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Call Center Agents in Pajamas

A new trend is developing in the states, with call-outsourcing satisfaction getting very low remarks from consumers, companies in the United States are shifting to Home Based Call Center Agents:

read on.
MSNBC.com
Just Don't Ask If They're in PJs


Newsweek


Feb. 21 issue - That operator taking your next order may not be in Mumbai; she might be sitting in her bedroom. A growing number of companies are hiring U.S. home-based call agents as an alternative to more expensive in-house operators or less-qualified offshore call centers.

Office Depot saves 30 or 40 percent on the cost of each call because it's not providing work space or benefits for its home-based call-center workers, says Julian Carter, the company's director of operations. JetBlue's entire reservation system is handled by 900 home-based workers in Salt Lake City. The company claims it allows them high worker retention and more satisfied customers, along with blizzard-proof phone operations.

The home-based phone phenomenon has grown rapidly, and more than 100,000 workers are now answering calls from their homes, according to research firm IDC. That's largely because phone and broadband technology now makes it simple for companies to forward their calls to home-based workers and allow them access to internal corporate database systems, says Merle Sandler, an IDC analyst.

Some companies that outsourced their call centers to workers in other countries are finding themselves disappointed with the results. Some are hiring their own home-based phone workers; others are contracting out to companies like Willow CSN Inc. in Miramar, Fla., a firm that runs call centers for other companies.

JetBlue says customers think home-based workers are friendlier and happier, and home-based workers like the fact they can use their breaks to throw in a load of laundry or defrost dinner, says JetBlue's G. R. Badger. The commute's nice, too.

—L.S.


© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6934630/site/newsweek/

imagine that, over 100,000 workers na ang ganito ang trabaho sa States, eh dito palang si Pinas, mga 85,000 palang tayong mga Call Center Agents eh.

Comments

  • kobayashikobayashi PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    if you read the article above, it mentioned about a Willow CSN Inc. in Miramar, Fla. Here is an article about the said company.
    Virtual Call Centers: An Agent's Point of View

    October 29, 2004

    ContactCenterWorld.com

    Back in 2003, Office Depot was experiencing a much too high rate of abandoned calls, so the company realized it needed to find a way to satisfy peak hours of demand and somehow create an elastic staffing environment – all without increasing operational costs. Tim McGrath, Vice President of Customer Service at Office Depot, discovered the use of virtual, home-based agents as the solution.

    “The nature of the virtual agent model enables a low-cost value proposition as opposed to a traditional call center outsourcer,” says McGrath.

    “WillowCSN was able to provide the ability and flexibility to extend our own contact centers to give us the necessary growth potential. Willow’s virtual agents, called CyberAgent CSRs™, have proven to be a resourceful pool of highly-trained and skilled people that are an asset to Office Depot’s contact center operations.”

    Below is a look at the virtual side of contact centers with a group of WillowCSN’s CyberAgent CSRs:

    When Orlando resident Esther DeJesus heard about WillowCSN from a friend in December 2003, she thought it could be the ideal solution for her father, Miguel Gonzalez, a retired electric salesman. WillowCSN had just announced that it was looking for entrepreneurially-minded individuals in the Orlando area to become a part of its home-based virtual agent network.

    Not wanting to be idle in retirement, Miguel needed part-time work to keep him busy. The opportunity to become a CyberAgent CSR™ with WillowCSN seemed like it would be a perfect fit. CyberAgent CSRs™ are highly trained individuals who operate out of home-based offices, handling inbound sales and service inquiries for companies in the retail, travel, and financial services industries. Agents not only have the benefit of working from home, but they also set their own schedules for handling calls, which gives them more flexibility and control over balancing their work and personal lives. Miguel applied and, after passing the rigorous screening and training program, was taking calls in no time.

    “When I saw how much my father enjoyed being a CyberAgent, I decided to go through the application process myself,” recalls Esther DeJesus. “I also urged my college-bound daughters to enroll in the training because the flexible scheduling would allow them to work while enrolled at the University of Central Florida.”

    Her twin daughters Crystal and Nydiana DeJesus, 19, are two of the youngest CyberAgents Willow has trained so far. They agree that becoming a CyberAgent CSR™ has its advantages.

    “Being a CyberAgent is ideal for college students like us because you can easily schedule work around your class schedule and not waste time commuting,” says Nydiana. “And, instead of getting a job at the mall, I can work in my pajamas and be with my family at the same time.”

    Adds her fraternal twin, Crystal, “I’m hoping to continue working as a CyberAgent after I finish my Education degree because scheduling is so flexible, and I really enjoy it.”

    All of the DeJesus family members have different professional experiences that enabled them to successfully pass the WillowCSN screening and training process. Esther DeJesus is a licensed 220 insurance agent, and is in the midst of completing training to handle auto insurance inquiries from a Willow client. Nydiana has worked at a call center in the past, and Crystal and her grandfather Miguel both have sales experience.

    Once the family members completed the required training courses, the entire DeJesus clan began taking calls for Office Depot in early 2004. Today, the DeJesus women and their patriarch, Miguel Gonzalez, all work from a single home-office in the DeJesus household, each with their own computers and communications devices. “It’s like having a call center right in our house when the four of us work at the same time,” explains Esther.

    “I take about 15-20 calls per hour, which adds up to a very reasonable income,” says Nydiana. “I’m able to earn twice as much as a CyberAgent than when I worked at a traditional call center.” Willow’s pay-per-performance model means that agents are paid on a per call basis, as opposed to receiving an hourly wage, which motivates them to deliver high quality service efficiently. Agents who don’t perform, don’t get paid.

    “Dealing with customers is the same no matter where you are,” adds Miguel. “Everyone wants to receive specialized attention, so I treat each call as a new learning experience.”

    In addition to passing the required screening and training tests, an individual getting started in Willow’s CyberAgent CSR™ program must take the appropriate steps to become an incorporated business in order to operate. Once structured as “CyberCorps,” the CyberAgents are neither employees of Willow nor of the companies for which they take calls, rather, they are independent business entities. Every CyberAgent has complete control over his or her own virtual call center operation. Describing her particular CyberCorp arrangement, Crystal says, “Technically, I’m Vice President, and my Mom is President. It was really easy to get started, and I made back the initial investment for training right away.”

    Overall, the DeJesus women and grandfather Miguel are grateful to have found Willow. “Becoming CyberAgents has changed our entire family for the better. We have dinner together after we finish our shifts and talk about the day like we were working separate jobs, but we are still together,” says Esther. “I have also encouraged my sister, my nephew and my sister-in-law to apply, and I urge everyone I meet to look into the opportunity to become a CyberAgent for Willow.”
  • would that work kaya kung technical support?.... sarap nun, to sawa ng OT :naughty2: .. i wouldn't mind working in that kind of setup though...
  • if you're interested to work as a home-based tech support, go to: www.architel.com. they have agents here in manila. look for chris galinggana.

    im also planning to try this out, ganda offer eh. i think they offer as much as P35,000 starting pay. im not sure though if they're gonna pay for your DSL connection and give you the necessary equipment like headsets, etc.

    disclaimer: i dont know chris personally, so please dont ask me for details. email him na lang at [email protected] ATTN: chris galinggana. okies?
  • ^ looking at their site it seems they need TS agents with Microsoft server experience. pang IT engineers talaga.
  • Do they provide training first for this position? What are the other accounts aside from Microsoft?
  • aantokin lang ako lalo sa trabaho pag ganito
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