Call It a Week! February 17, 2012: Valentines Day Edition

Call It a Week!  Valentines Day Edition

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

  • Call Experts has promoted Elliot Thompson and Stephanie Wells to team leaders at the company’s Charleston call center.
  • Jessica Ballotta was promoted to VP and customer care manager with Kennebunk Savings in Maine, where she will oversee the call center team.
  • The winners of this year’s Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service have been announced.  Congrats to all who made it!
  • Terri Maxwell has been hired as SVP of sales and marketing at Texas-based Working Solutions, an at-home provider of contact center services.

Change Agents

Openings, Hirings, Closings &…Layoffs

– Openings and Hirings –

  • Livingshield, an insurance service contract company, is establishing a new call center in Bluefield, West Virginia in a move that looks to bring new 150 sales positions to the town.
  • ACS is opening a new call center near the Nashville International Airport, according to the company.
  • Sitel is looking to fill 100 new full-time positions at its Erwin, New York call center.
  • As part of a new strategy, Time Warner Cable will be moving its outbound call center operations from Albany to Raleigh, thought the resulting layoffs will be offset by the opening of a new inbound call center in Colonie, New York later this year.
  • Amazon.com is looking to open a new call center in Tennessee, according to comments from a state senator this week.
  • Convergys Corp. plans to add dozens of customer service support jobs to its Charlotte call center, according the company.
  • A Vangent call center in Virginia has been given a second chance after a change in the HHS’s bidding process.  Read more about it here.
  • West Business Services will be hiring 60 agents for B2B sales and account management at its Wasau, Wisconsin location.
  • Alorica is looking to add 100 new employees at its North Sioux City call center.
  • HomeServe USA, the “AAA of the housing industry”, is looking to hire 130 agents over the next 18 months in Chattanooga.
  • Alorica has announced that it will be hiring 400 full-time customer service reps at its El Paso location.
  • AT&T will be bringing approximately 30 call center jobs to Florida after signing a new contract with the Florida Public Service Commission.
  • Adecco is looking to fill over 200 customer service positions in the Texarkana area.
  • A company called Collaborative Consulting is looking to open a new center in Wasau.
  • Conn’s Department Store is relocating 50 call center agents from its corporate office in Beaumont, Texas to its San Antonio site.
  • Consumer Cellular, a wireless carrier that serves the seniors market, announced plans to hire up to 300 agents when it opens a second call center in Phoenix in the next 2 years.
– Closings and Layoffs –
  • Auto and home insurance provider Unitrin Direct is relocating a call center from Chattanooga to Scranton, in a move that will result in the layoff of 30 employees.
  • StarTek has warned that its Jonesboro, Arkansas site could face closure if it does not find new business in the next 60 days, a move that would result in the layoff of 223 employees.  It has given its Decatur, Illinois location the same notice, which would affect a further 258 employees in addition to the 100 that were set to lose their jobs there this week.

M&A &More

Mergers, Acquisitions, Partnerships & Corporate Reports

  • Portfolio Recovery Associates announced 4th quarter earnings today with record-breaking results.

Industry Insight

Trends Macro & Micro, International & Domestic

  • Mutual of Omaha is pioneering the use of mini-treadmills at the desks of its call center employees.  For more on this interesting story, check out this link.
  • Article on iQor: “Someday, I hope to work at a call center”:  a behind-the-scenes look at iQor, one of the world’s biggest.
  • Ireland-based HCL BPO Services is laying off 425 at its Belfast contact center, citing economic conditions.
  • Agent productivity and customer satisfaction are the top call center challenges, as Jacada CEO Gideon Hollander points out in this piece.
  • A newly introduced bill, SB1331, threatens to uproot the award-winning Safelite call center from its location in Chandler, Arizona.  For more, check out this report.  (As an update, this bill has since been withdrawn.)
  • Interesting article here on the use of outsourced call centers for startups.

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!