Customers are increasingly dissatisfied with call centre service - but technologies such as VoIP could help.
Global customer satisfaction with call centres has fallen to 68 per cent - down from 82 per cent last year - according to research from customer contact consultants Merchants Europe.
The telecommunications and service provider sector - including ISPs and fixed-line and mobile telecommunications companies - has the longest call centre waiting times (standing at 65 seconds) and the highest rate of callers who hang up.
One way to increase satisfaction is for call centres to change the ways they interact with customers, according to Paul Scott, head of customer interactive solutions at IT services company Dimension Data.
One-fifth of interactions between customers and call centres are now non-telephonic - using methods such as email and text messages instead, according to Dimension Data's Global Centre Benchmarking Report 2007.
Scott told silicon.com: "What we are likely to see is an increased technology presence to make the customer interaction across all of those channels seamless and less clunky than it is now."
The main enabler for contact centres to get more cross-channel communications is the adoption of voice over IP and IP-based networks, Scott added.
More than three in five contact centres have introduced IP networks - a 10 per cent increase over last year.
The top reason for switching to VoIP is flexibility, followed by cost savings.
Currently only nine per cent of the overall cost of running a contact centre goes towards technology, with 70 per cent of the spend going on the contact centre's employees, according to Scott.