Call Center Problem Turned into Successful Product

Quite a few years ago I helped a company go from $0 in revenues to over $1 million per day in revenues.

One of the things that made us successful was an accidental discovery of Acres of Diamonds.

As our call center business grew we needed more than eight call center workstations to handle the traffic. In order to grow we had to change from our NearSpace based equipment to a Nortel DMS 250 switch. We were excited about the added capabilities but did not like the $40,000 per workstation price, Nortel charged for each call center workstation, since we hoped to have hundreds of them in the future.

We looked around for other solutions but the only other supplier could not meet all of our programming demands.

So I proposed creating the system using PCs…this was at a time when a PC cost nearly $4,000 with a 10 MB hard drive and 640K of memory…seems outrageous in today’s environment.

I got approval to create the new workstation.

I designed the new features and had a programmer create the code. We had replicated the functionality of the $40,000 workstation for a per unit cost of $3,500 each. Because of the new features we were able to add we increased productivity over a three month period over 400% so we needed only 25% as many call center agents as those using the Nortel version.

This gave us several strategic advantages. Our labor costs were only 25% of what others needed and we saved over $34,000 per workstation.

To show the impact this had on our bottom line, within 2 years we had grown so large, we only needed 1,500 operators instead of 6,000…saving us over $90 million per year in labor.

Since we needed nearly 1,000 workstations within 2 years, we saved over $34 million in capital on workstations alone, and another $48 million in switches required to connect the 6,000 operators had we needed that many.

So what started out as a problem, we couldn’t find a call center solution to meet our needs, turned into an Acres of Diamonds for us. The total development costs required to save the $150 million plus dollars was less than $500,000.

What was so ironic is that the call center software and hardware were so successful, Nortel licensed the them from us and sold over $250 million of call center workstations based on our design.

What problem have you been tolerating that currently only has a partially successful solution? If you created a custom solution you could save your company a lot of money and labor? Go for it.

What is your Acres of Diamonds?

About the Author

Dan Swanson is an Internet marketing consultant, who systematically increases qualified traffic and improves conversions of visitors to customers for client’s websites. For more information on his Internet marketing consulting services visit

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