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PAKRA takes game to the next level with customer service tools

Got a crusty customer who doesn't think he should have to pay a late fee? PAKRA, using game technology, will help you train your call center people how to deal with Mr. Congeniality.

Trouble closing phone-based sales? PAKRA says it can simulate the situations your new hires or current employees might encounter, through virtual interactions with virtual customers.

The Columbus-based start-up can then provide reports describing the game player's tendencies in reacting to various situations data that an employer can use to improve training.

Begun in 2008 by Rini Das she serves as chief executive officer and chief information officer -- and Anne-Claire France and Pamela Schmidt-Cavaliero, both of whom are on PAKRA's board of directors the company's inspiration was not in IT, but aerospace.

"If you think about flight simulators that pilots use, by immersing themselves and learning by doing -- it was kind of like of an ah-ha moment, like 'why aren't we doing this in the business space, why aren't we improving hiring and training by immersing people in simulations that really let them learn by doing?'" says Michelle Stewart, PAKRA's chief production and marketing officer.

"And not only do that, but let's turn out some data on the back end to give hiring managers, recruiters and trainers information about who they've got coming in, who they've just hired who they've got in their classroom and who they have sitting on the floor taking their phone calls to really give them some information about these simulations."

Stewart says company has benefited from networking and mentoring services from TechColumbus and has six employees, plus a number of Columbus-based contractors. Major clients include Huntington National Bank.

Source: Michelle Stewart, PAKRA
Writer: Gene Monteith

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