Call Centers Doing Their Part To Make Every Day Earth DayBy International Customer Management Institute icmiubm Live, PRNE
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Article examines call center industry's opportunities to help reduce corporations' carbon footprint by reducing energy and materials usage, and vehicle miles traveled.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, April 9, 2010 - Contact centers could be the key enabler in corporations' efforts to
reduce the environmental impact of business, according to the International
Customer Management Institute (ICMI), now in its 25th year.
No doubt, green is red hot. Unfortunately, all the noise that individuals
and businesses are making about their half-hearted efforts to be
environmentally friendly is its own form of pollution. Going green seems to
be more about "look at me" than "look what we need to do." True, some
individuals and corporations do a lot in the way of conserving resources and
energy, and those efforts are deserving of some recognition; but the truth
is, all the measures that people and businesses are now taking - or, in many
cases, merely say they are taking - to reduce their carbon footprint are the
sort of measures that we should have been taking (and have been advised to
take by environmental experts) for decades.
Experts agree that it's time to move beyond the politics and PR of
environmentalism, and get down to what can and needs to be done. As a contact
center professional, you may be thinking that a green initiative should be
led by C-level execs. Or perhaps you are thinking that since the contact
center doesn't pump out pollution or consume energy like manufacturing plants
do, going green doesn't really pertain to your area of the business. But
going green is everybody's responsibility, and there are myriad things a
contact center can do in that regard.
ICMI's Community Services Manager, Greg Levin, offers best practices in
his latest article, "Going Green: Minimizing the Contact Center's Carbon
Footprint www.icmi.com/goinggreen." Among those best practices, which
some contact centers are already using, are:
-- Implementing a home agent program. -- Embracing e-learning. -- Ramping up advanced self-service options.
"E-learning is green learning. First off, it's paperless, and when you
are talking about large contact centers with upwards of 500-1,000 agents,
eliminating the need to continually print and distribute paper-based training
materials can save forests of trees, not to mention beaucoup bucks," writes
Levin, a 15-year veteran of following and reporting on best practices in
contact centers and customer service.
"E-learning also cuts down dramatically on the amount of travel that
staff - particularly home agents - need to do to receive the training and
development they need. For example, at World Travel Holdings (WTH), the
contact center uses an internal e-learning site (WTHUniversity) and webcams
for coaching and training with it home agents, who represent roughly 40
percent of the center's workforce."
Levin is also a long-time advocate of home agent programs. The benefits
of remote agents are numerous, but here, he focuses on the environmental
benefits of reducing vehicle miles traveled and real estate consumption.
"This is one of the greenest things a contact center - especially a large one
- can do. Enabling agents to telecommute reduces not only air pollution,
greenhouse gases and gasoline consumption by cutting out the morning car or
bus commute for home-based employees, it cuts down significantly on the power
needed to heat, cool and light large buildings and operate IT equipment."
Greg Levin is available to comment on this story
Greg Levin has been researching and writing about call centers since he
joined ICMI in 1994. Today, Greg's feature articles and case studies appear
monthly on www.icmi.com. In addition, he has spoken on a diverse range of
customer contact topics at numerous industry conferences and other events.
The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), celebrating its
25th anniversary in 2010, is the leading global provider of comprehensive
resources for customer management professionals - from frontline agents to
executives - who wish to improve contact center operations, empower contact
center employees, and enhance customer loyalty. ICMI's experienced and
dedicated team of industry insiders, analysts, and consultants are committed
to providing uncompromised objectivity and results-oriented vision through
the organization's respected lineup of professional services including:
Training and Certification, Consulting, Events, and Informational Resources.
Founded in 1985, ICMI continues to serve as one of the most established and
respected organizations in the call center industry.
ICMI is a part of UBM Live which provides leading integrated media
solutions and professional services across 20 different markets. Operating
across the globe, its events, training, publications, award programs, and
websites offer professionals in Interiors, Security, Venues, Customer
Management, Safety & Health and Facilities the ultimate experience in
learning, networking, and business development.
For more information, visit www.icmi.com.
Marta Baker of ICMI, International Customer Management Institute, +1-719-785-5364, mbaker at icmi.com
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