Call Center Openings: AFLAC Expects Omaha Center Open By Year's End

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AFLAC, Columbus, GA, said this month that it planned to open a new call center in Omaha, NE, by year's end. The 20,000-square-foot center will be used for customer service and employ about 30 people when it opens. AFLAC, an insurance provider, said it planned to expand the center's staff to 100 within two years. The facility will provide support to AFLAC's 218,000 payroll accounts and more than 46,000 licensed insurance agents. The new center will complement AFLAC's existing center in Columbus, OH, which received about 4.4 million calls in 2001 and is projected to receive more than 5 million calls this year.

Clarke American, San Antonio, launched a customer contact center this month in San Antonio. The company, which prints security checks, said it would hire about 200 new employees by year's end to staff the facility. Clarke's newest center will operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week, providing sales and customer service via telephone, Web, e-mail and online chat. Clarke American now has seven customer contact centers, including a second call center in San Antonio, and employs about 1,000 customer service personnel. The company handles about 13 million customer contacts annually.

ICT Group, Newtown, PA, expanded its international facilities this month with two contact center additions. The CRM provider opened a call center in Peterborough, Ontario, to deliver sales and customer service for ICT Group's clients in the United States and Canada. The center has about 230 workstations and will employ 500 people when fully staffed. ICT Group now has 12 operations in Canada, including a second call center in the province of Ontario. Other ICT Group call centers are in the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In its second international addition, ICT Group launched a contact center in Uxbridge, United Kingdom, near London. The center will employ about 300 when fully staffed. In addition, the company moved its European headquarters to the new location, representing another 50 employees in sales, marketing, client services and administrative functions. The new center gives ICT Group four contact centers in Europe, including Dublin and Athlone, Ireland, and Harrow, UK. ICT Group has about 725 employees in its European operations.

Minacs Worldwide, Toronto, along with its partner OnStar Inc., opened a 500-employee call center in Oshawa, Ontario, this month. It will respond to dealers and consumers in the United States who request enrollment in OnStar, which provides in-vehicle safety, security and information services using global positioning system and wireless technology. Minacs has a three-year agreement to provide call center facilities, staffing and management for OnStar. Minacs plans to create additional jobs at the new facility through year's end, and OnStar plans to begin offering its services to Canadian customers via the new call center in near future. Minacs is a customer relationship management firm with about 4,000 employees in 23 locations worldwide.


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