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Home-Based Agents Will Nearly Triple

According to a newly published IDC study, the use of home-based customer care agents, which IDC has labeled "homeshoring," will continue to gain momentum through 2010. The study finds that the growing phenomenon of home-based agents is being driven not only by the need for more productive agents, higher retention rates, and greater flexibility in responding to peaks and valleys in voice traffic, but also by a set of key macroeconomic trends.

"Over time, offshore outsourcing of customer care will be associated more and more with its neglected sibling, homeshoring," 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 U.S. jobs, but also with the expansion of employment opportunities in the United States. Offshoring's underestimated sibling, homeshoring, is about to hit a growth spurt."

Today, there are an estimated 112,000 home-based phone representatives in the United States. By 2010, IDC predicts that number could reach over 300,000 as companies increasingly develop and invest in home-based agents, either with their own employees or by hiring outsourcers.

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