Call It a Week! January 27, 2012

The One-Stop, Week-in-Review for BPO & Call Center News – from a People Perspective – Only at CallMe! IQ.

Pacesetters

Promotions, Awards and other Advancement

  • Royal Caribbean was named Business of the Year in Springfield, Oregon, where it has a call center that employs roughly 550 people.
  • MS LifeLines earned J.D. Power and Associates call center certification this week.
  • Melissa Mitchell, a contact center representative with Consumers Credit Union, won the Kathy Petropoulos Award at the company’s sixth annual employee meeting.
  • Sitel and Convergys both earned spots in the Leaders Quadrant for Gartner’s annual Customer Management Contact Center BPO report.
  • iQor named Norman Merritt as the Company’s new President this week.  He has served as CFO and COO prior to replacing Vikas Kapoor. For more on Norman’s promotion, check out our recent post.
  • Mindshare appointed Erich Dietz VP of Business Solutions for the company’s contact centers this week.
  • Certified Payment Processing has hired Michelle Logan as Director of Learning and Development.  Michelle has a strong call center background and was previously with First Data.
  • Liberty Mutual’s service call centers were recognized for excellence by JD Power and Associates.

Change Agents

Openings, Hirings, Closings &…Layoffs

– Openings and Hirings –

  • Nacogdoches-based BPO Etech plans on adding 150 workers to its call center in Lufkin, Texas over the next 30 days.
  • Medtronic is looking to hire 75 people for its San Antonio customer care center.
  • Frontier Communications celebrated the grand opening of its new North Texas office in Allen on Wednesday.  The location, which will include a call center, employs 300 which have been moved from the location near the airport, and the company expects to add 300 more in the coming months.
  • Peace of Mind Insurance Group is looking to hire approximately 60 people to staff its new call center on Hayne Ave.
  • VXI Global plans on hiring 700 employees by the end of the year at the company’s new location in downtown Canton.
  • Bartlesville-based OLC Global call center announced that it is hiring 70 full-time agents at its Wichita location.
  • In its 2nd big announcement this week, TRG Customer Services is looking to bring aboard 150 call center agents at its Elkins, West Virginia location.
  • Progressive Insurance is looking to hire 390 call center agents in Tampa and an additional 65 in Phoenix and 129 in Colorado Springs, the company announced.
  • TCF Bank is establishing a call center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where it hopes to have 200 positions filled by July.
  • PODs is adding 150 jobs through the summer at their newly remodeled call center in Clearwater.
  • NCO is hiring an undisclosed number of agents for collections and other call center reps for its site in Dublin.
  • Indianapolis-based BPO TeleServices Direct is opening a new call center in Anderson, which aims to employ up to 180 by 2015.
  • Florida-based BPO FaceTime is looking to hire 100 inbound sales agents.
  • Sitel is looking to fill 250 positions for its call center in Painted Post, New York by February.
  • Time Warner Cable announced it is looking to hire 50 reps for its location in Zanesville, Ohio.
  • TLC Vision Corp., an eye care company, is moving its corporate call center to Chesterfield, Missouri and bringing with it 25 new jobs.
  • Vantage Sourcing eyes 200 new recruits for its call center in Dothan, Alabama.
– Closings and Layoffs –
  • Sears shuttered its Morgantown call center on Tuesday, laying off about 66 employees.
  • CenturyLink is pulling the plug on its Carlisle, Pennsylvania call center.  Up to 81 employees will be affected, though some may be able to assume other roles within the company.

M&A &More

Mergers, Acquisitions, Partnerships & Corporate Reports

  • No news this week!

Industry Insight

Trends Macro & Micro, International & Domestic

  •  Here is an interesting New York Times article that talks about how Apple has kept its call centers here in the States, though the manufacturing has been outsourced abroad.
  • Alaska Airlines reported making an additional 35% increase of call center staff – or 120 agents – during the city’s recent snowstorm.
  • Great interview here with Rob Siefker, Director of the Zappos Customer Loyalty Team.
  • NCR will be investing over 5 million pounds in a new high-tech call center in Serbia, the company announced.
  • Check out this interesting article on the strong link between hiring the right call center agents and customer satisfaction.
  • Biden was busted this week imitating an Indian accent as he was giving a speech on call center outsourcing to a crowd in New Hampshire.  You can see the gaffe here.

Did we miss anyone or anything?  If so, let us know!  Email us at info@callme.io, and we’ll be sure to include them in next week’s “Call It a Week!