16 March 2003
You talkin' to me?
If you've dialed somebody's 800 number, you might be talking to someone in Oklahoma; the state now boasts some seventy call centers which employ 35,000 people. One of the biggest is the AOL facility in Oklahoma City's Shepherd Mall, which has nearly 1500 staffers.
Why here? Three reasons come to mind:
- We're in the middle of the country, so it's possible to catch both coasts with minimum shift change.
- We're awash in fiber connections.
- We work cheap.
Well, okay, we're not as cheap as Bombay or Manila, but we're marginally easier to understand on the phone.
Posted at 12:55 PM to Soonerland
TrackBacks if any:
Being awash in fiber connections is, IMO, a -good- thing. :)
And FRIENDLY, too...don't forget friendly.
Take it from me, one of those call-center types. My employer has run their primary call operations out of OKC since the 70's. Their reasons included those that you cited. They also found that Oklahomans have one of the most neutral accents of any in the country. Remember that next time you hear someone say, "Howdy, y'all."
The explosions has had its downsides. Chief among them is that many call centers are now having trouble finding employees to fill their rolls. It got so bad three years ago that my employer was forced to open a second call center in, of all places, Alabama, which proves that there are places even cheaper than Oklahoma.
The last time I noticed an actual Oklahoma accent, I was in Pennsylvania. Go figure.
Of course, I speak with absolutely no inflection whatsoever. (Yeah, right.)