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How feasible is it to set up telecommuting in a call center?

Inbound call centers - such as catalog-order centers, reservations, customer service, etc. - are booming in general, and are one of the hot growth areas for telecommuting. The technology needed to distribute calls to homes or other remote locations is very widely available, and it generally depends on the features of the ACD (automatic call distributor) that routes all incoming calls to agents in the office or elsewhere. Many of the ACD vendors have become very interested in serving this market.

Sending the incoming call to the home isn't much of a problem, nor is providing remote access to customer files and other databases. The biggest challenge can be speed of access, however; agents in a physical call center are used to getting very fast response when they key in commands to get flight schedules, prices, etc. If they're working at home, there might be a time delay that isn't terribly long but long enough to be annoying to both agent and customer. That's why it's critically important to test out those response times remotely - and choose the right telecommunications tools so these delays are minimized.

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