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Working Solutions, TELUS Partner To Recruit Canadian Home-Based Agents

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Working Solutions, TELUS Partner To Recruit Canadian Home-Based Agents

September 26, 2008
By Brendan B. Read
Senior Contributing Editor
There will be more Canadians working as home-based contact center agents i.e. homeshoring thanks to a just-signed resale agreement between Working Solutions, which provides home agent sales and support solutions, and TELUS (News - Alert), a leading Canadian telecommunications company. 

The partnership will expand TELUS’s TELUS AgentAnywhere independent contractor home agent program that the carrier offers to its clients. Working Solutions will begin to immediately recruit and pre-qualify Canadian home agent workers.
 “We’ve been providing home-based agents to enterprise companies since 1996,” says Tim Houlne, Chief Executive Officer of Working Solutions.  “Our agent community allows us to offer highly-skilled workers residing anywhere in Canada to augment TELUS AgentAnywhere.  We’re excited about the growth potential for this partnership and our plans to expand services in Canada.”
“The expansion of our home agent program will increase the level of services that we offer our clients and allow them to focus on delivering the best customer experience possible while being able to take advantage of environmental and financial advantages,” states Stan Tyo, Vice President of TELUS Contact Center Solutions.
Working Solutions has been in Canada since 2005 where it has a roster of approximately 4,000 available English- and French-speaking agents, according to Jason Rodriguez, Sr. Customer Strategy Specialist US & Foreign Markets for Working Solutions. In contrast the firm has about 76,000 agents in the US.
He said the real estate cost savings and higher productivity from home-based agents that offset the higher Canadian dollar will make them a more viable proposition than conventional contact centers, many of which, like Dell’s (News - Alert) facility in Edmonton, Alberta, have been closing. Severe winter weather in most parts of the country often makes commuting treacherous.
Also, observers report that contact center turnover has been high in many parts of Canada, leading in some cases to very aggressive recruitment efforts. For example, in Belleville, Ontario, contact centers have placed portable billboards near the entrances of other sites, hoping to lure staff. In contrast, turnover amongst home agents is very low.
At the same time federal and provincial governments have been encouraging expansion of high-speed Internet access into smaller communities and rural areas that are too small to support contact centers but which have fair-sized pools of qualified individuals with a strong work ethic.
“TELUS clearly understands the value proposition for homeshoring; their culture and philosophy is aligned with the intent of our agent community in Canada,” says Rodriguez.
INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO West 2008 — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year — concluded Thursday in Los Angeles, California. Thousands of attendees flocked to the event for three valuable days of exhibits, conferences and networking opportunities. Mark your calendar now for ITEXPO East 2009, February 2-4, 2009, in sunny Miami, Florida.
Read archived editions of Show Daily eNewsletters from ITEXPO (News - Alert) West 2008 here. See you in February!

Brendan B. Read is TMCnet�s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan�s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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