Call Center Renaissance Means Big New Business for Nevada
While the call center has never really been seen as an exciting, glamorous career choice, that's changed somewhat in recent years as businesses increasingly view call centers as less of a cash sink and more as a revenue generator. That's led to a lot of call center business returning to the United States, where there are several significant advantages. One big winner in this move has been Nevada, who's able to dictate labor prices to a degree, yet is still finding many interested takers.
The average call center hourly wage is $14.86 an hour, reports note, as many of the new call centers setting up shop are specialist operations that require quite a bit of advanced training and specialized knowledge. It's reached a point where the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada—according to remarks from its CEO Mike Kazemierski—noted that “...if you are not paying $15 an hour, good luck finding a workforce...” There are some third-party centers in southern Nevada paying less, reports note, but it also features more workers competing for fewer jobs.
Nevada's multilingual, multishift work force—which often speaks Spanish as well as English and doesn't have many qualms about working odd hours thanks to the famous casino presence—gives it a real edge in this market, as does its status on the Pacific time zone, making it readily available to handle that business and often at lower costs than the equivalent in Oregon, Washington or California.
It's not just the pay that's climbed in recent years; the amount of skill required has also gone up, and so too has status. Many don't even refer to call centers as call centers any more, instead favoring the term “contact center.” This term shows how the call center isn't just about phone calls any more, but rather about a complete range of contact methods starting with emails and text messages and going all the way around to phone calls.
The call center market has fundamentally changed as more businesses pursue omnichannel strategies, opening up the floor for customers to contact a business via several methods, not just the simple standards of phone calls and emails. This means businesses need staffers who can handle a phone and a computer at the same time, who know how to research information and already have plenty of knowledge about a product line. That combination is increasingly valuable, thus leading to the kinds of wages we're seeing in Nevada.
Changes to the market are yielding changes to the perception of the call center, and as businesses realize this is an effective tool to both create new customers and also keep the ones currently on hand, the value of a call center staffer will also increase.
Edited by Alicia Young