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From Call Center Blues to Call Center Green

Like many old school call centers, TeleWorkers are required to sit in brick and mortar facilities, in cubicles, in neon lighting and for perhaps a dozen hours at a time. The Wall Street Journal reported a few months ago, the average call center employee duration is 90 days.

It is reportedly one of the most dissatisfying jobs, with a supervisor leaning over your shoulder and taking note of your bathroom breaks, with performance pressure and so much of the same.

VOIP technology has allowed for a tremendous shift in the call center industry, and for a correspondingly tremendous shift in the job of a call center employee. VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol – which means instead of the voice traveling over the phone line, it travels over the IP, Internet protocol. This means minimized long distance fees and greater bandwidth. It additionally means local phone numbers overseas and the ability for long distance remote workers to be, as if, local. It is what we see happening with so many advancing technologies, as Matthew McLuhan once spoke, “the future of human development will result in the world becoming a global village”. This is what VOIP has helped create for the world of telephony correspondence.

For the future of call center employees this means a whole new way of handling customer service and sales – from home. Companies like JetBlue, Staples, Virgin, just to name a few of the big players, have adopted this methodology. They have sent their workers home. This will allow for handicapped employees, stay at home mom’s and expatriates overseas to get jobs. Workers are thrilled to work in their pajamas, while doing the laundry and avoiding the commute. Employers are thrilled to save the overhead, insurance, brick and mortar facility, with flexibility for expansion.

But how are the workers supervised? This new technology comes with a new solution set of supervisory tools – every phone call may be MP3 archived, their phone call duration and frequency of calls is all recorded. Furthermore, whisper mode functionality gives the ability for a supervisor to chime in as a third party to just listen in, or to speak so that only the teleworker will hear “tell them about the orange sweater two for one deal”. This way, all remote workers will be on essentially closer watch - instead of monitoring their bathroom breaks, this allows for the supervisor to actually break into the calls themselves.

This VOIP revolution for Call Centers will bring work to less likely candidates with even sharper supervision, while providing reduced cost and risk, greater return on investmentArticle Submission, and the ability for the green to keep flowing in..

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Giovanni Castro works at Freedom TeleWork, a company that provides hosted call center solutions and services such as inbound call center, progressive dialing, chat, CRM call center, predictive dialing, and many more.

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