New call centre jobs are created in the UK – but only until the robots can take over, say experts.
We’ve seen the headlines on how Vodafone vows to bring 2,100 call centre jobs back to the UK as part of an enormous, £2 billion investment project. New customer service roles are to be offered across the country including the Midlands, north of England, Scotland and Wales – making this their biggest employment expansion ever.
This is great news for customer service agents and owners of call centres around the UK, though there appears to be an elephant in the room regarding the real future of contact centres.
Karen Bradley, secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, told the BBC: “Vodafone is one of our country’s great international success stories and it’s fantastic this global organisation is demonstrating its confidence in the UK by creating new jobs across the North, in the Midlands, in Scotland and in Wales.”
The Interesting Bit
It doesn’t stop there. This new and positive news from Vodafone comes at the same time as a similar announcement, that the phone giant has also merged with an Indian rival to become India’s largest telecom network. Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have very recently confirmed a merger operation which will see a brand new name later this year.
The merger will be completed 18 months from now, which means by the end of 2018, subject to customary approvals. Also, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao will be reportedly visiting India to discuss the challenges and regulatory issues to be faced by the merged entity.
We still think this is all good news, and there are certainly some changes ahead, but it may leave more to debate than originally thought about bringing call centre business back to UK soil.
Big Changes Ahead for Call Centres (and Telecoms)
Call centres are possibly changing in even bigger ways than geographical location.The rise of artificial intelligence and “chatbots” as they are now being called has caused endless speculation about the future of human beings in contact centres.
One of the predictions floating around is that call centres will no longer be a physical space. Cloud technology may completely make the idea of a physical contact centre building redundant, but only time will tell if employers and managers will opt for this m- either way, business is changing, telecoms are changing, and call centre jobs, on UK soil or not, face a possible transformation that still doesn’t seem real.
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