Call Center On Demand Featured Articles

The Cloud Allows for Fast Set-up of Call Centers On Demand

April 15, 2014

By Tracey E. Schelmetic,
TMCnet Contributor

Penske Truck Rental is doing a noble thing. The company this week announced that it’s forming a new, specialized contact center to assist active and veteran members of the U.S. military and their families with do-it-yourself moves (the only type anyone can seem to afford these days). For Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and Personally Procured Moves (PPM (News - Alert)) (military lingo for geographic moves active duty and veterans make), Penske is offering a variety of customized tools as well as discounts. The call center is designed to make it easier for military personnel to get through a difficult move.

According to Pennsylvania-based Penske, the company has set up a toll-free number, 1-844-4TROOPS, which routes callers into a contact center open from 7:00  a.m. to midnight ET. These Penske call center associates who will be manning the phones are knowledgeable about military moves due to change of station or PPMs: they either have a family member who has or is currently in active or reserve duty, or are veterans themselves.

"Our military call center employees have been specially trained to aid military members and their families navigate the unique requirements for each branch," said Penske's Don Mikes, Senior Vice President of Rental, in a statement. "We want to ensure that each family's transition to a new base is conducted as smoothly as possible."

So how does a company set up a call center quickly nowadays? It used to be that setting up a new call center was the work of months or years: facilities had to be built, equipment and computers had to be brought in, business telephone service had to be procured and solutions had to be integrated with databases and agent desktops. Essentially, a contact center was a “fixed asset” that few companies ever moved or changed.

Today, the cloud has turned the call center on its ear. Contact centers that formerly took months or years to get up and running can now be put into play in a matter of hours, with agents located literally anywhere: in a brick-and-mortar facility, in an outsourcer’s office or even from home. Agents simply need a high-speed Internet connection and a headset, and they can be logged in and taking calls and other contacts as if they were present in the physical call center.

For organizations such as Penske, or for government entities that need to set up short-term contact centers to serve a short-term need, the power of the cloud is undeniable. If a company’s primary contact center is unusable due to weather events or power outages, it can literally “move” the entire contact center to another facility or agents’ homes within a matter of hours. Companies are no longer limited to geographic location when hiring new contact center agents. And organizations looking to save extra money can dispense with the physical facility altogether and use an array of workers based from their homes or from satellite offices.

The contact center, once a physical place, is no longer bound by geographic limitations, thanks to the cloud. And it’s a place that can be built in hours instead of months…or years. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi