Calling All Agents

Employees have hardly been at the forefront of companies’ priorities in the past year, but in at least one area, they’re receiving some recognition. Call center agents are in high demand these days as businesses begin to use them to handle not only customer service functions but also sales, tech support, and credit/collections. Accordingly, call center reps are starting to receive better pay and incentives, reports Mercer Human Resource Consulting in its 2002 Call Center Compensation Survey, which includes data on 86 call center jobs from 329 organizations. Companies will implement base pay increases of 3.5% to 3.7% this year, a slight jump from 2002 rates, and look for ways to enhance incentives as well as reward employees for working extra shifts. Reps are still vastly underpaid, however, compared to managers. For example, a CSR earning the median $10.90 an hour for order entry makes less than half of what a team or group manager earns.

Rep Recompense
MEDIAN HOURLY RATE*
Inbound order entry $10.90
Inbound with selling 11.09
Customer service 11.97
Internet 13.50
Full account management 13.78
Source: Mercer Human Resource Consulting
Note: Total cash compensation

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