Combining Local and Global Expertise in Services

Combining Local and Global Expertise in Services

Hannu Salmela, Juha Parnisto
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch081
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Since the 1990s, services characterized by a considerable geographical distance between the service person and the customer have become increasingly commonplace. Banks and insurance companies are introducing call centers or service centers to complement, or even replace, the old regional service organization. In the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, companies such as Fujitsu and IBM provide part of the end-user support for their clients from a few centralized call centers. Telecommunications operators have established call centers to serve their customers in conducting basic business transactions. To a large extent, the change in the 1990s can be attributed to ICT development. As call centers and local offices have equal access to all the information, many of the services that previously had to be provided locally can now come from a call center. Furthermore, this decade will bring new technologies that will further enhance capabilities to serve customers over long distances. They will, for instance, provide increasingly rich media for interaction between customers and remote service personnel.

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