Typical commercial building types tend to be office buildings, warehouses, retail, and any combination of those spaces. With that said, the size or number of agents matters in determining the type of building the service center is housed in.
The discussion in Site Square Footage and Amenities comes into play in determining the building type. Choosing a warehouse type building might be good if you are housing 3,000 agents but more than likely it is out in nowhere land and therefore has no amenities or public transportation for employees. Hiring folks and keeping them happy will be difficult. The cost per square foot can be very attractive but you must look at what it will cost you in turnover. It may not be the best deal.
There are smaller “warehouse” type buildings in office parks that can work, especially if they have amenities (see the amenities tab) and parking. When I say warehouse I’m talking about a big empty office building. It can have high ceilings, but it has to have windows and normal entryways. It may not have any offices, or very few. It will have lots of space for rows of agent cubes. It can be designed into a clean, modern functioning contact center. Warehouse in this context doesn’t mean dirty concrete floors and a loading dock as a front door!
How can you provide amenities,get a good deal on space and make it easy to get to? There are numerous contact centers housed in office buildings where there are multiple tenants. These can be terrific buildings provided there is ample parking. Contact centers have more employees per square foot than typical offices due to the smaller agent desks and the desks being literally next to each other utilizing as much building space as possible. Sometimes other tenants get vocal because the contact center is hogging up all the parking spaces. And if you have plans for growing and adding agents, while the building may have more space to rent you, do they have more parking spaces?
For example, a big bank opened its contact center and there was no parking. The bank used a shuttle bus to transport agents to and from the contact center to an off-site parking lot, which you can imagine, was a joyful ride for everyone. Employees want a stress-free commute and they want to find a parking spot quickly to get to work on time. Make it easy for people to get to their seats!
A popular model is putting retail on the first floor and non-retail on upper levels. A BPO put a contact center in Phoenix that sits above a big box retail store within a strip mall. In that same strip mall, it has lots of places for lunch, banking, a gym, shopping and places for an after-work cocktail. The multi-level parking garage is in the back and retail customers don’t even know the contact center is up there because agents come in through the parking garage in the back, right onto the second floor. Retail customers park out front. It is really a brilliant model balancing parking, amenities, enough office space, and easy access on and off the freeway.