Focus on Generation Y delivers for call centres

Call centres today are focusing on Generation Y's demands by leveraging online instant messaging (IM), performing courtesy calls, and routing specific callers to specialist representatives, according to Genesys senior vice president James Brooks.

Speaking at the Genesys user conference G-Force in Melbourne today, Brooks said customer loyalty can increase revenue by 25 percent to 100 percent.

Genesys research has found that 1 percent of incoming calls in call centres generates up to 50 percent of revenue.

Brooks said call centres must improve service agent conditions, their objectives and staff levels to eliminate negative service 'exceptions'.

He said managers must focus on eliminating the 'one-in-five' poor service exceptions, which 73 percent of customers say are caused by long waiting times.

"Contact centre managers should assess agent engagement by measuring strengths and weaknesses and strategies against revenue.

"They should be prepared to invest in agents by raising pay packets to stem the 42 percent attrition rate and attract new staff, [then] use these extra staff for pro-active customer courtesy calls."

Brooks said real-time communication such as IM should be integrated into company Web sites to meet the expectations of Generation Y which demands an immediate response.

"Business will invest greatly in Web sites which can be accessed freely and unemotionally by customers," he said. "America First (US mortgage broker) leveraged this market by offering IM and 'click to call' to allow clients to talk immediately with consultants [while] the products they view can be tracked to offer a more relevant service."

In a pre-recorded interview broadcast to attendees, Telstra CEO Sol Trujillio said Web-based customers, who account for 87 percent of online shoppers, represent an untapped market.

"I see a lot of potential for using the Web [to improve sales]," Trujillio said. "You have to create an experience to make customers loyal, for instance Telstra is creating a one-stop visit experience which combines IVR, SMS and IM."

Genesys research found customer service accounted for 45 percent of sales, with product quality (30 percent), price (19 percent) and brand reputation (6 percent). User communication preferences are by phone (77 percent), e-mail (86 percent), IM (31 percent) and SMS (25 percent).

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