Disabled Americans Lead Charge to Bring Outsourced Contact Centers, and Jobs, Back to U.S.Share on Twitter
Boston, MA (PRWEB) July 6, 2010 -- Reversing the trend of “offshoring” their contact centers to countries like India and the Philippines, many American companies—AT&T, Dell, Priceline.com, Expedia, HP, and Monster.com—are bringing their contact centers back to the United States, in a process inevitably tagged “onshoring.” However, rather than locating their agents in bricks-and-mortar physical call centers, 46% of U.S. organizations surveyed in a 2007 study employed work-at-home agents in “virtual contact centers.” Research by Datamonitor in 2007 and IDC in 2006 projected the number of home-based agents to grow 36.4% annually from 2007-2012, to reach 300,000 by the end of 2010.
Customer service experts point out that home-based American agents possess two characteristics that both customers and employers appreciate. Françoise Tourniaire, who runs FT Works, a contact center consulting firm in Los Altos, California, points out the cultural aspects. “Although foreign accents can be minimized, they can never be eliminated. Americans prefer to talk with other Americans.” And it’s not just the accents. “American agents understand the latest slang, and know what a customer is referring to when they mention ‘that oil thing.’”
But employers most appreciate that home-based agents deliver high-quality results at the lowest cost. National Telecommuting Institute, Inc., has placed Americans with disabilities in contact center jobs for over 15 years. Because NTI receives government subsidies for helping people with disabilities find work, and the employers who hire through NTI receive generous tax credits, NTI can go toe-to-toe with any for-profit contact center staffing agency on pricing. But Executive Director M.J. Willard is proudest of her organization’s focus on quality. “We think about quality metrics differently from anybody else in the industry. We don’t sell call centers; we sell quality staffing. We manage Quality.”
Their customers agree. Erin Blunt, President of Vforce Auto Club Renewals endorsed this strategy as helping her company deliver excellent service to its own customers. “We've been a happy NTI client for more than 3 years. We've got very high quality standards, and during that entire time NTI has provided agents to staff our virtual internal call center who consistently meet -- and beat -- our expectations. Our call volumes continue to increase, and we continue to use NTI because they've shown they can keep up with us.”
NTI, a 501(c)(3) non-profit disability organization, pioneered staffing virtual call centers with Americans with disabilities who work from home. It provides highly qualified “NTI Certified (TM)” American-speaking agents to both commercial and government organizations, such as the IRS. For more information, visit http://www.NTIcentral.Org.
Alan W. Hubbard, COO
National Telecommuting Institute, Inc.
Tel: 800-619-0111 X-307
National Telecommuting Intitute
1-800-619-0111 ext. 307