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June 2001


Dear Mr. Tehrani:

After reading your Publisher's Outlook in April's Customer Inter@ction Solutions', I startled myself and my associates by loudly saying, "bravo, bravo, bravo!!" The piece is a concise, cogent and authoritative summation of the things we know to be true but can't seem to persuade many customers to believe. What has always amazed me is that some people who might otherwise be good at their jobs (CFOs, CEOs and the like) seem to have mutant marketing links in their management DNA helix. The mutations have robbed them of their ability to perceive value in the marketing process in good AND bad times. About the best that some of these folks can do is reluctantly tolerate marketing's existence, as one would tolerate that strange uncle that exists in every family tree.

Your article should be recited aloud at every gathering of corporate boards of directors, much like school children do with the Pledge of Allegiance. It should become a document that CEOs, CFOs and "Os" of all kinds must read and sign before they get their stock options.

Thank you for taking the time to compose and publish this compelling message. It provides great comfort to know that we are not alone.

Bravo. Well done.

Brian L. Moran
MarkeTech Associates, Inc.
Dallas, Texas

Dear Mr. Tehrani:

I am an equity analyst and a newcomer to the industry, and have recently begun doing extensive research on the customer management industry (particularly West Corp., TeleTech and Convergys). I was hoping you could assist me as I attempt to piece together an industry mosaic while establishing a rationale investment thesis upon which to base my equity research. I currently receive Customer Inter@ction Solutions' and read your Publisher's Outlook religiously. There is one editorial in particular that caught my attention (March 1999) regarding "slowing call center growth, a possible blessing in disguise." I was interested in finding the outcome of this scenario over the past two years, since the publication of this article. In particular, I was hoping you could provide the accompanying data for 2000 and 2001, regarding the chart on page 10 reflecting growth in total billable minutes by the top 50 outbound companies. I was also curious if this chart reflected total (inbound and outbound) billable minutes for the group of 50 outbound providers or if it reflected total outbound billable minutes for the respective providers.

Hopefully these data will shed some light on the relationship between growth, pricing dynamics and quality of service.

David Foertsch
First Union Securities, Inc.
Business Services - Equity Research

Nadji Tehrani Responds:

Dear Mr. Foertsch:

The total minutes for each chart represent only the inbound and outbound minutes, respectively, of the companies in the Top 50 rankings, as we have them separate the inbound and outbound minutes for the rankings each year. The trend we saw in 1999 of a slowdown in outbound minutes has continued, as in 2000 the cumulative outbound totals actually went down 1.02 percent over the 1999 totals, and the 2001 totals were only .28 percent higher than the 2000 totals, while on the inbound side, 2000 saw a 24.6 percent increase over 1999, and 2001 saw a 27.7 percent increase over 2000. We believe these figures are driven by an increasing emphasis on and awareness of the value of providing quality customer service/support and customer relationship management, and the continuing growth of e-commerce, which always increases the need for people to talk to a live human being.

Nadji Tehrani

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