Midwest Call Center Makes Quick Hit on European Market

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CARMEL,IN - Transcom, an international call center management firm in business here and in Luxembourg only since December 1996, made a million dollars in Europe last month.

Company spokespersons credit a "unique customer relationship" for its explosive growth on the European market.

"We don't see ourselves as simply processing a transaction, but building a relationship with the client's customer," said Sandra Herman, director of marketing for Transcom.

"Telesales staff usually take the call and process the sale. We do all that but we do it in a way that leaves the customer feeling that they want to do further business with us," she added.

At the beginning of 1997, Transcom had 40 employees, one client and one US facility.

Today, the company operates call centers in Luxembourg, Germany, Holland, Sweden and Norway plus five call centers in Indiana.

Transcom's European clients include Inlux, 3C Transcom International, Banque Invik and Tango; they would not name their US clients.

Next year, Transcom plans to open facilities in France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria and by 2000, expects to triple in size.

"Transcom is the only company in Europe which combines the best American relationship management practices with the culture and customs of each of the countries in which we do business," said Herman.

She said this approach had worked extremely well in Europe, where customers are not used to buying goods over the telephone.

"The Europeans aren't used to customer service and when they get a taste of it, they love it and want more, as long as there is sensitivity to their needs," said Herman.

"There is a huge market for it, especially in the business to business sector," she added.

Transcom's areas of expertise presently include the communications, energy, high tech and entertainment industries.

Another reason for Transcom's high attainment levels, according to Betty Waerzeggers, Transcom's European human resources manager, is the benefits Transcom offers to its employees.

They receive pay for three days of training (this is not the case in other teleservices companies in Europe), a competitive wage, benefits and promotion opportunities.

Clients have cited this fair treatment of employees as one reason for Transcom's success with their accounts.

The company also uses "skills based routing" technology. This recognizes the country the customer is calling from and directs the call to the telesales representative best equipped with that country's language skills. Transcom currently can take calls in 37 languages.

Transcom's European headquarters is in Luxembourg and international headquarters in Carmel, Indiana.

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