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The Crowded Call Center

by Kevin Dodds

It’s expensive to staff a call center with full-time, highly trained callers. There are also substantial upfront and ongoing costs for technology—routing, dialers, headsets, etc. When you add the fact that projects are often seasonal and need both lightning-fast execution and high-quality results, managing telephone-based projects can seem almost impossible. Crowdsourcing has the potential to change all that.

Using the latest crowdsourcing platform technology from WorkFusion, we at IEI have been able to successfully use the crowd to complete high-volume, tight turnaround calling campaigns with the same degree of success that we have when using our own in-house dedicated call center.

How it Works

To qualify for calling campaigns, workers use their own personal computers to take a series of tests. Once they have passed and are “credentialed,” they can select a project in the job queue and go through another round of testing specific to that project. Once they have passed this test, they are formally approved to start calling. Then, based on specific criteria, numbers are assigned to them for calling. They click on the “call” button, get connected, read their script, enter the appropriate data, and end the call.

We use this crowd calling approach for “burstable” capacity because, once set up, it’s easy to ramp up or down. The other options that crowd-based based calling opens up, however, are even more game-changing and include:

  • Same language/same region calling: Callers in France calling companies in France; callers in the US Deep South calling companies in the Deep South, etc.
  • Tight controls over calling “windows”: Campaigns can be set up to run at specific times of the day to call a particular type of company in a given time zone for the highest likelihood of success in terms of connects and responses.
  • Quality controls: Each call is recorded for concurrent external QA reviews, quickly triggering additional training or agent removal, if necessary.

This adds up to the dawn of a brand new day when it comes to telephone-based data verification projects.

posted by Shyamali Ghosh on September 15, 2014

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