A few weeks ago, I found a posting at LinkedIn where call center agents got searched, which even not need to speak with the called person. As I did not understand how it should work, I have been interested in this kind of job, but I did not get any reply.
Three days ago I have found a posting in the group "Campaigns Outbound & Inbound" with the title "Lead Generation with Avatar Technologies":
Lead Generation under $5.00 per hour
No other BPO company can generate as many live transfers or set appointments at the cost or the quality that we can. Avatar's software enables our agents to convert prospects into potential sales, while giving our clients the benefit of cost effective...
I have been thinking that $5/hour are too less for offering call center work. For this I have commented this posting with my opinion:
It is like everywhere in the world you get for what you pay for. The agents are the capital of the call centers. Like it is everywhere usable are getting better agents a higher monthly salary than not so good agents.
Call centers at the Philippines, a low wage country, are usually paying for their agents around US$ 1.20 (rural area) and US$ 3.80 (metro area) per hour. Quality centers have agents, which are earning an hourly wage between US$ 3.65 and US$ 6.80 depending on their performance.
Agents, who are earning too less money, are taking a second job to survive. The result is that they are coming already tired to their work and are not able to give their best. Everybody needs even at the Philippines at least US$ 455 per month for living (that is an income of around US$ 3/hour).
Think about it, which quality you’ll get, when you are reading such an unbelievable offer, where even the broker or the consultant likes to earn money. You can be sure, that you are not hiring the best agents for this price.
This time I got a reply from Ted Nehls, he calls himself to be Executive Vice President of Intelligent Virtual Agents from the area of New York City and surroundings:
Thank you for your reply to Lead Generation under $5.00 per hour. Avatar uses technology to ensure the sales pitch is 100% accurate 100% of the time. Unlike traditional voice agents which you are referring to in your posting, an Avatar agent doesn't need to speak all they simply need to do is press the correct soundboard button at the correct time. 97% of Avatar customers not only have increased their Avatar team size they have also hired more US based agents to handle the leads generated for them.
When it comes to lead generation a small investment in Avatar will go a long way.
A few years ago we have tried to implement a similar system for an Austrian Satellite TV company, which had the problem of finding agents, which are speaking German, French, Spanish and Polnish. Happily we tried it only and compared the result against the real call center agents. The result has been disastrous. We made with such a system only around 23% from the leads, which have been made by the real agents. Even the telemarketer, which had the worst German pronounciation sold more, then the system with the prerecorded messages from professional speakers.
If you are speaking with somebody, then you are observing their behaviour and their sound during your talk. On the phone you have only the sound and cannot see your behaviour. Good telemarketer are choosing their sales strategy by observing the whim of their customers. They are even able to make the whim of the customer better by making some jokes for making a sale. All situations during a sales pitch cannot get foreseen and for this you cannot make a a prerecording for them.
On the other side, the recordings are getting played from a soundboard, which is getting handled by humans. If the employees are tired, because they need to have an additional job to survive, they will make failures by handling the soundboard. So the system of Avatar seems to have a lot of problems by generating leads.
It is like everywhere in the world: "You get this for what you are paying for".
A very good description about the NEGATIVE IMPACTS from a robot gives Tom Pulmones from Linkedin:
Utilizing a specific number of lines based on a standard script, agents are confined to only a few responses and even fewer ways of conversing with customers over the phone. This limitation to a telecommunicating agent is crippling. The basic skills that an agent develops through experience at a call center are proficient oral communication, conversational spontaneity and call handling skills. Having a few buttons to press cuts down these skill sets to a zero and seals away the chances of an agent to grow and develop himself in the field of communications, which is the no.1 capital of a call center agent. As a result, the agent of a non-voice call center will be stuck with the non-voice skill sets with no opportunity to grow out.
In terms of Operational Costs, paying for non-voice agents who use dual-dialers cuts the BPO’s operational costs by half, at the same time cuts the quality of calls by a larger percentage. Also, this is unfair to the agents who are paid for less than ¼ of what the client is paying for their hours and yet they work for and are paid for as TWO people.
Source: LinkedIn group Call Center & BPO World