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Digital River eliminates 120 positions, outsources customer service

E-commerce service provider Digital River is eliminating 120 positions globally as part of a realignment that will see the outsourcing of its customer service operations and growth in its product development and sales areas.

“This is not a downsizing,” said Ed Merritt, VP, investor relations at Digital River. “We know that customer service is not a core competency of ours; it is a service we have to provide to customers.” By contracting with outsourcing provider Sitel to manage its customer e-mail and phone inquiries beginning September, “the level of service provided to customers will be better than we can provide,” said Merritt.

The arrangement with Sitel will provide Digital River with more flexible staffing in customer service, expanded customer service support in emerging markets and additional multi-lingual capabilities. Later this year, Digital River also expects to be able to offer its customers telemarketing services through Sitel.

Digital River will maintain a team of customer service personnel in its Minneapolis and Shannon, Ireland, offices to service some customer inquiries.

At the same time, Digital River realigning existing resources with a focus on building its product development and sales areas. “There will be new headcounts in those areas,” said Merritt.

“We feel we can develop new products that will bring in new clients and make existing clients stay longer,” he continued. “Everything we are doing is about delivering future growth” for the company, he explained.

Some of the key markets Digital River is looking to capitalize on with new products and an enhanced sales force include consumer electronics, small- to mid-size business software, subscriptions, games and business-to-business.

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