The UK call centre industry has been warned in its annual convention that it is facing major job losses due to higher customer expectations and advances in new technologies.

Industry experts ContactBabel, estimate that the industry is worth £20.6bn to the economy and that total jobs will break the one million barrier for the first time by the end of the year.

However, at a speech delivered at the annual Customer Contact Association convention in Edinburgh, ex-BT chief technologist Peter Cochrane, warned delegates that the industry is living on borrowed time and faces a major shakedown.

Mr Cochrane also told industry professionals that the biggest challenge is “how these technologies are used and interfacing with the customer [remaining] the key”.

He added: “I point to one big US telco that worked out upwards of three-quarters of its workforce could be made redundant.

“Every industry has to reduce costs, and by the way, you’re next. It is an absolute inevitability that as a big operation it needs to be stripped down.”
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