James Parker is looking forward to the rollout of the National Broadband Network.
James Parker is looking forward to the rollout of the National Broadband Network. Trevor Veale

Coffs ideal for call centres

THE founder of a locally based market research company says the proposed rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) could see Coffs Harbour become a hub for call centres.

Jetty Research director James Parker says high-speed internet connection will offer a massive opportunity to companies looking to base their telecommunication operations in regional NSW.

Aside from Jetty Research, Centrelink and Sensis already have call centres in Coffs Harbour.

“There is great potential for our community as a centre selected for the second phase NBN rollout to become the base for new and relocated call centres,” Mr Parker said.

“Along with that important infrastructure, there are also huge cost benefits for setting up outside of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, as we have found in catering to a niche market.

“In terms of our market research, this sort of operation really cannot be sourced to call centres in cheaper foreign countries because the quality of information is crucial to our clients.

“In research, the quality of response relies partially on the quantity of response. People want to speak with an Australian local and I don’t see how this can change.”

Mr Parker said when he founded Jetty Research his intentions were never to manage a large call centre but to capitalise on an opportunity in the market.

“We started a small call centre with five staff in November 2006 and yes, now we have just relocated to a larger premises having increased our call centre to 14 staff and potentially 18 later this year.

“It’s possible that some metropolitan research companies were not treating all of their regional clients with the respect they deserved.

“We identified this and have been able to cater to this demand.

“I like to think we are not just better on price but also better on quality.”

Jetty Research’s growth has been buoyed by a host of major contracts and a solid client database.

The company recently won a tender to conduct market research for WorkCover, interviewing 2000 businesses statewide.

All the while it has also worked in collaboration with NSW councils, interviewing locals, recruiting for workshops and focus groups, processing data and compiling reports.

“We have built a strong association in local government and have even become sponsors of the Local Government and Shires Association conference every second year,” Mr Parker said.

“Councils in particular are under pressure to find out what their communities are thinking and it’s been our role to conduct random polls providing those councils with the information that represents community views.”

One example of this has been Jetty Research’s work with the Coffs Harbour City Council in compiling the Coffs Harbour 2030 plan.

Jetty Research’s clients also include the ACT Chief Minister’s Department, Industry and Investment NSW, RTA, Ramsay Healthcare, North Coast Area Health Service, Red Rooster, Rous Water and University of Technology, Sydney. Councils include Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Nambucca, Grafton, Armidale-Dumaresq, Muswellbrook, Great Lakes, Greater Taree, Kyogle and Dubbo.

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