Outbound Call Center Featured Article

The Justification for Buying New Technology

October 08, 2008

(This article originally appeared in the December 2006 issue of Customer Interactions Solutions.)

Technology Has A Unique Way Of Changing Paradigms. If You Ignore It...You Won’t Be Around For Long.
 
Historically, the contact center/CRM industry has been a “people to people interactive communications” business. Perhaps for this reason, the early adoption of new technology has been lagging behind. However, as the industry matured in the 80s and 90s, we first encountered “great difficulty in blending technology with human resources.” It took the industry many years to overcome the above obstacle.
 
By the year 2000, contact centers finally managed to make great progress towards the blending of technology with human resources so the benefits of technology could be maximized. However, it should be clearly pointed out that although much progress was made by contact centers, the pace of technological development was much faster and therefore the adoption of new technology has continued to lag behind. To the extent that the contact center/CRM center industry has always been the beneficiary of extremely rapid growth and profitability, many companies managed to survive in the 80s and 90s by using obsolete technology. However, post- September 11th, the outsourcing of teleservices and contact centers in general accelerated to low-cost labor countries such as India, the Philippines, etc.
 
Many companies that were unable to cope with competition and did not benefit from new technology practically vanished. Subsequently, the portion of the contact center industry that has remained in the U.S. by necessity has had to focus on specialized applications such as credit collections, fundraising, political applications and non-profits for outbound telemarketing. Customer care, CRM and customer retention applications grew domestically for inbound telemarketing. Let us remember that regardless of what you call customer care today, it is still based on inbound and outbound telemarketing, and all of the other applications are still based on outbound telemarketing. This reminds me of a great French philosopher who once said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
 
New Technology (News - Alert) Will Lead The Way In 2007 And Beyond!
 
Please be advised that only early adopters of new technology will be able to compete effectively with market share domination.
 
Technology Has A Way Of Changing Paradigms
 
For example, 10 years ago, practically no one in America used cell phones; today we could not live without them.
 
Ten years ago, when we needed information about anything, we had to conduct market research or refer to an encyclopedia. Today, when you need information about anything, you simply go to Google (News - Alert) and look for it. All previous technology is rendered obsolete because of the advent of new technologies. The crucial thing to remember is that you simply cannot remain stagnant when it comes to adoption of new technology, and these examples make it crystal clear that if you ignore new technology, it is only a matter of time before you go out of business.
 
Specifically, What Are The Benefits Of New Technologies?
 
In a general way, one might explain that the following represents only a snapshot of some of the benefits that one might obtain by implementation and adoption of new technology:
 
  • New technology will give you a powerful competitive advantage.
  • New technology will vastly enhance your customer service and customer care in CRM. As I have indicated in my previous editorials, “Customer care is THE ONLY SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE!”
  • New technology can reduce cost drastically. By adoption and full implementation of IP contact center technology, for example, companies can reduce the cost of telecommunications by better than 90 percent while tremendously improving the capability for developing outstanding new products and services.
  • New technology will help you maximize productivity.
  • New technology will therefore substantially increase your bottom line. I suppose you might say, what else is there? Need we say more about why every company must be a user of new technology? In the super-competitive contact center/ CRM business today, there is no way anyone can compete without the above mentioned benefits of new technology.
 
Why Early Adoption?
 
Competitive advantage comes when and only when you are the first adopter of new technology. Let us all remember the first law of positioning, which says “It is better to be first than to be better.” Given that being the first in anything is far more important than being the best, it is a no-brainer that being the early adopter is vitally important to any company’s success.
 
How to Find and Compare New Technology
 
As the leading magazine of the industry since 1982, which laid the foundation for what is now a multibillion dollar contact center/CRM industry, it has always been our paramount responsibility to provide solid and reliable advice to our valued readers when it comes to the comparison and adoption of new technology.
 
As I have extensively indicated (in one of my recent editorials), the presently existing trade shows leave much to be desired when it comes to providing indepth information about advanced technologies that are currently forging our industry ahead. This problem exists primarily because the organizers of such trade shows have no clue about the industry, let alone about cutting-edge technologies. This fact clearly indicates the reason why attendance at existing shows as well as the number of exhibitors dwindle every year. In fact, in the above mentioned editorial, I indicated that exhibit halls were so empty at one show, with no traffic during the exhibit hours, the exhibitors were actually playing soccer in the aisles of the exhibit hall because they were bored! Obviously, that unfortunate event made me extremely upset, and I ask myself, what have they done to our industry?
 
Call Center 2.0 Was TMC’s (News - Alert) Answer as the World’s Leading Technology Conference and Exhibition to be Held for the Contact Center Industry
 
With 25 years of leadership in the contact center/CRM industries, we felt that TMC staff, which has the greatest longevity in the industry, was in the best position to launch such a cutting-edge technology conference in an atmosphere where attendees can actually learn information about the true state of the art of new technologies and be able to examine and compare such new technologies in the exhibit hall.
 
Call Center 2.0 will be held in the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida on February 2-4, 2009. For more information, please refer to http://www.callcenter20.com. I am looking forward to welcoming all of you to Call Center 2.0, which will be collocated with INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO.  For this event, we expect several thousand attendees from 115 countries. As such, Call Center 2.0 is the industry’s premier event for inspecting new technology, learning at our state-of-the-art conference sessions and, above all, networking with truly global industry leaders and decision makers.
 
As always, I value your comments.

Nadji Tehrani is Chairman and CEO of Technology Marketing Corporation.

Edited by Erik Linask

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