Contact Center Industry News

TMCNet:  CenturyLink will close Medford customer service center, lay off 114 [The Oregonian, Portland, Ore. :: ]

[March 21, 2014]

CenturyLink will close Medford customer service center, lay off 114 [The Oregonian, Portland, Ore. :: ]

(Oregonian (Portland, OR) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 21--CenturyLink notified its Medford call center employees Thursday that it plans to close its facility there on June 6, triggering the layoff of 114 workers.

"We're closing it as part of our efforts to remain competitive by reducing our cost structure," said Heather Koch, a spokeswoman for the phone company. She said the work will shift to an existing CenturyLink facility in La Crosse, Wisc.

Workers who choose to relocate will receive assistance to make the move, Koch said, or a severance payment if they choose to leave the company.

The Medford region has the highest jobless rate of any of Oregon's large metro areas, at 8.9 percent in January.

"Every job is important, particularly when you live in a region that's had relatively high unemployment," said Brad Hicks, president of the chamber of commerce for Medford and Jackson County. Call centers are under growing financial pressure, he said, as telecom companies strive to keep prices down by containing costs.

CenturyLink became Oregon's largest phone company in 2011 when it bought Qwest Communications. It serves Portland and many other communities around the state.

But its core business, landline phone service, is under intense pressure as consumers shift to cell phones and companies rely more on data communication. CenturyLink had about 607,000 phone lines in the state in 2012, according to the latest data from the Oregon Public Utility Commission, less than half the 1.3 million Qwest lines a decade earlier.

Call center work pays modestly -- around $30,000 a year statewide, on average, according to the Oregon Employment Department. But they are important employers in many small communities around the state.

Overall, call center employment is climbing in Oregon. The state had a little more than 12,000 call center jobs last summer, according to the most recent data available. That's up 24 percent from the same time in 2011 and near an all-time high.

Update: This article has been updated with comment from CenturyLink and the Medford/Jackson County chamber of commerce.

-- Mike Rogoway; twitter: @rogoway; phone: 503-294-7699 ___ (c)2014 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) Visit The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To Cloud Contact Center's Homepage ]


Featured Resources

Featured Report
Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations

Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations

The "why" behind this research is simple: our clients recognize that different generations bring different expectations, varied communication preferences and new customer service patterns to the customer experience...
Featured Report
Optimizing the Customer Experience through Cloud Contact Centers

Optimizing the Customer Experience through Cloud Contact Centers

Adoption of cloud contact centers is on the rise. Findings from Aberdeen's January 2014 'Public Cloud vs. On-Premise: How to More Effectively Deploy a Cloud Center' study shows that 31% of contact centers are deployed in the cloud, and our related blog post highlights that companies anticipate their adoption of cloud technology to rise further throughout 2014...
Featured Report
Aberdeen report

Aberdeen Report: Cloud for Mid-Sized Contact Centers – What You Must Know

Cloud Technology is opening new doors for many businesses. However, it does so only when it's combined with the use of best practices and key technology enablers. This document highlights the adoption of cloud technology by mid-size contact centers and illustrates the reasons driving their investments...
Featured Whitepaper
Aberdeen report

Seven Critical Capabilities to Demand From Your Cloud Contact Center Provider

To deliver a world-class customer experience, your contact center must be flexible and reliable, while providing all the tools agents and supervisors need to manage their workflows. Here are seven critical capabilities to look for when deploying a contact center in the cloud...
Featured Webinar

Contact Center Economics and the Cloud

Together, Bob and Drew will help you understand the economic value of upgrading technology, important business and financial considerations, and how to compare total cost of ownership of a premises vs. cloud or hosted solution. Watch the webinar on-demand now...
Featured Datasheet
Zipwire Cloud Contact Center

Zipwire Cloud Contact Center

The appeal of moving services to the cloud is obvious. Cloud services offer reliability and robust feature sets without the need to implement or maintain complex contact center infrastructure. The Zipwire™ cloud-based contact center allows businesses to leverage the flexibility and cost savings of cloud architecture while offering a seamless, first-class customer experience...