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Call Center Openings: Ci Direct Expands Harlan, IA Center

Ci Direct, Harlan, IA, has begun operations in two new call centers, expanding upon its 84-seat facility at its headquarters. The first new center is also in Harlan and represents an expansion to the existing facility of about 40 workstations. Combined, the two Harlan facilities contain 13,500 square feet. The second new center is in Lincoln, NE. It houses 200 workstations and covers 20,000 square feet. Ci Direct, a teleservices provider specializing in the insurance industry, said it expanded its call center facilities to accommodate a growing client base in the homeowners insurance sector. The new facilities will generate new customers for homeowners insurance providers as well as provide customer support services.

The Pinax Group, McLean, VA, has opened a new customer support call center in San Jose, CA. It will service customers of the Clio hand-held PC companion. The Pinax Group bought Clio, the company that markets the PC companion, in November. A Pinax Group executive said the opening of the contact center was part of the company's plan to provide service infrastructure for the new Clio product to ensure customer loyalty. Support to customers will include online technical help. Further details about the center were not disclosed. The Clio product is a 9-by-11-inch hand-held “PC-like” device, according to The Pinax Group.

Synergy Solutions, Phoenix, announced the opening this month of its third customer contact center in Bemidji, MN. The 120-seat center began operations in February after Synergy bought it from agency Telespectrum Worldwide, King of Prussia, PA. Synergy said it acquired the work force along with the facility. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Previously, Synergy had operated the facility for ProMark One/IDRC, which Telespectrum Worldwide acquired in 1999. Telespectrum had planned to close the center until Synergy, working with a local economic development agency, assumed the lease. The call center has 115 employees, most of whom work full time, Synergy said. Synergy plans to expand the staff to about 200 within 18 months. The center performs outbound telemarketing and customer acquisition, and Synergy said it would expand services to include inbound telephone and Web-based customer contact.

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