ORLANDO, Fla. - Mutual fund call centers are critical to retaining customers but are not managed as efficiently as they could be, said consultants who spoke here last week at the Investment Company Institute's operations conference. Operations centers also need additional technological and training resources but will only obtain such resources if they can demonstrate their importance by supplying figures on their impact on revenue, the consultants said.

Call center, operations, sales and marketing representatives could also learn a great deal from one another and improve one another's performance, consultants said. The barriers that keep them apart must be broken down, they said.

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