The year was 1973 and Ted Schwartz, a 19-year old Rogers Park native and graduate of Lane Tech High School, already knew what he wanted to do with his life -- control his own destiny. For all the newspapers he sold, the cars he washed, the carpets he cleaned and the gas he pumped throughout high school, Schwartz knew something else -- that customer interaction fascinated him.
But it was the radio advertising sales job, where Schwartz quickly moved into management, that focused his interest and led to his launch of Allstate Promotional Advertising Corporation, or APAC. The first radio station that responded to his direct-mail campaign was in Delta, Colorado, so Schwartz headed west with $200 and a colleague who had some business experience, a running Volkswagen and a credit card. Fifteen months later, headquarters was back in Schwartz' hometown, Chicago.
By 1976, we had outgrown our Peterson Avenue facility and moved to north suburban Skokie where, throughout the next 10 years, we achieved a dominant position in the industry. In 1982 at the suggestion of a friend and former competitor, Schwartz put APAC's telephones to work in the evenings by entering the emerging teleservices industry. Three years later he took the biggest gamble of his life, boot strapping with his own capital a state-of-the-art, 150-workstation fully computerized center in west suburban Schiller Park, where the entire operation then moved. By 1990 sales reached $4 million, and the Company relocated to Deerfield, a north suburban community that we continue to call home. Schwartz made the difficult decision to sell off the radio advertising aspect in order to capture the singular focus APAC needed to advance. And grow we did, to $13 million in sales by 1992. That was the year the concept of customer care, in addition to customer acquisition, became a major cornerstone of APAC's service end, and our name was changed to APAC Teleservices, Inc. At the time it was almost unheard of for clients to truly outsource their customer service function, but APAC made it work. Yet APAC did much more. We renewed customer service, put it back on center stage.
In the late 1990s APAC formed CustomerAssistance.com, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary designed to introduce a full suite of electronic customer relationship management solutions. Never before had such exciting possibilities been available to clients. The technology core of CustomerAssistance.com is e.PAC, a scaleable, channel-neutral platform that supports a broad range of integrated, Internet-based functions. It facilitates interaction between customers and service agents both electronically and personally. The element of human intervention is key and certainly harkens back to APAC's origins and evolution.
APAC Customer Services
today has about 8,000 employees and 11 customer interaction centers in the U.S. and Philippines. We serve clients in a variety of fields including financial services, communications, government, healthcare, insurance, parcel delivery, utility, pharmaceutical, retail, automotive, entertainment and travel. APAC frees its clients to concentrate on what they do best, while providing the ultimate in measurable service to their customers.
Leaders at APAC
possess a style that is visionary, yet focused. We believe in always getting the best people available, yet are never afraid to reinvent the company. We hope you will join in our vision: to be the preeminent global provider of Customer Lifecycle Management solutions that help companies attract, retain and expand relationships with customers in order to generate business benefits and to improve the customer experience.