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Released May 3, 2004

SOUTHERN MISS PROFESSOR FEATURED ON CNN'S "LOU DOBBS" SHOW

HATTIESBURG - A University of Southern Mississippi economic development professor was recently interviewed on the Cable News Network's popular "Lou Dobbs Tonight" show about issues related to his latest book on the call industry.

Dr. David Butler was interviewed by the show's Lisa Sylvester April 30, concerning a software company that has opened a call center in Costa Rica. The program was a feature of the series titled "Exporting America."

"It was a real privilege being able to represent Southern Miss on national television to highlight my current research," Butler said, with reference to his latest book, "Bottom Line Call Center Management."

Butler said his book is a decade's worth of research on the call center industry, which includes surveys and interviews with managers, call center employees, and CEOs and senior vice presidents of companies with multiple call centers.

In many cases, customer satisfaction dropped when the company outsourced its call center overseas. Because the call center is typically a customer's only means of contact with a company, the success of this connection is critical to customer satisfaction. "Any company that has customer interaction with an 800 (toll free) number will eventually have a call center," Butler said. "Quite often this is the (customers') only connection with the company that makes the product."

"Though you can save money with outsourcing, unless you can actually serve customers effectively they will leave your business and go to another business."

The call center industry is still a growth industry in the U.S., he said, comprising 5-7 percent of the nation's workforce in 100-140,000 centers.

Butler's book and his research on the call industry have also been featured in articles published in the "Indianapolis Star"; "USA Today"; "The Sun Herald"; "The Clarion Ledger"; "Mississippi Business Journal"; and by the Associated Press. He was also interviewed by Neal Conan, host of National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" program and featured on MSN Money.

Butler will be in Ireland with 11 graduate students from May 20-June 14 collecting data on that country's call industry, and he has also been asked to present at the second annual Offshore Outsourcing Conference in October in New York City to discuss his research. The Gulf South Call Center Conference, "Staying Competitive in a Globalizing Industry" will highlight the findings in Butler's book.

For more information, visit www.davidlbutler.com.

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May 7, 2004 10:16 AM

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