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The Warsaw Voice » Business » October 14, 2009
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Call Center Culture Spreads
October 14, 2009 By A.R.    
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A growing number of consumers in Poland use call centers to contact service providers, according to a survey carried out for the Interactive Intelligence company, which supplies IT equipment to businesses.

Calling a call center is the preferred way of contacting a service provider for consumers, according to the survey.

Most often, consumers call providers of telecom services, banks and providers of food delivery services. Less frequently, they call healthcare centers, public institutions and insurance companies.

Many consumers say they like contact by phone because it is convenient and fast. The survey also showed that, although visits to customer service offices are still commonplace, consumers increasingly use new channels to contact their service providers, including email, chat and text messages. Almost 25 percent of the call center users surveyed said they send several emails to their service providers a week.

Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said they are "more satisfied than average" with the quality of the services provided by call centers. However, the quality of these services depends on the sector in which the service provider operates. Providers of food delivery services received the highest marks for their contact with consumers. Public institutions and providers of telecom services, which are contacted by consumers the most often, received the lowest marks.

According the survey, three factors have the greatest impact on the satisfaction of call center customers: the effectiveness of assistance provided, the competence of consultants, and the speed of service.

"When we call a call center we do not expect a friendly chat with a nice consultant. The main advantage of this way of contact is that it helps save time. So every contact center customer wants first and foremost to have their problem solved in a fast and effective manner," says Marcin Grygielski, director for Central and Eastern Europe at Interactive Intelligence. "Unfortunately, most contact centers in Poland have no quality control procedures that would link their operations to customer satisfaction. Agents are only paid for the number of calls they handle, which explains why it is in their interest to end calls as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, the main method to measure the quality of a call center's work should be the first call resolution (FCR) factor, meaning the number of problems solved by consultants during the first call."

The weakest point in call centers' work is the long time it takes to get connected, according to respondents. Additionally, consumers say they are annoyed by being transferred from one consultant to another, by having too many options to choose from the interactive voice response (IVR) menu, and by being given inconsistent information by different consultants.

According to the Datamonitor company, Poland is the most attractive location for call centers in Central and Eastern Europe. Two key factors may boost the development of the call center market in Poland, Datamonitor says. The first one is the growing tendency of banks and insurers to outsource info lines. The second factor is foreign orders for call center services now that a growing number of international corporations are opening their call centers in Poland.
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