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Replacing Call Center Workers Costs Months of Pay, Study Finds

October 27, 2008
 
According to a recent study, conducted by the Global Call Center Network study and published as The Global Call Center Report: International Perspectives on Management Employment, replacing a call center worker costs the equivalent of three to four months of that worker’s pay.
 
Industry vendor Bomgar (News - Alert) cited the report to promote its remote access software as helping increase job satisfaction and “thereby reducing staff turnover and the associated costs.”
 
The study gathered information from nearly 2,500 call centers in 17 countries of varied economic status.
 
In addition to the information on the cost of replacing a worker, the study found that call centers with low quality jobs have a significantly higher rate of turnover than those with high quality jobs. A high quality job is defined as one in which the worker is able to exercise discretion in the execution of their duties and is held responsible for their performance rather than being micro-managed.
 
According to the study, the major benefit of discretionary powers is the ability to satisfy a customer’s needs and thereby derive a greater sense of accomplishment.
 
Bomgar’s remote access software allows an agent to connect with the end user to deliver on-demand support and see the customer’s computer as if it were on his own desk.
 
According to the study, turnover rates for call centers with low to very low quality jobs, which describes roughly half those in the U.S., Canada and the UK, are four times higher than centers with high to very high quality jobs.
 
Home agents are apparently the way to go - just before last Christmas TMC reported that Arise Virtual Solutions, a vendor in the home-based virtual contact center industry, announced that in 2007 it had nearly doubled its revenues and added 16 new client applications - including four new Fortune 150 companies, according to the Arisers, while expanding its nationwide home-agent base 88 percent to 7,500 independent professionals in 49 states.

Arise recruits, screens, and certifies Arise Certified Professionals who buy their own training and equipment to answer calls, e-mail and provide interactive chat services from their home offices. Operating as individual small businesses, or Virtual Services Corporations, ACPs decide when and with which Arise clients they would like to work.
 
Companies supplying home agents usually specialize in providing multi-channel customer support to the retail, financial services, travel/hospitality, energy and telecommunications sectors, including basic and complex levels of tech support, customer service, and sales.  


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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