Cheap calls help centres

CALL centres are poised to reap the benefits of lower telecommunications costs.

The Australian Telemarketing and Call Centre Association chairman Sue Williams said the Australian Competi-tion and Consumer Commission’s decision to break Telstra’s hold on the local calls network would be a boon for the industry.

“Smaller call centres conduct the majority of their business through local calls and, as a result, will benefit from the ACCC’s ruling on local loop network access,” Ms Williams said.

The industry is the fastest growing in Australia since the 1850s gold rush.

Research conducted by Call Centre Research showed 68 per cent of all business transactions were now conducted via a call centre.

The industry is growing at a rate of twenty-five per cent a year and currently employs 60,000 people. It is predicted 300,000 people will work in call centres within the next decade.

Ms Williams said competition in the local market was essential to the future growth of the industry.

“Carriers need to be forced to free up the platforms required by Australian business to compete,” she said.

“Since deregulation in July 1997, an increase in competition has made carriers become more customer solution orientated in their approach to business,” she said.

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