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A Victory For The Home Agent Business Model
[January 20, 2006]

A Victory For The Home Agent Business Model

Editorial Director, CUSTOMER INTER@CTION Solutions
 
While there's been a lot of talk of the phenomenon of "homeshoring" (using home-based agents) lately, many companies are still suspicious of the practice. Organizations that do not explore the option because they perceive it to be too difficult to predict or control are doing themselves a disservice, which will become increasingly apparent as more companies report ringing success with home agent operations. Virtual call centers allow companies to hire individuals who would not normally be inclined to take a call center job for a number of reasons: handicaps, geographical isolation, a lack of transportation or juggling schedules with young children or elderly parents are some of the most common reasons. Eliminating the need for agents to travel to the premises of a call center allows companies to open up a pool of talent that would normally remained closed to them.
 
Add to that the cost savings of not having to provide many of the elements of overhead to these agents (security, heat, light and floor space), and the prospect becomes even more attractive.

 
WillowCSN, which calls itself the oldest and largest U.S. provider of virtual call center solutions to Fortune 1000 companies, reported record revenue growth in 2005, adding nine new customers, including three members of the Fortune 500 and more than 1,100 new CyberAgent CSRs. According to an announcement made today, the company’s continued geographic expansion, with agents coming online in 22 new states in 2005 to give WillowCSN a presence in 37 states across the country, was responsible for driving its revenue growth.
 
“We believe that 2005 will be recognized as the year in which the virtual call center industry really came of age,” said Angela Selden, CEO of WillowCSN. “Corporate America is increasingly attracted to the benefits offered by Willow’s home-sourced model, which delivers increased revenue, profitability and satisfaction from each customer interaction, dramatically reduced customer contact costs, and leads to higher levels of agent productivity with substantially lower agent turnover. Companies are discovering that by going ‘virtual,’ they can dramatically improve business performance and customer satisfaction while creating new job opportunities here in the U.S.”
 
WillowCSN launched its virtual call center operations in 1997, and now counts among its 35 clients companies such as Office Depot, Sears, Staples, Verizon, Virgin Atlantic Airlines and many AAA Auto Clubs. The company claims by providing clients access to an otherwise inaccessible talent pool of entrepreneurial, college-educated, sales-savvy professionals who have no limitations on when and where they can work, it can hike quality while saving money.
 
To view WillowCSN's Web site, visit www.willowcsn.com.
 
Tracey Schelmetic is editorial director for CUSTOMER INTER@CTION Solutions. For more articles please visit Tracey Schelmetic’s columnist page.
 
 

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