April 2009 | Volume 27 / Number 11
True Stimulus Belongs In Call Centers & SMBs
By Nadji Tehrani
2. Call Centers are Vital in a Recessionary Economy because:
• Businesses depend on it — Every business is also a call center. As I have stated in these editorials many times, if you take the telephone out of any company, it is only a matter of time before that company will go under. Not only is the telephone crucial, but so is the manners of handling business or responding to customers that are learned with the principles of call center and customer interaction/CRM technologies.
• Sales and marketing depend on it — With all due respect to e-mail, the telephone continues to play an essential role in the success of a small business. Indeed, as an important part of integrated marketing, the telephone and email combine to form a truly powerful way to generate sales leads, close the sales and build the business.
• CRM, customer care and customer retention depend on it — It is a known fact that since the introduction of the 1-800 toll-free numbers by AT&T in the early 80’s, the call center has also become a vital source of customer care, customer service and customer retention.
• Credit and collection depend on it — Particularly in this economy, when cash flow is tight, every company must have a well trained credit/collection department. Without this skill set, delinquent accounts will rise and the company cannot survive. • Charities and religious fundraising depend on it — I think we all know the importance of charity and religious fund raising and the fact that in addition to direct mail, and email, the telephone continues to play a major role in this area. • Lead generation depends on it — As I have stated many times in these editorials, all sales begins with a sales lead. That is why lead generation plays also a vital role in the survival of a company.
The above simply explains only a few of the reasons why call centers are vitally important to the growth and job creation of every business.
Call Centers and SMBs Are the Dynamic Duo
When it comes to "new job creation", Call Centers and SMBs (combined) are in a class by themselves. Given the necessary tax reduction, capital gains tax eliminations and other job producing incentives, Call Centers and SMBs can, in fact, produce more new jobs than any sector of the economy.
Unfortunately, the recent, so-called, nearly trillion dollar stimulus package hastily passed by Congress does not include one dollar for Call Centers or SMBs!! History has repeatedly shown that the government is NOT capable of producing jobs or managing anything. The disasters at AIG, 80 percent of which is owned by the government among other massive failures at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Amtrak, and the U.S. Postal Service, to name a few, clearly shows that producing new jobs is NOT the government’s core-competency. But indeed, job production is exclusively the core-competency of Call Centers and SMBs.
Also, taxing of job producing entrepreneurs during this global recession is as counterproductive as it gets...
So, if the government is truly serious about producing millions of new jobs, it should show it by action. Words are cheap.
My suggestions to Mr. Obama are that if you mean what you say, spend 80% of the so called "Stimulus Package" on Call Centers and SMB’s and eliminate the Pork Barrel and earmarks. Please stop wasting tax payer’s money on the likes of AIG, GM, Citibank and others. Don’t place our children and grandchildren under the huge burden of having to pay back trillions of dollars of debt needlessly. Please refer to my March 2009 editorial.
There Should Be No Free Lunch
Lee Iacocca, the former brilliant CEO of Chrysler who was the first to ask the federal government for a $1Billion bailout, and who was able to successfully turn around the company and pay back his debt, recently mentioned that, "We are drowning in debt, but our public servants are always talking about free lunch." In other words, the country is in a critical state economically and we must eliminate any and all free lunches.
As always, I welcome your comments. Please email them to me at [email protected].