Contact Center Site Selection Criteria
What It Is
The location of your center can critically impact your service quality, economics, and sustainability. Establish criteria to guide the selection process and improve your chances of obtaining an optimal location for your center.
Consider these factors when selecting a site for your contact center:
Proximity to Your Organization
Are there reasons you, other members of your team (or your bosses) will want or need to visit the site regularly? Brainstorm and get input early in the process. Explore the needs of all involved stakeholders first.
Even if your contact center doesn't need to be near your home office, it should be no more than 45 minutes from an airport served by major air carriers.
"Made in the USA"
If your center is in–house, it will naturally be located within our borders. If you're outsourcing, off–shore sites are not an acceptable alternative for most federal agencies. To avoid having to entertain proposals for sites on other continents, specify that your site be located "within the United States" or "within the contiguous United States."
A Skilled Workforce
One of the most critical components in operating a successful contact center is a labor market with the skill sets (e.g., subject matter expertise, foreign language ability) required to support your center's needs. Try to locate your site within a 30–minute commute of such a labor market and consider the degree of competition for this labor from other contact centers and related industries, which will impact your recruitment and retention efforts.
Choose a location where high–quality labor can be attracted at a reasonable cost, as this is the single biggest expense in running a contact center. Due diligence should include a detailed labor market analysis of available data, as well as actual market conditions currently being experienced by local employers.
Weigh the potential adverse impacts in a given location: unfavorable labor laws, unionization, telemarketing regulations, and other labor–related issues specific to the geographic area under consideration.
Availability of a Facility
Choose an area where a facility of sufficient size can be obtained in a timely manner at a reasonable cost. Consider the adverse impact of unfavorable zoning policies and restrictions, tax incentives, and explore the possibility of any other issues that could affect availability and cost.
Telecommunications and Internet
Your site needs close proximity to network access points of major inter exchange carriers, as well as high–bandwidth connections to the carriers' networks, and the Internet. Diversify your route and carrier to guard against catastrophic outages.
More isolated locations may have power issues. Your site location should have affordable, reliable, and redundant electric power, as well as a contingency back–up source in place (specify generator requirements; that is, how long do you need your facility to be able to run on back–up power?). Also, make sure the location has access to a secondary power grid or power source in case the primaries fail.
Chose a geographic location that minimizes the effect of catastrophic weather on your contact center's operational continuity. For multi–site solutions, select locations sufficiently far apart to effectively eliminate the possibility of adverse weather conditions affecting the operation of all sites simultaneously.
Choose locations and structures in locations deemed appropriate for contact centers. Local jurisdictions often make crime reports for a location available. The nature and frequency of crime in a possible location, and the safety features incorporated into or absent from an existing structure, are important considerations. You don't want employees entering an area that isn't safe, and potential employees won't want to work there either.