Call Center Openings: Afni to Open Call Center in Kentucky

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Afni, Bloomington, IL, last month said it would open a 25,000-square-foot, 260-seat call center in Bowling Green, KY, in June. The center, which will employ 550 agents, will be the fifth center in Afni's network. During the construction of the new center, the company will operate from a 15,000-sqaure-foot temporary center seating 75, starting this month. Afni provides inbound and outbound customer care, billing, customer loyalty and retention and other outsourced services.


Assurant Group, Atlanta, last month said it opened a new, 40,000-square-foot call center in Kentwood, MI, replacing a smaller facility in Wyoming, MI. The company said it would add 125 positions at the new center over the next year, doubling the size of the current staff. The center, which handles inbound inquiries and service calls concerning credit-related insurance products, will have an annual call-handling capacity of 1.5 million calls when it is complete, the company said. It currently handles 260,000 calls per year.


Boise Cascade Office Products Corp., Itasca, IL, last month opened a call center in Norman, OK, to support the company's Boise Express division focusing on sales and marketing of office and computer supplies to "middle market" companies with 20 to 100 employees. The center employs 50 account managers and 10 support staff, but Boise Cascade's plans call for expanding the facility to employ more than 300 individuals.


EchoStar Communications Corp., Littleton, CO, last month said it would build a new customer service center in Christianburg, VA, that eventually will employ some 1,400 agents to support the 3.4 million DISH Network satellite TV customers. The $16 million center will initially employ 600 inbound customer service representatives. EchoStar has four inbound sales and customer service centers in Colorado, Texas and Pennsylvania employing more than 5,000 agents.


Electronic Data Systems Corp., Plano, TX, last month said it would open a new call center in Sydney, Nova Scotia, replacing a call center in Raleigh, NC. The information technology provider was having problems staffing its Raleigh center, according to the Canadian government, which is partnering with the Nova Scotia provincial government to contribute up to $21.4 million Canadian ($14.75 million in U.S. currency) to help EDS relocate the center, which will handle inbound customer service requests through multiple media.


Metris Cos. Inc., St. Louis Park, MN, last month said it was expanding its Scottsdale, AZ, facility and was seeking to add another 500 positions to the 120 people who staff the facility. The direct marketer of consumer credit products and fee-based services said it recently opened facilities in Tulsa, OK, and Jacksonville, FL.


Metro One Telecommunications Inc., Portland, OR, last month said it opened a new call center in Nashville, TN, that will provide directory assistance to the telecommunications industry. The center will service traffic from Nashville, Knoxville, TN, and Memphis, TN, including traffic currently handled out of Metro One's St. Louis facility.


Midway Airlines last month said it built a new contact center at its Raleigh-Durham, NC, headquarters that will serve its East Coast travel market. The $2 million center, double the size of its predecessor, will be able to handle 40 percent more calls. The center uses Lucent communications server and customer relationship management technologies.


NextCard Inc., San Francisco, last month said it would open a 100,000-square-foot customer contact center in Phoenix by June. The center is expected to employ 700 agents, who will provide telephone, e-mail and live chat support of the online credit card marketer. The company said the new center marks its first major expansion into a multiple-center approach and represents significantly increased capacity from its original San Ramon, CA, call center.


Providian Financial Corp. last month said it would open a new customer service center in Henderson, NV. The 63,000-square-foot facility, which will house approximately 700 employees, will be used to support the company's Internet-based Aria credit card and will be the San Francisco company's first e-commerce facility located outside California.


RMH Teleservices Inc., Bryn Mawr, PA, last month unveiled plans to open three new facilities in Ontario. The outsourced teleservices provider said it would open a 200-seat call center and a 100-seat quality-control center in Sarnia and a 200-seat call center in Sault Ste. Marie. The openings, expected within 90 days, will bring RMH's Canadian presence to five total centers and 3,450 workstations. The 43,000-square-foot Sarnia call center will employ 400 people, and the 32,000-square-foot Sault Ste. Marie site will employ 425.


Sento Corp. last month opened a new contact center in Salt Lake City to handle inbound telephone inquiries and customer relationship management for Sento's technology clients. Sento also operates call centers at its American Fork, UT, headquarters and in Evanston, WY.
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