Companies can save 50 to 75 percent on their call centers by putting them overseas. But does that savings translate into happy customers who will continue to buy a company’s product or use a company’s services? Apparently not.
In response to customer dissatisfaction with overseas call centers, Delta Airlines has become the latest business to return its India-based call centers to the United States. Earlier in March, SLM Corporation, the student loan company commonly known as Sallie Mae, said it plans to move its overseas operations back to the United States, pulling jobs from India, Mexico and the Philippines.
Photo Credit: http://www.ehow.com
North Carolina’s Governor Mike Easley recently moved a state-funded call center back to the U.S. from India, and CitiCards has also chosen to locate a call center in North Carolina.
The shift in returning call centers home by no means includes all companies, but the recognition that perhaps good business practices dictate actually taking into account consumer preferences rather than profits is gaining hold.
While I have had some good conversations with overseas representatives, most of my experiences have been less than satisfactory. I don’t blame the workers; they are being used to boost the profits of the corporations who have shipped the call center business overseas. They are expected to have “good” English communication skills – many of which Americans haven’t even mastered yet
I have not had to contact a company too often, but when I do, I dread hearing an accent that I have difficulty understanding. I find myself aggravated when I cannot pick out all the words spoken by the call center employee. I do my best to tamp down my aggravation since I know it is not the employee’s fault. On perhaps two occasions, I have simply hung up when the representative put me on hold to check on a question or issue.
When you add to the call center issue the fact that it is nigh near impossible to find a number anymore without pushing 10 buttons, it is no wonder customers become vocal in their protestations about their treatment and service.