service," Dr Wallace said.
HR performance indicator
India did not fare too well when pitched on Human Resource performance indicator either, and had the highest level of full time agent absenteeism on an average day.
"On an average day, a contact centre in Asia expects seven per cent of the workforce to be absent (sick or unexplained leave). The highest level of agent absenteeism is in India at 10 per cent per day and the lowest is in Korea at three per cent," she pointed out.
India (20 per cent) and Thailand (23 per cent) also showed a relatively higher than average rate in Full time agent turnover, against the average of 14 per cent per annum across Asia.
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