customer services


Ireland continues as a ‘global hub’ for customer services

Press release

Demand for talent in the sector is set to grow in the coming years, according to Deloitte and CCMA

Over half of customer contact centre respondents intend increasing employees over the next two years

26th May, 2016: Employees in Ireland’s customer contact centres are serving customers across the globe and new research reveals that the demand for talent in the sector is set to grow over the coming years.

The research shows that Ireland is an important global hub for customer service talent, stretching worldwide with respondents supporting customers in Ireland (92%), the UK (52%), Western Europe (37%), Eastern Europe (27%), US & Canada (22%), Africa (15%), Asia Pacific (17%) and Latin America (9%).

Furthermore, 55% of respondents indicated they will increase the number of customer contact employee in the next two years.

The research report, “Ireland’s customer contact sector: Engaging talent in a changing environment” was released today by Deloitte ( and Ireland’s Customer Contact Management Association (CCMA, Key highlights from the report, which provides benchmarks and insights around customer contact recruiting, reward, learning and development, and performance management, will be presented at the CCMA’s annual conference, the Customer Experience Leadership Summit, this Thursday, 26 May.

Career advancement and investing in people are central to attracting and retaining customer contact talent the report shows, while language and technical skills are the key drivers of external recruitment. As one would expect, the lead time for recruiting multi-lingual staff is longer than that for English only speakers with German and Dutch speakers the hardest to come by in the Irish market requiring almost seven weeks lead time. Executives surveyed highlighted work permit processing time as the single biggest challenge when recruiting people from abroad. An additional challenge brought to light in the survey is the housing crisis. Although not one of the key reasons, 4% of survey respondents indicated access to affordable housing as an issue for attrition.

When it comes to customer channels, phone remains the most frequently used accounting for 48% of total customer contact volumes in 2015. Email (17%) and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) (15%) were reported as the second and third most frequently used channels. While webchat only accounts for 5% of contact volumes in 2015, 50% of respondents plan to introduce the function in the next 12 months, showing a shift in consumer demands. When it comes to social media, it accounts for less than 2% of 2015 volumes and 20% of respondents claim they will introduce engagement through these channels over the next year.

The results of the survey also show that several companies are experiencing growth in their businesses, expanding to new markets and identifying areas for cross selling. However, only 10% of survey respondents plan to increase the number of outsourced employees over the next year with 20% expected to decrease the number and 60% planning to not outsource at all.

Cormac Hughes, Partner, Human Capital, Consulting at Deloitte said; “These results highlight the important role customer contact centres in Ireland are playing in the Irish and the global markets today. With respondents expecting a decrease in outsourcing, the talent pool in Ireland will become increasingly important as the sector grows. The shift in customer demands when it comes to customer services will require the need for additional technical skills. The growth of the global market for Irish customer contact centres will continue to demand high language skills from talent in Ireland. As many organisations compete for talent within the same pool in locations such as Dublin and Cork, companies need to start looking beyond these areas for the right people to fill the roles.”

The CCMA is run by industry professionals, to promote and give recognition to the customer contact and shared services centre industry sector. CCMA actively promotes continuous professional development, within the sector, and provides a forum for knowledge sharing, benchmarking and networking across the industry. Dorothy O’Byrne, Managing Director of the CCMA stated: “Talent in customer contact centres is key to driving growth and clear career advancement and investing in people are central to attracting and retaining that talent. Business leaders need to look beyond compensation for employees and include work life balance, learning opportunities, and tailored recognition programmes as incentives all aligned to organisational culture and employee development goals.


For further information please contact:

Claire Quinn
Corporate Communications Manager
01 417 2356

Aoibheann O’Sullivan
Murray Consultants
01 498 0346

Dorothy O’Byrne
Managing Director, CCMA

About this survey

To develop this report, Deloitte conducted in-depth quantitative and qualitative research gathering data and insights from business leaders with customer contact operations in Ireland.

This survey was fielded to 60 organisations and 15 executive interviews were conducted representing a range of sectors in the industry. The majority of respondents (62%) represent multinational subsidiaries, followed by Irish owned private companies (30%), and then by Irish owned public companies (8%).

About Deloitte

At Deloitte, we make an impact that matters for our clients, our people, our profession, and in the wider society by delivering the solutions and insights they need to address their most complex business challenges.

As one of the largest global professional services and consulting networks, with over 220,000 professionals in more than 150 countries, we bring world-class capabilities and high-quality services to our clients.

In Ireland, Deloitte has over 2,000 people providing audit, tax, consulting, and corporate finance services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Our people have the leadership capabilities, experience, and insight to collaborate with clients so they can move forward with confidence.

About CCMA
The Customer Contact Management Association is the representative body for the customer contact sector. The association was launched in October 1999.

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