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Thread: Call Centres

  1. #1 Call Centres 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    For our younger members....you might find it hard to belive that businesses of the past, particularly big corporations, actually had their own employees answer the phone. You are being brought to adult consumerhood by unwittingly participating in an effort to have an entire generation trained to not expect to talk to a person representing the company you wish to contact. This goes for account enquiries, complaints, warranties and other asscociated items you may wish to discus with them.

    This is coming at a cost. With the absence of personal contact with the customer a lot of companies are struggling with a decline in customer satisfaction. The frustration of not being able to plead your case before someone who cares for you and their company is making for surly customers who are looking for another place to do business. Unfortunately nearly every big company is using them right now and there is nowhere else to turn. You can write, call your government representative, call the Better Business Bureau but I can assure you that even correspondence is being handled by the call centres.

    Its even worse if you are a customer of a monopoly. Push this, push that, talk to a computer with a cute name, transferred calls, whatever....it doesn't matter. Even escalated complaints never reach the intended target, these are all handled by call centres today. Do the companies that use call centres do it because they love the technology, or believe they can increase productivity with their own employees? No way. the benefits of not dealing with customers, especially the angry ones, far outweighs having to pay your own people, dealing with unions in some cases and even paying employee benefits. Remember that you are not the call centre's customer when you dial.

    Will it ever go full circle? Will some companies ever hire their own people to once again answer the phone? Remember when the customer was right? Call centres have dispelled that myth. My advice is to keep calling. There is a maximum amount of phone calls allotted to the call centre for each customer by the company that hired them. Call centres are geared to make mistakes in order to get to the maximum call level. While the big companies try to figure out how to reduce calls, the call centres are trying to increase them.

    Are big companies shooting themselves in the foot by hiring call centres to handle their customers? Not yet but I sense John Q. Public starting to get a little more annoyed with them every day. The power of the consumer has yet to be felt. One day people are going to say the hell with these companies and maybe some competitor will be advertising that their own people are answering the phones. Personally I've had it but I refuse to stop calling because I know it costs big money per phone call. The customer is always right will eventually prevail.


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Are all the call centres independently operated? I was under the impression that several are operated by the parent company. The motive, as I understood it, was certainly to reduce costs, but also to improve customer service by having persons dedicated to answering queries available to speak to customers.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Are all the call centres independently operated? I was under the impression that several are operated by the parent company. The motive, as I understood it, was certainly to reduce costs, but also to improve customer service by having persons dedicated to answering queries available to speak to customers.
    I don't work for a call centre but my job involves communicating with many people who do.

    Not sure if all but yes, call centres are definitely privately owned enterprises. The company's that hire them believe they are cutting costs by eliminating the employees that were once either earning a good wage with benefits or were once unionized. Its a great way to break a union.

    The call centres I've encountered are run in an autocratic-bureaucratic manner. A set of procedures to be followed or else. Managing people is far down the list. I believe this is done intentionally, part of board room policy, to create an environment where if you don't like working here then see ya later.

    Why would they do this? Simple, high turnover rate means more mistakes, creating more phone calls. How many repeat phone calls are generated by this strategy is unknown but I believe it to be essential to profits. Company's are charged on a per phone call rate, its not cheap, and people who answer the phones are instructed to make the call quick and to only solve one problem at a time. So if you call with a query, they will attempt to answer only that problem in as short a time as possible. The people answering the phone are on a scorecard, if they violate certain parameters they are docked marks and if they fall below a certain norm then they are just fired. Again the turnover rate is of no concern.

    Call centres are also doing billing, so you can see the potential for profit growing here. In my estimation the number one reason anyone would pick up a phone to call a company is because they are questionning their bill. Phone calls are their bread and butter. Mistakes are welcome, how the callers feel is unimportant.

    Big companies do not audit call centres on a daily basis. Some not weekly, monthly or in some cases very rarely or not at all. In my opinion this makes it a hell of a lot easier for call centres to show how great they are doing to the people that hire them. Hard to believe that some companies spend millions for this service but rarely check in.

    Its almost as if the companies are more than willing to trade a hasslefree from customer environment over a call centre that's ripping them off. This is the main reason customers(people who call) are frustrated. Its impossible to speak to someone who actually works for the company you have a concern with! An almost irresistable nugget for any monopoly. A monopoly like a utility for instance gets your money anyways but nowadays they don't have to listen to complaints. Its Nirvana, a paying clientele with no other option that you never hear from.
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  5. #4  
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    There are just too many people calling nowadays, how many customers does AT&T have ? 50 millions ? How can anyone handle it ?
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman starry_eyed_guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Are all the call centres independently operated? I was under the impression that several are operated by the parent company. The motive, as I understood it, was certainly to reduce costs, but also to improve customer service by having persons dedicated to answering queries available to speak to customers.
    Until two years ago I worked with Accenture India in Bangalore. Call centres use the time difference between the USA an India. Comapnies that outsource save money by outsourcing because if they have to do all the work by themselves it will need a lot of employees and they need to pay a lot of salry. By outsourcing they save bucks. And the employees who work in call centre work like donkeys...... I am glad that I left the Accenture job.
    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience
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  7. #6 Introduction of Call Centre 
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    I have some introduction as:

    Call centres are comparatively a recent introduction to the world of career options in India. The career avenues provided by call centres is one of the best suited and growing option which even a fresher can opt for. With the opening up of the Indian economy and the advent of globalisation more and more companies from abroad are basing or outsourcing their call centre services to India, a trend started by GE when it established a call centre near New Delhi in 1998.

    A call centre is a service centre with adequate telecom facilities, access to internet and wide database, which provide voice based or web-based information and support to customers in the country or abroad through trained personnel. Call centres exist in all sectors of business including banking, utilities, manufacturing, security, market research, pharmaceuticals, catalogue sales, order desk, customer service, technical queries (help desk), emergency dispatch, credit collections, food service, airline/hotel reservations etc. The wide area of services provided by the call centres makes it a lucrative career with a range of opportunities.

    Traditionally, call centres meant only voice-based customer support. But now most call centres are more of a contact centre, offering e-CRM services, that include voice based customer support as well as e-mail response, web-based text-chat services and other customer interaction channels. The call centre services can be 'inbound' where in calls are received from customers enquiring about a service or product that an organisation provides. The call centre services can be 'outbound' where in calls are made to customers to sell products or collect information/money etc. Call centre services can also 'specialised' say in business processing where in calls are made from one company to another company.

    Some call centres stick to only domestic businesses dealing with customers within the country called domestic call centres while others such as an International call centre mainly deal with clients from abroad say from US, Europe etc. There is a great scope for Call centres in India, with a large population of educated English speaking people. The wide range of opportunities, comparatively well paid jobs for the minimum qualification it requires and the facilities the companies provide like to and fro transport, subsidized meals and medical facilities makes Call centres a good option.

    Eligibility : A very good command over English language is the main skill required. Freshers have to undergo intense training to make themselves suited for the job. Click here for more details

    Job prospects and Career options : There is a great scope for Call centres in India. The large population of educated English speaking people and the comparative low cost are encouraging more and more companies from abroad /inland to base or outsource their call centres to India. Click here for more details

    Remuneration : As a fresher, one could start his/her career in an International Call Center as a Call Center Executive and earn highly attractive pay packages.
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