sealPurdue News

June 29, 2001

Conference focuses on good customer relationship management

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The effectiveness of customer relationship management will separate the more successful and less successful companies in the 21st century, say researchers at Purdue University's Center for Customer Driven Quality.

The center is sponsoring its annual Call Center Campus July 17-19 at Purdue's West Lafayette campus.

"Customer access centers, whether they are the toll-free telephone numbers or the Web access center, can increase the probability that customers will choose and remain loyal to a business," says Jon Anton, one of the center's founders and a conference co-director.

"Customer contact is a strategic driving force for business today. Indeed, our studies have shown that consumers are surprised at the lengths to which companies will go to satisfy them."

The sixth annual conference is expected to attract 300 leading call center managers and directors from across the nation to hear prominent speakers on trends and the future of call center operation and management.

There are approximately 50,000 call centers in the United States. Banks, manufacturers, retailers, catalogers, department stores and utilities are among the growing number of companies operating some type of a toll-free customer-service telephone number or Internet site to handle customer questions or concerns.

"Our conference presenters are working at the cutting edge of customer relationship management and technology," says Mike Trotter, an executive in residence at the Center for Customer Driven Quality, who is co-directing the conference.

Keynote presenters and their topics are:

• Rick A. Chase, vice president, Dell Computer Corp. Home and Small Business Group, "Growing with the Internet."

• Judy Laughlin, director of global telechannel operations, PCS, Motorola Direct, "Web Self Serve Options."

• Jonathan Cerezo, telecom manager of 1 (800), "Achieving World-Class Customer Service the Way."

• Fran Soloman, senior vice president of Playfair Inc., "Puttin' Fun to Work: The Power of Humor in Business."

In addition to the presentations, conference participants will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops on call center and customer relationship management, as well as examine new technology related to customer relationship management.

Co-sponsoring the event with the Center for Customer Driven Quality is Edify Corp., which develops call centers that allow companies to integrate and manage customer interaction systems, including phone, fax, e-mail, World Wide Web and wireless communications. Conference attendees also can meet representatives from other customer relationship management vendors and software providers.

Tuition for the conference is $1,495. Participants may also choose the conference plus workshops on July 19 for $1,595, which includes breakfast and lunch. Lodging is available at the University Inn at special conference rates, $69 for a single room and $76 for a double. Shuttle bus service to campus is available from the inn.

Participants may register by phone, (800) 359-2968, or fax, (765) 494-0567. Registrations may also be mailed to Purdue University Conference Division, 1586 Stewart Center, West Lafayette, IN, 47907. Registration forms may be downloaded from the Call Center Web site.

The Center for Customer Driven Quality's mission is to bridge the gap between academia and business. It provides research, student education and professional experience, and executive education.

Sources: Jon Anton, (765) 494-8357,

Mike Trotter, (765) 494-4725,

Writer J. Michael Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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