The use of customer service agents working from home will continue to gain momentum until at least 2010, analysts have predicted.
A newly published IDC study noted that the practice of employing home-based agents, which the analyst firm calls "home-shoring", is being driven by the need for more productive agents.
However, the study also reported that 'home-shoring' can deliver higher agent retention rates and the ability to respond more flexibly to peaks and troughs in voice traffic.
"Over time, the offshore outsourcing of customer care will be associated more and more with its neglected sibling, home-shoring," said Stephen Loynd, senior analyst for IDC's CRM and Customer Care BPO service.
"Ironically, outsourcing will therefore be associated not only with the offshoring of US jobs, but with the expansion of employment opportunities in the US. Home-shoring is about to hit a growth spurt."
The IDC study said that the 112,000 home-based phone representatives in the US will swell to 300,000 by 2010 as companies increasingly develop and invest in home-based agents, either with their own employees or by hiring outsourcers.
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