Isn’t it sad – in a recent survey of consumers in London and the Southeast, top of the list of ‘things that irritate them’ was...
Overseas Call Centres! – and, even Health and Safety overkill came in at number 5 . . .
This brings about a bigger question though, which is: what is it about Overseas Call Centres that really irritates people? – Most probably, it isn’t actually anything to do with location.
When you think about the original key driver for off-shoring these critical services in the first place – in virtually all cases it was to save money – not improve the customer experience, sharpen up the knowledge base, give customers better value or to make it easier for customers to access services. The bottom line, financial benefits far outweighed any real concern over the customer reaction or long term effects on the Brand.
But of course over time, the inevitable u-turn has taken place – big Brands (many of which pioneered the mass exodus from UK based suppliers in the first place) are returning to UK Call Centres and prioritising this return in terms Brand differentiation.
Regardless of where a call centre, customer service desk, helpline etc. is based, it needs to be geared around providing the very best customer experience possible and this should be viewed as an investment, not a cost.
Fill your desks (preferably in the UK) with bright, professional, enthusiastic and well trained people; encourage them to build their knowledge; give them fast access to key information so that the advice and guidance they give the customer is accurate and consistent and get them to LISTEN to what the customer wants – then perhaps we can move Call Centres down the list of irritations or rather leave the list altogether!