Study: Web Is Not Cutting Call Center Workloads

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Online service channels have not reduced the workloads of call center agents despite an increase in the use of self-service Web sites, according to a study by the Incoming Calls Management Institute.


The study, released at the 13th Annual ICCM 2001 call center management conference in Chicago, surveyed 268 call centers in the United States. The findings revealed that while 48 percent of respondents offered online self-service, 57 percent of call centers with online self-service channels reported workload increases.


Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they planned to offer online self-service within the next 12 months. Other findings of the study include:


· Median starting salaries for phone-only agents and agents who dealt only with e-mail was $12 an hour, while multichannel agents drew median salaries of $13 an hour.


· One-third of respondents planned to implement Internet technologies in their call centers during the next 12 months.


· Fifty-six percent of respondents said budget was the biggest challenge in developing an Internet-capable call center.


The 99-page study is available from the institute for $99.


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