But call centres are responding to the challenge, with 70 per cent of calls being answered within ten seconds, and customer satisfaction up three per cent year-on-year to reach 84 per cent.
Paying the highest salaries of the countries surveyed also helps UK contact centres retain staff, with an average attrition rate of 18 per cent comparing favourably against their European counterparts, where the figure is closer to 20 per cent. The UK industry is also helped by the lowest recruitment and phone call costs.
Contact centres are also being asked to take more responsibility for sales, with 61 per cent of those surveyed using systems to identify potential sales opportunities during an inbound call - a 22 per cent increase on last year.
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