Pharmaceutical Call Center to Allow Video Conferencing with Agents

Aventis Pharmaceuticals has opened a sales call center near its headquarters in Bridgewater, NJ, as part of its efforts to launch pilot online drug-detailing programs.

The company has made an agreement with iPhysicianNet to allow about 4,000 physicians to video-conference with Aventis call center agents via their PCs.

Call center agents have the ability to transmit detailed graphics to physicians as part of the sales pitch and demonstration. In addition, agents are equipped with a system that allows them to coordinate marketing efforts with Aventis field sales associates. The call center is equipped with special lighting and soundproofing features to facilitate video conferencing.

The size of the call center and other specifications were not released.

In other call center news:

Covista Communications will open an inbound customer service center in Chattanooga, TN.

The Little Falls, NJ-based company is hiring staff for the center. It planned to open the facility by the end of July at the earliest and no later than the end of August.

Chattanooga was chosen for the call center because of its location at the heart of the telecommunications provider's service area.

Delta Air Lines held a grand-opening ceremony for its new reservations center in Cincinnati.

The approximately 60,000-square-foot call center houses 550 workstations and accommodates 900 sales representatives. Atlanta-based Delta invested more than $2.8 million in the call center, the airline's fourth largest. Delta also will locate its marketing office and its government and public affairs office at the facility.

The airline operates 24 call centers and 102 city ticket offices nationwide and has more than 10,000 employees in its reservations organization.

Neopost, Hayward, CA, has opened a new contact center in Carrollton, TX.

The new call center has twice the call capacity of the mailing equipment company's first call center, also in Hayward. The new center was built to help Neopost expand the level of service it offers its customers. Further details were not disclosed.

Pegasus Communications, Bala Cynwyd, PA, has opened a 50,000-square-foot customer care center in Lenexa, KS.

The center opened with an initial staff of 170 but has the capacity for more employees as needed. Pegasus built the facility to accommodate the growing customer base for its satellite television services. The new center will be integrated into Pegasus' network of customer service centers and will be operational seven days a week. The facility includes a fitness center and is located in a Kansas City suburb with a growing community of hi-tech companies.

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