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News Editor

Another ‘Year of the Customer’

Feb 15, 20062 mins
CRM SystemsEnterprise Applications

Call center critics such as my Network World colleague Mark Gibbs and “IVR Cheat Sheet” author Paul English should take note that relief from their miseries may be on the way.

A helpful public relations professional tells us: “On Feb. 21, Dimension Data, a $2.7 billion IT services firm, will be releasing its annual call center study. This year’s report contains some interesting data that illustrates a fundamental change in the thinking and operation of call centers.  In 2005, the focus for many was on improved efficiency and cost reduction.  This year, the focus has shifted to providing a better customer experience – to the point that call centers consider 2006 ‘The Year of the Customer.’”

Well put me on hold and crank up the Barry Manilow: It’s about ever-lovin’ time, no?

But if you’re thinking you’ve heard this tune before, it’s not an earworm running around in your head. Call center and CRM vendors are always putting your interests first … at least in their press releases and marketing.

Call center vendor iMessaging Systems apparently didn’t get the recent memo and jumped the gun by proclaiming 2005 “The Year of the Customer.”

So, too, did SER Solutions in 2004.

Then again, long-ago 2000 was to be the year of the customer, according to this InfoWorld interview with the CEO of Clarify.

And let’s not forget 1999.

There were more examples, but you get the idea.

News Editor

In addition to my editing duties, I have written Buzzblog since January, 2006 and wrote the 'Net Buzz column in Network World's dearly departed print edition for 13 years. Feel free to e-mail me at