This is the second of a 3 part introduction to outsourcing.
Offshore call centres have their place in business. As I mentioned in my last post, outsourcing can be a great way to lower wait times, increase efficiencies and defer to experts in improving customer experience. With offshoring, efficiencies and savings will be greater, especially when support is outsourced to places like Bangalore, which is home to the largest, state-of-the-art call centres in the world. The cost advantage is tremendous, since wages and cost of infrastructure are relatively low. Again, in theory, the savings is passed on to the customer.
When given an opportunity, these support reps can handle most issues with efficiency. However, the offshore call centre is still in the business of making money, so ultimately the blame for poor support should rest squarely on the shoulders of the business they represent to you.
Management and drive for customer satisfaction comes from the business that has hired the offshore company. It will vary depending on the contract between the business and the offshore company, but in most cases the business has the final word on which reps can be their voice.
When you reach an offshore call centre (you can usually tell by the background noise, quality of the phone line, or accent of the reps), stick to your game plan. You have called in to get help, so stay focused.
A tip for my readers is that skill sets are different and sometimes others are more suited to handle a particular issue. Accents vary. Understanding different accents also varies from customer to customer. If you are not progressing on an issue (don’t wait an hour) or are having trouble understanding a rep due to their accent (don’t wait more than a few minutes), you are fully within your right to politely ask to be transferred to another rep. They will comply.
I’ll review outsourced call centre behaviour in my next post…
Readers: What has been your experience with outsourced call centres?