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How a Community of Disabled Workers Serves Local Call Centers

Jimm Cobb, Media Coordinator

A blind guitarist named Juan was robbed several times while busking in Chicago’s subway stations. His fortunes changed when the pandemic hit. With transit largely shut down, he took an opportunity to work as a contact center agent at Lighthouse Enterprises, an established nonprofit known for hiring visually impaired workers.

Today, Juan is one of dozens of agents who provide stellar customer service support to the organization’s prominent clientele.

The Steep Cost of Missed Calls

Missed appointments cost healthcare systems tens of billions of dollars a year. That’s why this type of dual mission makes perfect business sense. With its 24/7 Contact Center Operations, Lighthouse is known as a highly effective call center that provides its clients a competitive edge at inexpensive prices. This type of organization is uniquely positioned to offer superior customer care while also providing training and job opportunities for veterans and disabled people who will benefit the most from them.

How Lighthouse Enterprises Revolutionized Contact Center Outsourcing

In 1955, Lighthouse established a permanent location in the Illinois Medical District. That helped the organization provide three things the visually impaired community needed to live independently and thrive:

  1. Vision care
  2. Skill building
  3. Employment training

Today, it includes safe, affordable and accessible housing. A 100,000-square-foot facility houses those original programs, as well as the country’s oldest, continually operating Low Vision Clinic. It includes a clock factory that serves the federal government, twelve social enterprise contact centers, and a school.

It has turned into a win-win, something not often found in an industry known for disgruntled workers and high turnover that translates to a lot of lost dollars for businesses.

Why a Mission-Based Call Center is Good for Business

Lighthouse has forged many business and community partnerships. But to truly understand the advantage they provide, it helps to understand what makes their model unique.

Another agent explains in a video why working at Lighthouse has been such a game changer. Blind since birth, Michael knew the odds weren’t in his favor, since even most able-bodied visually impaired folks lack employment. “To work for a great mission and with great people has been better than I could ever have expected,” he says.

His statement highlights why turnover here is a fraction of the rate at other centers. A positive, supportive culture and access to services put Michael and others like him in touch with much needed programming and the latest vision technology. And when workers stick around, that compounds the professional expertise they are able to develop over time.

Why You Get Better Service When Outsourcing Calls to the Visually Impaired

To be effective, call center offerings must be tailored to the client’s needs. If one of your callers has to make an appointment or pay a bill, someone here can take that call. Lighthouse can handle overflow calls for clients that retain some onsite services, or they can supply an entire customer service workforce. Calls that aren’t responded to within a certain amount of time are automatically picked up by Lighthouse’s remote services.

As a result, everyone’s needs are addressed and no one falls through the cracks during peak hours.

Because agents receive ongoing training and are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, their call resolution rate is much higher than the industry average. When you outsource calls to them, your clients get to interact with people on the other end who love what they do and are dedicated to a high level of performance.

This Holiday, Get Customer Services Tailored Just for You

It’s always a plus when doing what’s best for business actively helps communities in need. Consumers are demanding socially conscious brand messaging more than ever before. Lighthouse has centers in the Midwest and on the East Coast and is expanding nationally. That translates to more knowledge-based job opportunities for the communities we serve.

Take a look at our range of services:

  • General Operator Services for Single Point-of-Contact
  • Appointment Scheduling
  • Payment Processing
  • After-Hours Messaging and Paging Services
  • Technical Helpdesk
  • Website or Software End-User Support
  • Outbound Calling Campaigns
  • Administrative Task Streamlining

Contact Lighthouse Enterprises for a free consultation on how we can address your customer Sservice needs in the new year.