Here are the latest articles on call center outsourcing.

Greg Brown writes:

As a small business grows, a rising tide of customers is good news - until each and every one wants to talk to you. That kind of chore you can farm out to a call center, leaving your team to focus on new business. Call centers can help you:

  1. Take orders, resolve complaints
  2. Reach new customers or market to existing customers
  3. Make appointments for service

Here are the first steps toward understanding and using call centers:

Action Steps to Smart Call Center Outsourcing

The best contacts and resources to help you get it done

Call Center Outsourcing Action Steps First, try call center robots If what you need is to get a grip on incoming appointments, say, for a medical practice or car repair shop, an automated, Internet-based system might be enough - and cheaper than call center outsourcing.

I recommend:  Timetrade is inbound call center software that allows your customers to make an appointment online or via the telephone.
Call Center Outsourcing Action Steps Go private label call center Setting up call centers takes serious investment. Unless your business is built around this channel exclusively or primarily, its likely better to outsource the work until it grows to a significant portion of revenues.

I recommend:  PSFweb, Americall, Quscient and Xact are some of the many companies that provide outsourced call centers.

From the El Paso Times:

Home is where the call center is. At least that's the case for Liz LeBleu, an El Paso military spouse who is part of a growing trend in the call center industry: home-based call takers.

"This is really a lot better" than working in a regular call center, said LeBleu, 28, who worked several years in call centers in Houston, and six months ago became an at-home call center agent for Alpine Access. The 9-year-old Denver company, which employs about 7,500 home-based agents, including 12 in the El Paso area, is one of a growing list of companies operating virtual call centers.

....Peter Ryan, a Montreal-based senior analyst for call center outsourcing at Datamonitor, said home-based agents can save companies an estimated 20 to 30 percent in customer-contact costs compared with operating regular call centers. Houlne said "access to talent" and improvements and availability of technology for home agents have also helped make this "the hottest initiative in the call center industry."

Trish Winebrenner, vice president of ExpressJet, a new Houston airline that serves 25 cities, including El Paso, said she was skeptical of using home-based call takers.

"I grew up in the old world of a call center in my building. I wasn't really sure of this virtual network. But they (Alpine Access) pitched it, I bought it, and now I'm a believer in the eight to nine months" ExpressJet has used home agents for its customer calls, she said. "The caliber of agents are much higher, more educated, older, they often have already been in (a) business, and now are doing this for some personal reasons," and have "a passion for being there," Winebrenner said.


For many small, medium and large businesses outsourcing a call center is an excellent way to generate sales and help current customers with tech support and customer support issues.

While some larger companies have the money, time and resources to put in place their own call center, most smaller and mid sized businesses opt for a streamline approach to call centers and choose to outsource their call center needs.

Here are some tips on how to outsource a call center. If you are looking to outsource a call center, your business must first decide what they are trying to gain in the process. For instance, most businesses are looking for a low cost way to either sell their goods, support customers with technical problems or customer service issues. The reason most businesses choose to outsource call centers is usually due to the low cost and management in place that is far more affordable than it's business spending lots of time, resources and labor creating their own call center from scratch.

Outsourcing a call center does take decision making and careful analysis on the business side, as well as consultation and solutions on the outsourcing side. For instance, before a business decides to contract a call center with an out sourcing firm, it must first look at its business needs and understand how the new service will either spur sales or enhance customer satisfaction, thus increasing customer retention and limiting customer churn.

From Transworldnews.com:

In recent years, the Philippines has become one of the most preferred offshore destination for call center outsourcing, specializing in customer support services. Like Indians, Filipinos also have a high level of English proficiency and strong customer orientation.

The Philippines has a Western-influenced culture because it was an American colony for 50 years, thus distinguishing iself from other offshore destinations. Although Asian in orientation, Filipinos watch American TV and are thus able to communicate effectively in American English which provides a distinct competitive advantage.

The Philippines has a literacy rate of almost 95 percent and has a large pool of information technology professionals. Another interesting fact to note is that the recent boom in the outsourcing industry of the Philippines has not been fueled only by traditional low-value-added call centers, but by higher-end outsourcing such as legal services, Web design, medical transcription, software development, animation, and shared services as well. Even though call centers still dominate the sector, the Philippines has started capitalizing on its creative design talent pool, its large pool of lawyers, and its professionals in accounting and finance.

Here are some good links:

Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Associate Editor, writes:

The call center jobs market is changing as outsourced contact center services become more popular. The growth of this sector, Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) said in a recent report, is driven by financial, strategic and technological factors. Strategically, many organizations looking for ways to focus on core competencies are finding that it makes sense to outsource some or all of their call center operations to firms that specialize in customer interactions. Financially, outsourcing call center operations also makes sense, because often consistent results can be achieved more effectively by outsourcing than staying in-house, Frost & Sullivan analyst Michael DeSalles said in the report.

“Work-at-home agent (WAHA) providers play an important role in engagements that span the full spectrum of industry verticals including financial services, retail, travel and hospitality,” DeSalles added.

His mention of home-based agents is an important trend to note when looking at the call center jobs market. Employees seeking work and firms that provide call center services may need to embrace this option in order to stay competitive. Frost & Sullivan said in its report that the current U.S. economic climate, coupled with growing acceptance of call center outsourcing across a variety of vertical industries, will ensure this market continues to grow in the foreseeable future.

Here's the press release:

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Palo Alto, CA, United States, 12/12/2007 - New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, North American Contact Center Outsourcing Markets, finds that this market earned revenues of $20.7 billion in 2006 and estimates this to reach $27.5 billion in 2013. The North American contact center outsourcing market continues to see impressive growth. This is especially true given the strategic, financial and technological factors fuelling the thirst for outsourced contact center services. Organizations today are increasingly looking to focus on core competencies, while also striving to improve service quality by building brand equity and loyalty through exceptional customer interactions. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (contactcenters.frost.com), North American Contact Center Outsourcing Markets, finds that this market earned revenues of $20.7 billion in 2006 and estimates this to reach $27.5 billion in 2013.

NPR reports Feb. 23, 2006: "There are signs that the trend toward outsourcing call center jobs to low-wage countries like India may be slowing down. Research shows that some call centers are most effective when staffed by Americans."

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