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Shifting Waste – service

Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)
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  • #11207
    Tim Harvey

    Well, I agree and disagree with several points in this discussion, but I am surprised no one has mentioned a valuable part of the call centers…

    Does anyone track the types of issues or questions that are dealt with in their call centers? Do the managers of the product or services company the call center supports talk to the managers of the call centers about these issues? We are talking about trying to influence the quality of many things in this discussion and I agree with Samantha, it is very difficult for a call center manager to really be heard. I would suggest that we pay attention to the details of the calls, provide the best possible resolution for any given issue and have informaiton gained in this process be a part of a companies product or service development.

    When was the last time the product development manager of your company sat in your call center and listened to the REAL issues?

    Does anyone agree with the importance of making the information gained within the call center a critical piece of business information?

    Tim Harvey

    Chris Taylor

    What interests me is why there are so many call centres in India. Is it because staff costs are so low there (and would that affect quality).

    There is no doubt that Indians are good businessmen, although I worry that Indian operations are just there to make a quick buck.

    It’s a big step outsourcing to another continent.

    So, why India?

    Tim Harvey


    There are several things to consider when thinking about Indian call centers.

    First, when you compare the average education and experience Indian call agents have vs. their american counterparts. The average is a high school diploma for US centers and Indian centers usually have degreed people. Since the wages are lower, they can afford to stock the seats with more educated and qualified people.

    Second, most of the Indian call centers spend months in training their staff on everything from languages skills to american customer service concepts to semantics.

    Third, there is a perception and unfortunately a few bad apples have ruined the bunch when looking at business ethics and honesty. We have run into situations where a center lies about their setup and capabilities to get the business. They then use our contracts to leverage a loan to actually implement what they said they had. The owners of these centers are definately in this to make a buck, but I can see little difference in this or the first point in differentiating from a US business. Tell me that US call centers don’t overstate their capabilities and look at how to make the fastest buck. Sounds like good old fashioned capitalism to me.

    One thing I have learned in this business is that we Americans do not like seeing our own business tactics flaunted in our faces by other countries. Give the Indian call centers a chance to weed out the bad people and they will be a great resource for us in the coming years

    Charlene Marbury

    I have found this conversation very interesting. I manage a call center for American Veterans who call with medical issues and questions along with general issues of all types. The calls range from “when is my next appointment” to “I am having chest pain”, or in some cases a potiential suicide. I staff with registered nurses who follow protocols for clinical questions. I have productivity issues, but perhaps slightly different from non-medical call centers. I want my staff available, Butt…. I also want them to take the time needed to assist the patient. I am trying to meet a 95/30 service level and an not there yet.

    Tim’s comment and question about tracking the type of calls is something I do. My call center operates from 4pm to the next morning at 8am weekdays and 24 hours a day weekends and hollidays. We are available when the regular offices and clinics are closed. I agree that some times the calls we receive are an indication of a process not working as planned. As an example if a veteran calls at 8pm to ask how to use his insulin, we are a success if we can assist him and keep him safe an healthy, on the other hand the patient education given the veteran was lacking or he would not have needed to make the call.

    We track calls by type to identify system issues that we can report back the the hospital responsible for the patients care.

    Tim Harvey


    I am glad to see you are tracking the types of calls you get and how the system is impacted by them. The main point to all of this is, are you able to truly make changes to the system based on your input?

    We all know that a stack of data that no one reads or heeds is just a pile of paper. Do you or your managers get to sit with your clinics to review their procedures and recommend changes? I have seen many a problem just go unchecked and grow to unbelieveable extremes because no one wanted to listen.

    I would be interested to hear what authority you have over the system when presenting potential problem areas?

    As far as your service levels are concerned, in your line of work I would think that even helping one person survive a situation is paramount. Add more people and monitor the use of their time, but continue to focus on the end results for your veterans. I also think you provide a truly great service to the many veterans we have forgotten!

    Thank you.

    Sudhir Garg

    Hi friends,

    I was reading this discussion… and was getting an impression as is the call centers in india and china really adding cost to the company instead of value 2 the company. I am an employee of GE capital but i don’t think so. I think these international companies know what is 2 be dona and how to do the job so that the customer is also satisfied and the employee too.

    Tim Harvey


    I agree and it is well said. The point of much of this discussion is that companies may know what to do, but do they do it??

    Too many companies collest lots of data and have many procedures in place to catch problems, somtimes before they happen, but rarely do things get done that way. Employees get lazy, managers think they shouldn’t have to listen to a subordinates advice and most think they shouldn’t have to continually work so hard.

    The basic key is that no matter where the call center is, you have to listen and DO! Bottom line: those companies and centers that have efficient processes that are followed religiously, get the job done!



    Sudhir and Mr. Viswanathan,

    I have also had experience with one of the companies mentioned and the migration of our Helpdesk to India. One of my close friends is from India and we debate this topic often. I do agree that the India analyst are well educated and possess excellent work ethics. The one big problem I see with an India CallCenter is the communication barrier. To say outsource to India “without compromise” would be terribly misleading. I know first hand that internal clients just stopped calling when this India transition was completed in my company. I guess on paper, call volume or sla’s look good, but in reality I think client TCO and employee productivity are negatively affected.

    BTW – This transition didn’t affect my job, and I am not an angry employee. This is only my opinion. Thanks

    Arun Kumar


    Am an analyst doing a report on call centers in India. People compare the wage cost for employing call center agenst in India and the US. But how about the training cost? Is the training cost more expensive in India or is it cheaper? Can anyne help me in this?

    R. Viswanathan

    Hello Tim and Bob,

    This discussion has brought out lots of views and issues – and in the process, has been a great learning experience for me. I entirely agree with Tim that every country (and State?) in the world has its own population of fly-by-night unreliable businessmen out to make that fast buck – nothing specific to India.

    I have had a very bad experience just last week where a reputed, incorporated Company in California just started picking holes on our work (not the call center business!) with the only intention and the ulterior motive of evading the payment of $12,000 they owe us ; and the Company CEO informed me of this so called shortcomings in our work, after 55 days of getting the work done! he just wanted to get the huge backlog work of his clients completed in record time and my Company was perhaps one of the very few, which could handle that volume and complexity at such short notice. And the CEO does not receive my calls any more! Now that certainly does not mean all US Companies are bad ! I have some of the finest Companies and even small firms, in US, with whom we have had and will continue to have excellent business relationship since years. One bad apple does not mean that the entire garden is bad !

    I find that only pretty serious Companies in India have got into the Call center business and they are doing their best to deliver what their bretheren in US do. If you have clear cases where clients stop calling, the moment they know the contact center is in India, could you please share this with me. It would be a real great help for us in doing whatever it takes to reduce, if not avoid this alarming trend.

    I am pretty much concerned at this, since we are implementing a 500 seater call center for a top Korean group in India, to take up outsourcing business from US.

    Thanks so much for your response.


    R. Viswanathan

    Deepak Handa

    Dear pals,

    We are working hard for the last almost two years to make this Call Center boom in India a real success story. Thinking from India Inc. angle its immaterial what technology we use and what investment we make, only thing matters is that we as India Inc. shall be able to deliver the best service as expected by any world class call center.We shall prove to world that our gigantic pool of qualified professionals can turn the tide.

    Somehow I feel We are yet to learn exactly what the SERVICE is. What we experience in India in the name of service does not qualify at international level of expectation. We need do go in finer details of every bit and piece of a call center. We need to have more elaborate procedures and still more stringent guidelines to follow that procedure to accomplish any minor or major task. We need to put us in shoes of International community who wishes to outsource their business to India and thus prepare us from their point of view.

    Its needless to say that we need to think ahead to cater to not only international markets current requirement but also to their future needs.

    Lets take an example of any third party call center in India. what it involves itself is in telemarketing and other similar campaigns(Coz this is the only easily available business untill the accent neutralisation is achieved by all its CSRs/or some chat email business is appended to it). These call centers have limited them to this one aspect of business in a call center, coz they don’t think ahead. What they need to think is that if they have provision to accommodate all five modes of contact i.e. Voice(inbound & outbound),e-mail,webchat and FAX. then their call centers rather contact centers can invite a mix of all these business.This will enhance the productivity of their CSRs too. as they will no longer be into a monotonous job routine.

    These features of a call center can be planned well in advance and thus any kind of business can be accomodated very easily.

    Previously our friends used to invest huge amounts in buying heavy and cumbersome equipment, good enough to handle one mode of contact only and used to add on another heavy gadgetry to weave around their existing set-up to move ahead form one kind of business to other.Somehow I don’t appreciate it.

    what Technology is for? why can’t you use it to serve you better and faster,it helps you to change as per the faster changing times.I think its pointless to rope your cadilac behind your bulls.

    Bull is a sterdy animal and is reliable since the time immemorials, but you won’t find them pulling carts around the world, other than India off-course.

    we are doing it still the old fashioned way an thats the reason why we are not getting quality business from international market. we need to gain confidence of our clients not only by adopting their better work culture,professionalism and higher standards of service but also by employing futuristic yet cheap technology, which shall have all features of a contact center blended in one, and these features can be revoked only by changing the software key as and when the need arise.Which I feel will imbibe sense of confidence in international clients(who are already using Limos and cadilacs and will appreciate if someone will provide luxary and economy in one pack)



Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)
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