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Call centre training to near $1 billion

Nearly one billion dollars will be spent on training call centre staff in 2006, according to the latest predictions from IDC. The analyst house forecasts that the increasingly complex role of call centres will lead to a greater demand for both technical and business training.

Nearly one billion dollars will be spent on training call centre staff in 2006, according to the latest predictions from IDC. The analyst house forecasts that the increasingly complex role of call centres will lead to a greater demand for both technical and business training.

In 2001, just over US$415 million was spent on call centre training, but IDC predicts this will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.2% over the next five years. IDC bases this assessment on call centres moving from their traditional role of “handling” customer contacts to strategically important “customer contact centres” that maximise customer value through “meaningful multi-channel contact.”

“The increasing strategic importance of contact centres is driven by trends both in the global business environment and with emerging/maturing customer relationship management (CRM) — enabling technologies,” says Brian Bingham, program manager with IDC’s CRM and customer care research service.

“With regard to the globalisation of the business, companies in virtually every industry are being challenged by competition and deregulation. These factors, in conjunction with an economic downturn, have motivated businesses to view and treat their customers as valuable assets that must be retained and grown going forward,” he adds.

The analyst house believes that call centre staff need to receive both technological and business training in order to successfully carry out this new role.

“Agents must now possess leading-edge capabilities in myriad technologies that enable multi-channel interaction with customers,” explains Michael Brennan, a senior analyst with IDC’s corporate e-learning research program.

“Moreover, interaction specialists must have the savvy to leverage these technologies in conjunction with business skills to turn a ‘cost call’ into a source of incremental revenue for their companies by up-selling to additional products or services,” he adds.

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