Keynote Address

The Use of Simulation in Call Center Optimization

Dr. Jon Anton
Purdue University

Driving the sweeping changes in today's business world is the growing awareness that managing customer relationships is a key factor affecting bottom-line profits. Today's customers greatly value timely accessibility. This ease of customer access is fast emerging as the critical element of global business strategy. In the not-too-distant future, customers will deal preferentially with those companies that are deemed to be the most accessible.

As the "lightning rod" for customer interactions, world-class call centers are the single point of contact for customers. According to research conducted at Purdue University, over 75% of customer interactions will occur through call centers and the Internet by the year 2000. Fueled by tremendous advances in the integration of telephone and computer technologies, call centers have the potential for being a company's most potent weapon for maintaining long-term customer relationships.

With the pressure on developing high performance call centers, managers have been challenged to understand their gaps in performance, to relate these gaps to financial consequences, and to optimize the selection of the most cost-effective solutions. We will discuss how simulation is helping to meet these needs.

About the Speaker

Jon Anton is a researcher in the Purdue University Call Center for Customer-Driven Quality. He specializes in enhancing customer service strategy through inbound call centers and teleweb centers for external customer access along with an intranet and middleware for organizing and delivering company information now stored in limited-access databases and legacy systems. In August of 1996, Call Center Magazine honored Dr. Anton by selecting him as an Original Pioneer of the emerging call center industry. He has published forty-eight papers and five books on customer service and call center methods. In 1997 he received the best article of the year award from the magazine Customer Relationship Management. Dr. Anton received M.S. and D.Sc. degrees from Harvard University, an M.S. degree from the University of Connecticut, and a B.S. degree from the University of Notre Dame. He also completed a three-summer intensive executive education program in business at Stanford University.