It is National Customer Service Week, drawing attention to the importance of the industry to not only the economy, but also society in general. In an uncertain environment, where people fear for the future, there is some good news from this sector – the number of customer service jobs in the UK has tripled in the past eight years.
Call Centre Helper magazine just published some new research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) showing that 328,000 people now work in customer service jobs in the UK, compared to just 98,000 in 2002.
This suggests that over 1.5% of all workers in the UK perform a customer services role today, further emphasising the importance of the sector and reflecting that the UK has become a very service-oriented economy – services now make up around 77% of British GDP.
In the magazine article, the Institute of Customer Service goes on to complain that wages in customer service jobs are not high enough. It may even be a valid complaint in the present economic environment, but this view ignores how quickly the industry is changing.
Multichannel contact centres requiring multi-skilled agents with business domain knowledge and empathy for handling customer queries will mean not only that people need more skills to operate in the sector, but also that they will also enjoy the rewards for those greater skills.
As we have been documenting on this blog, customer services is an exciting place to be right now and with so many changes meaning that nobody can stand still, it is clear that it is going to be an even better career choice for people in future.