Malaysia contact centres go forward together by turning nation into industry hub

Call centre scene

The likes of automation, artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies have forced the contact centre industry worldwide to re-think ways of enhancing customer experience activities.

Industry players in Malaysia see this as an opportunity to upskill their staff en route to establishing the nation as the preferred contact centre hub.

“The impact of new and disruptive technologies presents a huge opportunity for Malaysia’s customer experience workforce to capitalise on.  We have the opportunity to upskill to higher value roles … roles where complex customer interaction meets technology, resulting in enrichment of customer services and customer experiences,” said Contact Centre Association of Malaysia (CCAM) president Raymond Devadass.

“When we do this right, we have the opportunity to strengthen Malaysia’s position as the location of choice for companies looking to expand or establish new contact centres.”

The industry has evolved over the last 20 years and companies have started to realise the importance of adopting advanced technologies so they could better target the customers and consumers with more efficient engagement with the stakeholders. Customer interaction via contact centres has proven to be beneficial for the businesses as it adds value to the business.

Raymond, who is chief executive officer of Daythree Business Services, said according to statistics in 2012, there were more than three million positions in the contact centre industry of the United States alone, accounting for almost five million jobs. He explained the annual growth of the contact centre industry in terms of jobs is 0.5 per cent and this accounts for an estimated eight to ten million jobs worldwide.

“In today’s world where the competition is tough and economies are volatile in most part of the world, maintaining and establishing a profitable business is important. That is where contact service centres play their role as it delivers and provides a quality customer experience to the individual customers as per their preferences, needs, and satisfaction,” he said.

“However, the technological advancements in the past have focused only on providing better and better customer service experience and improving the efficiency of the organisations but with the new cutting edge technologies, the scope of the contact service centres is increased exponentially and it is more important for the success of the businesses as it was ever before. It also emphasises the importance of the contact service centres which is creating high-value jobs in the industry.”

Raymond, who spoke at the National Contact Centre Conference (NCCC) held at Hilton Hotel, Petaling Jaya, yesterday, said industry players in Malaysia will take advantage of these new opportunities and grow through inclusivity as evident in recent weeks where previous and new leaders joined by key stakeholders had put their minds together to understand the past and what to expect of the digital future.

“With the theme ‘Forward Together’,  we have crafted a plan for the industry,” he added.

The way forward includes redefining purposes to enable the growth of Malaysia as a contact centre hub by growing talent, corporate value and industry competitiveness.

“The theme is a call for each and every member to come together to embrace this digital future. Together we can make a difference.”

The NCCC saw industry players sharing their insights in the one-day affair. They include Hew Wee Choong, vice-president investment and industry development at Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation; Zulfiqar Zainuddin, managing director of i2M; Marc Harington director of solutions sales practices APAC, NICE; and Michelle Liew, RHB’s head of group customer experience.