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New Coeur d’Alene call center expects to hire 240 workers before year’s end

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 28, 2017

A Philippines-based company is opening a call center in Coeur d’Alene, with plans to hire 240 people by the end of the year.

The Coeur d’Alene call center will be the second U.S. location for SPi CRM, which has 11,000 employees across 12 locations in Australia, Nicaragua and the Philippines. The company also operates a call center in Madison, Wisconsin.

SPi CRM has assembled its Coeur d’Alene leadership team and is currently hiring agents for a September launch, said John Paul Meris, vice president of international operations. Within a year of opening, company officials expect employment to double to about 500 workers.

Starting pay for the call center agents is around $11.50 per hour, with the opportunity to advance to about $15 per hour, Meris said. The company also provides medical, dental and vision benefits and paid time off.

SPi CRM provides customer relationship management services for clients across a broad array of industries, including telecommunications, travel and hospitality, financial services, retail and e-commerce. Services include voice, chat, email and social media. The company is owned by a Japanese firm, Relia.

SPi CRM was looking for a location in the Pacific Time zone. Coeur d’Alene rose to the top of its list partly because of the region’s existing call centers, an industry that employs about 2,500 to 3,000 people locally, Meris said.

“The call center industry is not a stranger to this area,” he said.

Site selectors who visited North Idaho also told the Coeur d’Alene Economic Development Corp. that local residents were “friendly and nice,” said Amber Conklin, a development corporation spokeswoman.

The company thought this area would be a good fit for a call center because of its high levels of customer service, she said.

The new call center is opening in the space formerly occupied by Sports Authority in the Silver Lake Mall. SPi CRM is spending about $3 million to transform the space into a call center, including heavy investment in technology. A grand opening for the facility will occur in early October, Meris said.

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