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Women come out on top reveals research on call centre agentsby Cincom Systems

Added: (Wed Nov 15 2000)

Pressbox (Press Release) - PRESS STATEMENT

November 2000

Women come out on top reveals research by Cincom Systems

66% of the public prefers dealing with female call centre agents

Cincom Systems is today announcing research commissioned into the profile of the call centre agent. The market research undertaken by Benchmark Research investigated both the public¡¦s view of call centre agents, their attributes as well as the agent¡¦s view of the job.

Key findings reveal:

Public¡¦s view towards call centre operatives:
„h The female operative was overall favourite amongst 66% of those interviewed with a preference.
„h 83% of males who expressed a preference, preferred to speak to females.
„h 53% of females who had a preference, preferred to speak to other females.
„h Respondents were generally indifferent to favoured accents of call centre agents, not stating any strong preferences.
„h 37% of those who had an opinion (a third of respondents did), stated they disliked the Scottish accent most.
„h 23% disliked the Liverpudlian accent.

Call handlers¡¦ experience and training
„h One in three call centre agents have less than one year¡¦s experience.
„h 68% of those who had worked as a call centre agent for more than two years had only worked in the one call centre.
„h 65% do not have qualifications relevant to the job. Time on the job does not affect this, as 61% of those with more than two years experience, still had no relevant qualifications. Only 5% had a qualification in customer service.
„h 72% of agents who cover calls from outside of the UK cannot speak any foreign languages.

Agents¡¦ likes of the job:
„h 25% cite abuse from callers as their main dislike, whilst 12% highlighted the stress of the job.
„h 44% think speaking to lots of people is the best aspect of the job, 37% like solving people¡¦s problems best, 20% liked the atmosphere and the variety of the calls.

Future of the call centre agent:
„h 71% of agents believe there will be more agents working from home in the next five years
„h 55% believe call centres would become less people based.
„h 87% believed calls would be dealt with more electronically.

This forecast is a bit ominous considering 29% of the public stated a dislike for Interactive Voice Recognition. Up to 15% would suggest changing call centres so that callers could be assured of speaking to a real person.

According to David Graham, Managing Director, EMEA for Cincom¡¦s Call Centre Technology Group; ¡§The key to offering good customer service via a call centre, is by seamlessly interfacing people and the technology they use. Getting the balance right is vital to ensure that customers continue to use call centres confidently and agents deliver the best quality service.¡¨

About Cincom
Recognised by BusinessWeek as one of eight leading privately held software companies, Cincom has been developing and marketing software to simplify complex businesses for over 30 years. Today, Cincom is one of the world's largest independent software providers serving over 5,000 clients across 93 countries. Cincom offers mission-critical software which includes call centre and customer relationship management solutions (CRM), object-oriented and 4GL application development environments, database management systems, document production solutions, enterprise planning and sales automation systems. Cincom¡¦s world wide web site can be visited at http://www.cincom.com.

For more information please contact:
Marta Karlik/Ben Starkie/Kerry Hallard
Buffalo Communications
Tel: 020 7385 0777
Chris Kavanagh
Cincom Systems
Tel: 01628 542108

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