2016 – resume
1. In your opinion, what is the most important event in the contact center industry in Poland?
In my opinion there are 3 important events. Firstly – the acquisition of Call Center Poland S.A. by the CCIG Group at the beginning of January 2016. There are several important reasons and goals, which made us decide to acquire it. Today, looking back on this year, I am convinced that our task to focus on implementing cohesion, fluidity and synergy into the group’s actions has been undertaken successfully. Increasing the scale, reach , access and exchange of experiences between new and old teams of Consultants and specialists, strengthening our Business Partners’ portfolios and undertaking projects for them, shows that it has been a great decision.
Secondly – several months later Armatis became the owner of the Data Contact Group. This transaction confirms European players ever increasing interest in the Polish call center sector. This is clear proof, that Poland is becoming more and more attractive for foreign investors, which in turn is consistent with the current trend for nearshoring.
Thirdly – we are finishing the year by gaining investors through the CCIG Group – new, minority shareholders have a vital effect on the position of the Group in the market. A new partner is for us a guarentee of stability, reliability and professionalism, and these are the characteristics which also represent our business. This is why we are pleased with these changes which are important for our development and further expansion and fit in with the long term Group strategy.
2. The biggest success in the market?
Firstly – Successively introducing new technology to customer service, which has been confirmed by the development of this industry and the searching for solutions which allow us to save time and increase our Business Partners’ profits. An example? The call system using voice recognition technology, which over the passing year we have used to register cards in the loyalty program of one of our partners. The intuitive voice recognition system IVR, eliminates waiting time for a free line, and allows the service to be carried out at any time – these are only a few of the advantages, which led to improvements in streamlining processes, customer comfort and reductions in costs for our Business Partner.
Secondly – concentration, integration and practical exchanges between industries during the IV Forum e-Handel and VII Forum Intelligence in Business. Blue Business Media yet again, by organising this kind of event, proved that there are still many important things to discuss as far as functionality, innovation, multiformating and digital relations with the modern, demanding and more and more aware smart consumer, who on the one hand expects a traditional approach, and on the other hand – modernity in every form of contact.
Thirdly – the Ambassador Call Center competition – organised for the second time this year. Why? Because in an objective way, the best telemarketers and managers are celebrated, those who educate and promote the profession of Consultant and the role of the call center industry. It is very important to understand and appreciate the role of the Telephone Customer Advisor, building its aspirational character in the market, and fighting against the stereotypes of thinking about this difficult, but important and ambitious function.
3. The biggest fail in the market?
Unfortunately in 2016 some barriers remain, which a year ago I stated were failures in the market.
Firstly – an overriding criteria when choosing an external call center often remains the cost. Of course, it is important, but in these times, when each client is expecting specialisation, maximum availability, possibility of omnichannel contact, or an effective service not only during but also after the transaction, in my opinion not only the price should play a role in the choice of service provider.
Secondly – it is very difficult to change perceptions that an external call center does not guarentee specialisation and high quality service, which is why there is still such a strong concentration of keeping in-house call centers. However, our results – irrelevant of the area : acquisition, upkeep, upsell, telephone information line or helpdesk, both in and outbound – repeatedly confirm the professionalism and priority of outsourcing over in-house call centers, beginning with the technological advantage, flexibility in crisis situations, specialisation, quick access to mass resources, guarentee of information protection, up to savings in upkeep and investment.
- Marcin Kapralski, CEO CCIG
4. The most interesting trends visible in the call center industry in Poland in 2016?
Last year I predicted that the clients’ expectations in terms of back office processes were going to increase. The industry more frequently understands this, however, it is a challenge to convince current and potential Business Partners that sales is not only based on acquisition. The „behind the scenes” service is an opportunity to strengthen the customer’s conviction about the validity of his purchase, and also convince him to stay with us permanently. However, whether or not he does this depends on how he remembers the whole sales process. Luckily, more and more companies in the industry are putting a lot of weight behind those services which directly and indirectly influence the loyalty towards a brand, involvement and satisfaction – this is what defines customer care and customer experience. It is exactly these companies – in my opinion – who will be more and more appreciated by future business partners.
Nearshoring. Moving processes and implementation of services to another country is becoming more and more common in the industry. Foreign business partners look for savings and an exchange of experiences and we must be prepared for this. In this case, for the effective completion of processes, an excellent knowledge of foreign languages and the latest technology is not enough. In this situation the saying that „every country has its own habits” becomes practical experience, because it turns out that even clients from neighbouring countries to Poland, have their own preferences when it comes to telephone services. No matter whether the call center serves foreign in or outbound calls, it is always necessary to bear in mind the modes of telephone communication used in the business partner’s country. And it is not just a question of official savoir vivre but of everyday habits, customs and how to adapt to the caller.
5. Your opinion of the call center industry in Poland at the moment?
I rate the work done in our sector this year very highly. The recent economic and legal conditions do not favour our industry and they limit our actions significantly. 2016 showed that we can adapt quickly, ably and effectively to the challenges placed before us. These changes paradoxically mean that competitiveness based on customer care, high quality service and strong focus on completing business targets are very high. Certainly, the improvements to these processes support the continuation from last year of market consolidation, in which coming to the fore as leaders are those with know-how based on many years of experience, with strong teams of practitioners and market experts, with effective processes and access to advanced technology.
6. The biggest and most important challenges in 2017
Lawmakers have placed many hurdles in front of us. From January 2017, the minimum wage per hour of work will be higher, irregardless of the effectivity in different areas. Increasing wages is naturally permanently written into our cooperation with Telephone Customer Advisors – as we greatly appreciate them, it is a difficult, although very up and coming role, which brings great rewards in further professional life. However, when setting the wages we must keep in mind the profitability of the project being undertaken, and this can be affected by, among other things, its specifications and the need for flexibility to suit the demands of the business partner and their business targets.
Bringing in new, high, fixed basic rates is a challenge not only in creating a motivational system for quantity, quality and value, but also for changes in global attitude towards management of sales and customer service, and within this, keeping and improving results which are satisfying for us and our business partners. At CCIG Group we have been preparing for these changes for many months, so I am calm and convinced that we will cope very well with the changes, which unsurprisingly have been taken very well by our consultants.
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