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October 09, 2008

Call Centers & CRM: Twenty-Six Years Young and Still Growing

By Nadji Tehrani, Chairman and CEO

Industry Leaders Share Their Views on the Present and the Future Growth of the Call Center and CRM Industry
 
Since 1982, when this publication was launched as Telemarketing® magazine, it has always provided the most authoritative information about practically every aspect of the call center/CRM industries. Indeed, along the way, this publication was called as “The Bible of the industry” by the Wall Street Journal.
 
As the industry evolved, the title of the publication changed to be more in line with the growth and the new nature of the industry. Currently, we believe that Customer Interaction Solutions® is a more appropriate name for our industry. After all, with all due respect to the emergence of online media, the telephone continues to play a vital role in practically every aspect of the business.
 
A major question that one should ask is, given that the industry is now practically 26 years old since the inception of this publication, why and for what reason does the industry continue to grow every year? In order to focus on this vitally important topic, we decided to conduct a far-reaching industry survey by asking some crucial questions of several industry-leading companies. Among the many questions we asked were the following:
 
In your judgment, will the contact center industry grow by which of the following percentages?
10 percent
20 percent
30 percent
Will not grow
 
Indeed, in our survey, we received a wide array of differences of opinion on the growth of the industry. In fact, some leading industry manufacturers recently stated that they expect zero to flat growth rate, and several others indicated they expect between 20 to 30 percent growth annually for the present and the foreseeable future. 
 
What are the primary reasons for the rapid growth of the contact center/CRM industry in the U.S.?
The answer to this particular question was extremely important because we wanted to share with our valued readers why a relatively mature industry continues to grow in the views of some but not in others. We believe that the answer to this question is extremely crucial. The opinion for the continued growth encompassed several areas, among them the following:
  • A resurgence of customer satisfaction;
  • A resurgence of extreme quality need;
  • Customer care;
  • The vital need for lead generation and lead qualification;
  • Fundraising;
  • Credit collection, which will continue to grow as the economy slows down;
  • Sales and marketing support; and
  • The traditional growth of financial services, insurance and other customer relationship matters.
 
In addition to all of the above reasons, as I have indicated in a number of previous editorials, I believe that every company is a call center. As such, no company can exist without the telephone. If one understands this vitally important and basic part of business, one should never have any difficulty understanding why the industry has continue to grow for 26 consecutive years with no end in sight. 
 
To provide a more comprehensive view about the above critical topics, we decided to contact several executives whose companies are among the leading providers of technology and teleservices to the call center/CRM industries in order to share with you many diverse points of views, not only because of the rate of growth, but also the reasons behind the continuous growth. In addition to all of the above, we also asked several other thought-provoking questions, such as, “What was the most important technology that you have used in 2007, which offered the greatest productivity, cost savings and profitability”? The answer to this particular question was indeed extremely revealing.
 
For your information, I would like to request that you refer to Industry Leaders Share Their Views Regarding the Growth and Trends in the Contact Center/CRM Industries. This article will provide you with a comprehensive view offered by many industry leaders explaining every aspect of the growth and status and trends of our industry.

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