It is estimated that up to 60,000 people are now employed in contact centres in Ireland, according to one of the leading managers and advisors in the sector. Albert Keating is Managing Director of Eleven, an Irish contact centre consultancy which advises companies with a combined 20,000 contact centre seats in locations across Ireland, the UK and the United States.
Keating was speaking at a conference in Dublin to mark the launch of the company’s new brand - Eleven (formerly known as Gema Consulting).
Eleven’s clients include Fidelity Investments in the US which handles over 600,00 contacts a day or 219 million per year. Other clients include Airbnb, Bank of Ireland and the AA. The theme of the conference was ‘Transformation’ and speakers included Annette Hickey from Paypal, Tim Spence from eir and former rugby international, Brian O’Driscoll.
Keating explained that there are a variety of reasons why Ireland is seen as one of the leading countries globally for contact centres. The main reasons he believes are the people, the language, the quality of life, the political stability, the mix of technological solutions and the ability to attract foreign talent to fill the multi lingual posts that are being created.
Keating said the demand by millennials for more services will also lead to a dramatic increase in the use of Artificial Intelligence, digital channels and automation by customer contact centres over the next two years.
According to Keating, "Sixty per cent of all contact centre operations in Ireland will be using cloud based platforms of some kind to drive the digital agenda and to meet the rising expectations of customers. While automation and cost reduction are positive elements for companies, the human element will remain key."