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Staffing the Call Center of the Future

The future is bright for call centers in the U.S. While it may seem most organizations choose to build call centers abroad, the trend isn’t that one-sided.  As TMCnet reports, rising costs in India and the Philippines, customer complaints about accents and lost U.S. jobs combine to help make call centers based in the U.S. a great option again. What state is at the center of it all? You guessed it! As of 2013, Texas had more call center jobs than any other state, with the Dallas-Fort Worth area alone being home to more than 280 call centers.

Technology at the Center

One of the most significant changes making U.S.-based call centers more affordable and efficient is technology. New innovations in technology are helping to create:

  • Alternative work environments. Thanks to the rise of the cloud and a highly interconnected world, more and more call center employees are working from home. A Harvard Business Review study found at-home call center workers were not only happier and less likely to quit but also more productive.
  • Employee incentives like gamification. As software provider Talkdesk describes it, call center gamification is the implementation of game mechanics as a way to motivate call center employee engagement and achievement. Rewards ranging from recognition on leaderboards to physical prizes are doled out to the highest achievers. Gamification leader Bunchball adds these techniques can help transform a call center into a customer-centric operation: accelerating onboarding, improving service, cutting call times, and even increasing sales performance.
  • Multichannel customer experiences. Technology is allowing call center agents to go further in creating a satisfactory experience for customers. Customers don’t just want to wait on hold for the next available representative. In fact, 66 percent would rather have a root canal without anesthesia, a tax audit or have dinner and drinks with their mother-in-law than wait on hold for a customer support representative. These days, call centers can offer live support via web, email and text as well as other options to enhance the experience for both customers and call center

Temp Staffing Support

While technology may be central to innovating the call center of the future, hiring the right employees is at the heart of making it all work. Five9’s Liz Osborn recommends finding employees who exercise empathy but who are empowered to make informed decisions and judgement calls.

“Computers cannot operate by the same case-by-case basis humans can when it comes to making valuable customers happy,” she explains.

Companies often need to ramp up their call center staffing quickly and unexpectedly as well. It’s for these reasons a staffing partner can be a valuable resource. To get a better understanding on how a staffing partner can increase temp staffing success for a call center, read our case study here.

Whether needing to staff a small call center or a large 24/7 hub, using these tactics can bring you into the leading edge of call center hiring and retention. What has worked for your call center? What still keeps you up at night? Let us know!


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