• December 20, 2004
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

The Next CRM Hot Spot?

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Latin America is developing as a hot spot for the call center market. According to the Datamonitor report, "Opportunities in Caribbean and Latin American Call Center Markets to 2007," through 2007 that area will be the world's fastest growing call center market. But organizations in Latin America are trying their hands at more than call centers. As customer expectations grow, many Latin American companies are implementing CRM strategies and technologies to help nurture their customer relationships and maximize sales opportunities. Referring to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico, Renato Beninatto, a partner at market research firm Common Sense Advisory, considers Latin America to be "one of the fastest growing areas not only in terms of technology, but also in terms of services." And with growth comes the opportunity for what Beninatto considers one of the main benefits of CRM: cross-selling. "This is more or less what has set the stage for growth in Latin America," he says. Sony Latin America's electronic division, for instance, sells through its Web site, but also sells "direct through the call centers," says Fernando Taralli, new business development director. "[We] find opportunities through our analytics platform to figure what would be the best time and the best offer for a customer for cross-sell and upsell." Sony Latin America uses E.piphany and ATG's e-commerce platform to support its Web and contact center operations. Sony Latin America also wanted to centralize it databases and its 260 Web sites. To do so, "we had to manage our call tracker [and] our analytics in a Web-based fashion," Taralli says. While some Latin American companies are investing in CRM, cases like Sony Latin America are not yet widespread. According to Beninatto, the penetration of the major CRM vendors in Latin America is relatively small. "You have local developers," he says, "and in the larger organizations they tend to build their own solutions instead of buying ready-made software from U.S. or global vendors."
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