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Call-Routing Schemes for Call-Center Outsourcing

Gans, Noah and Zhou, Yong-Pin (2005) Call-Routing Schemes for Call-Center Outsourcing. [Industry Studies Working Paper:2005-05]



Companies may choose to outsource parts, but not all, of their call-center operations. In the course of studying contact centers in the telecommunications and financial services industries, we have observed the following (apparently) common scheme. A company classifies its customers as high- or low-value, serving the former with their “in house” operations and routing the latter to an outsourcer. Typically, the company imposes service-level constraints on the time each type of customer waits on hold. This paper considers four schemes for routing low-value calls between the client company and the outsourcer. These schemes vary in the complexity of their routing algorithms, as well as the sophistication of the telephone and information technology infrastructure they require of the two operations. For three of these schemes, we provide a direct characterization of system performance. For the fourth, most complex, scheme we provide performance bounds for the important special case in which the service requirements of high- and low-value callers are the same. These results allow us to systematically compare the performance of the various routing schemes. Our results suggest that, for clients with large outsourcing requirements, the simpler schemes that require little client-outsourcer coordination can perform very well.

Industry Studies Series #:2005-05
Item Type:Industry Studies Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords:industry studies, industry studies working paper, industry studies association, industry studies research
ID Code:61
Deposited By:Mr Robin Peterson
Deposited On:18 Feb 2010 13:48
Last Modified:07 Jun 2010 10:44

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