Call Center Openings: Clark American's Newest Call Center Goes Online in July

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Clarke American, San Antonio, said this month that its newest contact center, also in San Antonio, will begin operations in July. The company expects the facility's staff to number more than 200 by year's end. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provide voice, e-mail and Web-chat communications. The company gets about 13 million inbound calls from partners and customers yearly. Clarke operates six other centers, including another in San Antonio, with more than 1,000 employees. Clarke American prints security checks for financial institutions in addition to providing outsourced direct marketing and teleservices.

Convergys, Cincinnati, will open a 33,000-square-foot call center in Edmonton, Alberta, in September, with about 600 employees. It will provide outsourced customer-care services for Convergys clients in the wireless industry. Recruiting for the center will begin in July, and training for the staff is set for August. This will be Convergys' second call center in Edmonton. The other, which opened in September 2000, is a 60,000-square-foot facility employing about 800 workers at 500 workstations. With the new call center, Convergys will operate nine in Canada. Convergys has about 8,000 employees in Canada, about 20 percent of the company's work force.

LifeMasters, Irvine, CA, will bring a new call center in Albuquerque, NM, online in June with a capacity for 230 phone representatives. The facility will be the company's third and will help serve its growing client base. LifeMasters, which provides disease-management programs for health plans including Aetna, Fallon, Blue Shield of California and Florida Medicaid, serves 15 million customers.

Toyota Financial Services, Torrance, CA, held a grand-opening ceremony this month for its 100,000-square-foot call center in Owings Mills, MD. It will have more than 420 employees when fully staffed, with an annual payroll of about $10 million. The center is one of three Toyota facilities in the United States providing service to about 1.9 million loan and lease customers of Toyota and Lexus. The other two centers are in Cedar Rapids, IA, and Chandler, AZ. The Owings Mills location alone will serve about 625,000 customers and handle an estimated 5.1 million inbound and outbound calls yearly. The facility also will process about 500,000 pieces of mail annually. Typical duties to be performed by the new center include address changes, account status inquiries, retail and lease payoff inquiries and payment processing.


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