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What Is "Homeshoring"?

May 13, 2005

I know...this industry doesn't need another buzzword...it's already got more of them than the average teenage girl in a shopping mall. But this buzzword, besides being somewhat geographically improbably, is interesting.

"Homeshoring" refers to the practice that some call centers are implementing to prevent being forced to send jobs overseas to save money. It involves, as one might imagine, the use of carefully selected home agents connected to all the call centers' systems and software through delivery on an IP-enabled platform. The result: instant agents who aren't using up the call center's capital resources.

Using home agents allows call centers to engage the services of people they perhaps could not use before: parents of small children, handicapped workers or non-mobile older (or student) workers. Because the home agent is tapped into the workforce management system and the monitoring/call recording system, there's no danger that the worker will be charging his/her employer for time actually spend playing croquet with the kids in the back yard.

In the upcoming June issue of Customer Interaction Solutions, Jim Ball of the company Alpine Access (www.alpineaccess.com) discusses the concept in detail in an article called "The Real Case For The Home-Based Agent Model."

An excerpt:

"It is important that the company [that engages in home-shoring] has solid processes, specifically designed to identify those candidate characteristics that will lead to outstanding performance. Once on board, those agents expect a professional and efficient operation, with appropriate training, communications and support. The company that can meet all of those expectations will be rewarded with an agent workforce that is extremely difficult to replicate in an affordable manner at scale with a traditional call center model."

Watch for Jim's article in the June issue of CIS.

TES




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