The call centre industry needs to think beyond the staples of consolidation, centralization and virtualization and get creative.
Genesys has used its annual G-force conference to take a swipe at complacency in the call centre industry and according to Genesys senor vice president Asia Pacific James Brooks, speaking to some 750 delegates at the opening keynote in Melbourne this week, the industry is in the early stages of evolution and still has a long way to go.
"The industry is 30 years young, and we're only now making the transition from crawling to walking," Brooks said.
"I think there's significant sophistication ahead, the contact centre of five years from now will be extremely different; analytics will play a big part in that."
Brooks outlined several call centre trends for organizations to consider, and emphasized the importance of thinking laterally.
"The world is changing and the same marketing tactics don't work anymore," Brooks said.
"For example, 13- to 24-year olds now watch 60 percent less television than the rest of the population, and by 2010 television advertising is going to be 35 percent of what it was in 1990.
"What do these statistics show? That more than ever, it's now about one-to-one marketing."
Brooks outlined new approaches such as proactive use of e-mail and SMS, which are relatively low cost, but claims this sort of channel integration is lagging locally.
"The Asia-Pacific region is the biggest user of SMS in the world, and 81 percent of consumers under 35 years of age consider a text message a valuable way to receive information from a supplier."
"But how many organizations are doing this? Only 5 percent.
"You need to challenge yourselves, and consider new levels of sophistication that are needed in order for contact centres to move forward."
Genesys senior vice president of marketing and business development, Nicolas De Kouchkovsky, in the second key note of the conference, outlined the vendor's product roadmap and ways for organizations to use forthcoming technologies.
"We're investing massively in the broadest solution ecosystem, to help bring you new solutions," De Kouchkovsky said, detailing how call centres can now leverage IP technology.
"We recognize that IP is just another journey, so part of our role is assisting and enabling in this transition," De Kouchkovsky said.
However, Gartner research vice president Geoff Johnson claims that IP telephony will not be what he called a 'killer application' by itself.
"Instead, I think IP will act as the glue across an organization, and we expect to see a whole range of devices brought together in the call centre like never before," Johnson said.
"So IP won't be a killer application, but it will help provide a killer environment."
Siobhan McBride attended the conference as a guest of Genesys