Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

AT&T Opens Broadband Supporting Contact Center

March 06, 2009

In what may be a sign of more developments to come, AT&T has opened a new $7 million customer technical support contact center in Little Rock, Ark., reports the Associated Press, in a story carried by Forbes. The facility, planned for two years, and which will assist AT&T (News - Alert) broadband subscribers in 13 states, will employ 189 agents, managers, and other staff and will be fully open by the summer.
 
The Little Rock contact center will join six others in AT&T’s network that employs 2,000 people that the wire service said in “part of an effort by the telecom giant to shift 5,000 positions from overseas back to the United States.”
 
The new contact center’s opening is well-timed. It will partially compensate for job losses expected from Alltel’s (News - Alert) acquisition by Verizon Wireless said Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe. Alltel has had nearly 3,000 staff at its Little Rock, headquarters.
 
The new facility may not be the last of its kind. U.S. President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan will spend more than $7 billion on new broadband connectivity to rural and underserved areas.
 
AT&T is reportedly the nation's largest broadband provider, with more than 14.8 million subscribers, including for high speed Internet access, AT&T U-verse TV service and satellite broadband services. The AP/Forbes story said AT&T has already spent $525 million since 2006 in expanding its broadband service area to reach smaller communities in the state.
 
The contact center is well-designed and state of the art. The AP article describes “exposed supports and shiny ductwork overhead [that] gives way to carefully lit, curved black and wood-grain work stations that give a flow to the setting.” It pointed to wide-screen TVs that show a combination of in-house information and the news of the day. They also enable staff to stay informed of daily events. “When a hurricane is moving toward the coast or when snow or ice is affecting an area, workers need to understand the larger issues behind customers' concerns, officials said. Also, each service center can add its own content.”
 
Ron Forwark, AT&T senior project manager, who developed several other centers before Little Rock's, told the wire service that he deployed features from what he had learned from the previous sites. Each desk has an emergency power supply so customers are not cut off if there is a power failure. The work stations are adjustable-height to permit employees to stand or sit at the levels they desire to maximize comfort. White noise from 53 speakers is pumped in to quell the chatter.
 
The center also has a lab with computers that run different operating systems: Microsoft (News - Alert) Vista, Windows XP, and Mac OSX Leopard. A worker can transfer a call to the lab, move to the appropriate computer and emulate the conditions the customer is working in to identify the cause of a problem.
The break area includes a ping pong table, an amenity chosen by local workers, and it has a quiet area, away from the din of the TVs.
 
Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is Fixed Service Strategies for Mobile Network Operators, brought to you by Comverse (News - Alert).
 

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

Edited by Michelle Robart

Article comments powered by Disqus

Related Contact Center Solutions Articles

What it Takes to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience

For enterprises large and small around the world for the past several years "Improving the Customer Experience" has become a C-level priority. Some might even say customer experience (CX) has become a preoccupation. The challenge for everyone who is a stakeholder in developing ways to improve CX is in divining the answer to a straightforward but devilish question, "What does it take to deliver a superior customer experience?" [ Read More ]
09/02/2014

Big Data: Changing the Recruitment Process

Big data is having an impact on every aspect of business today, and recruitment is no exception. Many HR managers are increasingly turning to big data to find the right people for the right position. This idea of using big data for recruitment is called people analytics, and has been adopted extensively by many companies, especially those in the call center industry. In fact, call centers have been one of the biggest beneficiaries of people analytics because of its high attrition rates and the d… [ Read More ]
09/02/2014

Mobile UC Benefits From 'Interactive Virtual Queuing' For Efficient Customer Care

A recent study commissioned by Nuance of 1,000 American consumers, confirmed the changing needs and concerns for customer service brought about by smartphones and online self-service applications for information and simple business transactions ("mobile apps"). Eighty-two percent of consumers only contact customer service when they can't resolve their needs online by themselves. [ Read More ]
09/02/2014

How to be the 'Squeaky Wheel' of Customer Service

Sometimes getting customer service can be tougher than anyone might expect. It's easy to think that, particularly these days, businesses will go to just about any lengths to get and keep customers, but when it comes to customer service, that's not always the case. However, there are ways that customers can, at least somewhat, force the issue, and get great customer service out of a company, even when it would seemingly rather not provide that service. Squeaky wheels, after all, get the grease, a… [ Read More ]
09/02/2014
Subscribe here for your FREE Contact
Center Solutions
enewslettter.

Events

Weekly Live Demo
Contact Center Solutions

Register Today!


Weekly Live Demo
CaaS Small Center

Register Today!