Firstly, don’t get me started on Indian Call Centres. I find them to be less helpful than the automated voice recognition programs you encounter after being on hold for half an hour to companies which claim to hold their “customers service” as their number 1 priority. Bull-shit!
Furthermore, these are companies which, in many cases, manage telecommunications as their primary form of business – talk about the irony!
However, this post is not simply just a rant of mine.
Please, do read on.
I’m no stranger to call centres. I worked in one for about 2 and a half years. Albeit, I was involved in outbound sales (you know, those annoying calls you get at dinner time wanting you to donate to charity), but the essence of the business and it’s systems remains the same. And I’ve got to say that the big companies in Australia are getting it all wrong.
A Few Points on Contact Centres:
- Every product or service which you plan to sell needs some sort of support. Nothing is stand-alone perfect. Therefore, you’ll need some sort of support/help/question/customer service line set up for your customers to call.
- There is currently a big move towards online support to save costs (for example: F.A.Q. pages). Companies are trying to save employing hundreds of customer service representatives to answer basic questions from their clueless customers. This is a big mistake. Why? The way I see it, having a personal form of contact to the business is imperative. Without a personal contact, customers feel distanced, frustrated, confused and annoyed with your business and your brand.
- You also need to have your customer service number easy to find! I recently had great difficulty in finding a phone number to contact Microsoft, which resulted in me being considerably frustrated before even calling with my query.
- Encourage your customers to call! The quicker you attend to their problem, the less complaining they’ll do and the more positively they’ll regard your brand. Hell, you might even get some free word of mouth promotion (which is what we all vie for don’t we?)!
Why Not to Outsource?
Outsourcing is a bad idea to begin with. You may be handing over the responsibility to gain the expertise and equipment of another company, but you’re also handing over control. The is exactly what you don’t want to lose.
When it comes down to it, in the complaints game you want to be quick, efficient and productive. Make the customer happy and lock them in as a loyal buyer.
Indian Contact Centres:
This brings me to the conclusion of my post. A note about Outsourcing.
Outsourcing to India is:
- the best way to LOSE CONTROL of your contact centre… To ANOTHER COUNTRY!
- the best way to PISS OFF customers off because they can’t communicate with you!
- in NO WAY fooling Australians that they’re calling another country; even when you train your representatives to use an Aussie accent & use words like “mate”!
- NOT a great idea when there is a non-existent customer service culture in India!
The way I see it. Outsourcing your contact centre to India not only irritates customers to the point of leaving you for a competitor (which I did with 3 Mobile, a division of Hutchison Whampoa Limited), but it costs you valuable time, patience and hurts your brand.
Outsourcing to India is a cheaper and more effective method to help your customers fix nothing.
Don’t do it!