There's no question about it: A contact center is an expensive operation. Not only has the technology become more complex and costly over the past few years, but training and licensing agents-who leave at a clip of 25% to 40% annually-impact a carrier's bottom line.It's no wonder many insurers decide to farm out some or all of their customer care functions-to the tune of $1 billion per year, according to research from IDC, Framingham, Mass.

In general, companies can save anywhere from 5% to 25% in costs through outsourcing, industry statistics show. And, outsourcing is on the rise because of current economic conditions, says Robert Hayes, president, Carrefoure Technologies, a Brentwood, Tenn.-based call center consulting firm. "Everything is focused on cost reduction," he says.

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