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Mastering the Multisourced Call Center



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At first glance, sourcing agents from multiple call centers — which mix in-house, remote, and outsourced call center agents to create a distributed, virtual call center — would seem to promise cost savings and flexibility. Agents from across town or across the globe can be quickly added to or subtracted from the call center agent pool to respond quickly to changing business needs.

A closer look, however, reveals underlying risks that can actually undermine the objective of better and more flexible customer service. Sourcing from multiple centers can damage customer loyalty and brand as well as jeopardize cost savings, especially when the call centers lack a common hosted infrastructure. Without a common hosted infrastructure:

  • Agents can’t deliver consistent customer service because they lack the same set of tools, often driving a company’s most valuable customers to take their business elsewhere.
  • Companies (and their customers) face unpredictable, unmanageable response times.
  • Management’s lack of complete agent visibility creates the inability to reconfigure and reallocate call distribution in real time and when needed, which keeps cost per call artificially high.
  • Siloed sites on different platforms within the multi-site deployments require separate upgrades, maintenance and staffing, which drain savings sought by having multi-sourced agents.

How do companies like American Express Incentive Services (AEIS) minimize the risks and maximize the rewards of customer service through a multi-sourced call centers? With a common hosted call center platform.

Improving service availability

One of the attractions of multi-sourcing is reduced risk of call center downtime, yet companies that engage in sourcing agents from multiple call centers without a common hosted platform still expose their call center operations to heightened risk. Disparate platforms cause each agent pool to be invisible to one another and, in most cases, to call center management, necessitating the blind distribution of calls. This lack of visibility reduces the company’s ability to view problems at outsourced locations and to respond to them with timely remedies.

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