When your company makes the decision to open a call center, there
are many options it has to explore before it can find the right
sites, staff and systems to create a successful operation.
The people whom we highlight in this article built organizations
that help businesses make the right decisions about specific issues,
such as site selection, or provide a wide range of knowledge about
how to manage all areas of a call center.
Each of these individuals has unique expertise, and what they
have in common is that the organizations they founded or expanded
continue to have an influence that extends far beyond the clients
they serve. We are pleased to announce this year's winners of the
Call Center Pioneer Awards.
The founder and president of the Boyd Company,
based in Princeton, NJ, John H. Boyd is one of the nation's leading
authorities in the field of call center site selection. For more
than 25 years, Boyd has been providing independent location counsel
to leading corporations in the US and abroad. His firm works
throughout the Americas, and keeping pace with the growth of the
call center industry throughout the world, maintains an increasing
workload in Europe and in the Pacific Rim.
An economist by trade, Boyd's experience dates back to his work
in Puerto Rico as a Bevier Fellow in Economics at the Rutgers
Graduate School, where he studied the island's commonwealth
political status and the reasons US corporations were locating
there. Boyd's early call center industry projects during the 1970s
largely focused on US cities in the Midwest.
Today, Boyd remains dedicated to positioning his clients ahead of
the latest trends. This year alone, promising call center sites of
Boyd's clients include locations such as Sioux Falls, SD; the
Netherlands; New Brunswick, Canada; Northern Ireland; Portugal; and
Boyd's proprietary data bank in Princeton, NJ, developed during a
quarter century of empirical research, field investigations and
client feedback, is an authoritative source of location data for the
call center industry.
Call Center Magazine has had the pleasure of interviewing
John Boyd for numerous articles about site selection. He has long
been among the most knowledgeable people we have come across in the
area of site selection, and we congratulate him on the award.
Managing two award-winning call centers is quite an achievement, and
we are pleased to recognize Michelle Grantham's contribution to the
industry during a career that has spanned 23 years.
Grantham started her career in the call center industry in 1977
as a part-time customer service rep for The London Free Press, a
daily newspaper in London, Ontario, Canada. She then held various
positions at the newspaper, and in 1991, The London Free Press
tapped her to manage the first-ever centralized call center in the
newspaper industry. In its January 1998 issue, Call Center
Magazine named the call center, which answers calls about both
circulation and classifieds, among the winners of the Call
Center of the Year Award.
From 1997 to 1998, Grantham was director of customer service for
Manulife Financial. In 1998, she founded a consultancy known as
Customer Driven and became director of customer service at The
National Post, a daily newspaper that covers all of Canada. In the
May 2000 issue, Call Center Magazine cited The National Post
among the winners of the Call Center of the Year
Grantham is currently a vice president of call center operations
at Citibank Canada. "I think the most rewarding trend I have been
able to witness in the past two decades is the evolution of the call
center in achieving the recognition and respect that it deserves as
a core functional division within any company," says Grantham. "The
expectation has grown to include retention responsibilities,
up-selling, cross-selling, and gathering of important customer
Grantham sees a bright future and an increasingly important role
for call center executives.
"For everyone who has wondered why they chose a career as a call
center manager, take heart," she advises. "The time has come when we
are working in an industry that is the fastest-growing employer
worldwide. Our skill sets, intelligence, vision, practicality, and
our strategic and customer-oriented thinking is desperately required
as businesses scramble to determine what 'value-added' benefits they
can offer their customers to come aboard and to stay."
Teresa Hartsaw is the founder, president and CEO of Centralized
Marketing Company (CMC), a service bureau and call center training
company headquartered in Cordova, TN. Under Hartsaw's leadership,
CMC has developed expertise in conducting critical sales and sales
support functions with dedicated representatives and management who
deliver consistent and high-quality service to its clients'
Whether agents at CMC communicate with clients' customers on the
phone, on-line or both, CMC's sales-driven partnerships with its
clients enables the outsourcer to deliver results through effective
hiring, training and performance management. In the May 2000 issue,
Call Center Magazine named CMC among the winners of the
Call Center of the Year Award.
CMC's training division - newly named the Performance Training
Group - offers training to third-party call centers and companies on
the strategic planning, managing, coaching and motivational
techniques it developed and refined at its call center. Hartsaw has
been instrumental in the development of the entire training
curriculum and also trains some of the core management workshops.
The Performance Training Group has trained more than 500 companies
nationwide during the past eight years.
Prior to founding Centralized Marketing Company in 1988, Hartsaw
was director of marketing for FedEx, where she sold catalog
companies on the idea of offering overnight delivery to their
customers. Hartsaw has an MBA in marketing from Florida State
Service bureau iSKY, formerly known as Sky Alland, was among the
first to offer its clients the option of directing both phone calls
and on-line communication to a staff of trained agents. Under the
leadership of Richard T. Herbert, who has been the CEO of Columbia,
MD-based iSKY since 1995, the company has grown from the small,
entrepreneurial firm it started out as in 1984 to become one of the
top call center outsourcers.