Should you choose to outsource your Help Desk - you can find a directory of domestic (USA/Canada) Call Center Service Providers at http://www.camx.ca/call-center/info-319-current-members_ang.cfm?envoyerRecherche=envoyerRecherche&motsClesRecherche=&provinceRecherche=&x=5&y=11&ServicesInclus=Help+Desk
But before you consider sending your Help Desk work overseas - just ask your friends & neighbors about their Call Center experiences.
I’m sure that some of your friends will tell you that they’ve occasionally had the experience of dealing with a Help Desk Agent based in the USA who was clearly a poor fit for the job - and who delivered a poor caller experience.
But when it comes to describing their experiences dealing with a company that has shipped their Call Center work overseas - the vast majority of your friends will tell you that they generally have a hard time understanding – or being understood by the Help Desk Agent – and that their call is typically being handled by a ‘script reader’.
The Help Desk Agent is your ambassador to your technology users. The human voice of the Help Desk Agent provides your company’s human face. Much of the time when your customer calls it is because something has gone wrong. If the caller cannot understand the Help Desk Agent due to accent issues or communicative style - the problems are compounded. The caller can become agitated and your company may wind up losing a customer and future sales. In the present economic environment, just hearing a foreign accent could trip that trigger. Losing dollars chasing dimes is not a wise long-term Customer Support Strategy.
Corporate Social Responsibility is considered an important factor in business success today. Companies are thinking twice about employing workers in countries with poor human rights records - or lax labor standards such as India.
Ask your friends what they think about the exploitation of Labor. Call Center workers in India experience abuse/exploitation to a degree/scale that would be viewed as criminal in some cases by our Courts of Law. For example; Indian Call Center Agents are treated as 21st Century ‘cyber-coolies’. They work graveyard shifts - under high pressure – in work environments where liberal attitudes to sex & club drugs are encouraged & thriving. Colluding employers have set up ‘Blacklist’ data bases - containing the details of their employees - so that “negative insider elements” can be detected at the recruitment stage. Workers are fired without so much as one cent in severance pay.
Overwhelmingly your friends will tell you that they want to speak with a Help Desk Agent from their region - who is typically better able to serve and communicate with them. Probe a little deeper – and they’ll also tell you that they’re opposed to shipping Call Center jobs overseas to begin with.
From the Jan. 2010 Issue of Site Selection: “Offshoring calls to India works in very limited situations. Interaction with clients and understanding the culture & environment of clients doesn’t work very well at all. The direction of the industry is to bring these customer facing jobs back to the USA.”
The latest Labor Market Outlook from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development in the UK: “UK companies are bringing back call centre operations to the UK from India. Most of the companies that we deal with are looking to keep call centre staff in the UK wherever possible because there is a significant increase in the level of service and customer satisfaction provided.'
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