I came across this article about the new trend in customer support/service agents working from home after I made the long commute to my home office this morning. The article, from "CRM Buyer", titled: A Job That's Virtually Stress-Free discusses "virtual call centers". Networks of agents working from home have emerged, and large companies are reaping the benefits of using these call centers. "Instead of sending call center work overseas, a growing number of consumer products and services companies, from Office Depot to Walgreens are outsourcing work to virtual call center firms."
More from the article: "Experts say the industry has hit a growth spurt: The number of home agents will triple between 2005 and 2010, predicts Stephen Loynd, manager at IDC, a Framingham, Mass., research concern. Almost anyone with a broadband Internet connection, a computer and a phone can get up and running."
The reason I wanted to talk about this today is because I see this as an excellent trend in providing superior customer service. In a nutshell, if the person who is dealing with your customer is happy, they'll provide better service. And better service equates to increased loyalty, thus higher customer profitability--all good outcomes!
It's truly that simple. Maybe it's time to examine your customer touch-points with an eye to looking at how you could improve the quality of your service/support team's job situation. Again, if your team is happy, I guarantee you that they're treating your customer better!