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Convergys Announces Layoffs at Baton Rouge Call Center

June 04, 2008

It is a sad day for the call center industry in the state of Louisiana. According to the Associated Press, Convergys Corporation has laid off 176 employees at its Baton Rouge call center.

The company has stated that this move is considered to be only temporary and due to a specific client-based decision. The problem is, while the client decides what their next move will be, these call center professionals are out of a job and may not be available to return when the call comes – if it comes.

While officials with the Cincinnati, Ohio-based call center operator report that they anticipate the employees will have the opportunity to begin to return to work at the end of June, there is no guarantee that work will be available for all those who were asked to go home.

Amy Williams, spokeswoman for company, refused to answer any questions posed on Tuesday about the cuts. Earlier in the day, the company had reported that it laid off 300 workers, but revised that figure downward by the afternoon.
Convergys opened its 58,000-square-foot Baton Rouge call center in October 1999.
This operation focuses primarily on inbound calls for customer service, billing questions and technical support.

Unfortunately, Convergys and the impacted employees are dealing with one of the necessary evils of the call center industry: supply and demand. If the call center client does not have the work to support the staff on hand, the company either needs to bring in another client or let some of the employees go as there is not enough revenue to support the overhead.

The challenge for Convergys is that it has to let trained agents go and could lose the significant investment that the company made in training the individuals in the first place. While it is true that this is an inherent risk in the call center industry, the most efficient of operations will benefit from keeping as many trained agents on staff as possible.

While Convergys did not divulge any other information as to why a client decision led to these layoffs, the employees left without a paycheck can only hope that this client has work to be done very soon.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC and has also written for To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
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