A number of issues confronted businesses this week, concerning outbound call centers. TMC (News - Alert) discussed ways that businesses in the Middle East can better serve their customers and develop more meaningful relationships with them. Abeo International partnered with Aptean to further develop a new, joint customer relationship management solution. Two key communications officials are reportedly leaving GM. And TMC also analyzed a few of the reasons why American's are turning to call blocking features on their phones.
The Middle East is booming with smartphone usage. A recent eMarketer (News - Alert) Global Media Intelligence report suggests that the region is the second largest in terms of smartphone usage in the world, but companies in that region are not keeping pace. With call centers in particular, businesses need to reach all their customers' touch points, examining their history in order to solve their current issues quickly and efficiently.
Southeast Asia will also see the impact of call centers as Abeo begins to offer point of sales (POS) and CRM solutions to that area and other developing markets. Aptean's Pivotal CRM will be backed by Microsoft (News - Alert) and will allow businesses to access data efficiently and connect to their customers through social media tools. It can also automate businesses' sales force and marketing campaigns to make it easier for them to reach out to potential customers.
Following the launch of federal investigations into the company, GM will now see two key players in its customer relations departments head for greener pastures. Mellissa Howell, head of human resources, and Selim Bingol, head of communications, will be leaving GM to "pursue other interests," the company said in a statement. It is hard to pinpoint whether or not the pair is leaving due to concerns specifically related to the recent recall of the company's older-model vehicles, but outside parties will certainly notice an effect in the near future that the moves have on GM's social connection and trust with current and potential future buyers.
Finally, a recent White Pages survey, "Consumer Call Blocking," revealed that, of 1,001 U.S. smartphone users, Americans primarily block calls, about 60 percent of the time, that come from unknown numbers and that they engage in this behavior because they fear unknown numbers will be spam. The remaining percentage comes from respondents' personal connections, such as blocking the call of an ex-girlfriend or a former friend. One arguably interesting feature in the survey was the data that concerned how many people blocked calls, though. Only 22 percent of survey respondents block calls at all. So, regardless of their mechanisms, a fairly small percentage of Americans are screening their calls either from telemarketers, spammers, or personal connections they wish to avoid.