You’re not alone hating Indian call centers. Indians hate them too, mostly because they get stuck dealing with an even lower caste of customer service representatives than Americans. The well-educated smooth talking CSRs get the prestigious jobs infuriating foreign customers, while the the untrained masses are paid basmati to cater to India’s domestic customers.
Indian call centers live and die by the responses to customer satisfaction surveys. Customers selected at random are called by an outside agency and asked fifteen questions. Of those, the only one that matters is “Overall how would you rate the agent you spoke with?” Based on the answers to that question, the call center receives a weekly score on a 1-5 scale. The call center aims for 50% of respondents to rate them a 5, the highest, and for 85% to rate them a 4 or higher. From our experience, that seems like an unattainably optimistic goal.
After calling Indian call centers, many people email us to say “You won’t believe what I just heard!” Most of these problems can be chocked up to cultural differences or inexperienced agents who have yet to master the nuances of conversational English. Our call center tipster explains:
When there’s a problem, it’s usually just a misunderstanding, or a cultural thing. Phrases that are used in India, but not the US, that make a customer think the agent is being rude. Or the agent still in an “Indian customer service mindset”. (When dealing with Indian customers it’s all about getting right to the answer, completely ignoring any attempt to make the call personal. Also, to avoid confrontation. Even if they know something’s gonna take 3 months, they always say ’2-3 days’ Believe it or not, that’s how people like their service here).
Urine Year-end statements, and the story of “Mr. and Mrs. Hymen,” after the jump…
Ever wonder what call center agents are looking at while trying to help you? Our call center tipster explains that agents have only the tools they need to access your account, and nothing more.
There’s a manual that they follow, that tells them exactly what can and cannot be done in every case. They log into several programs when they come to work.
What really happens when you connect to an Indian call center? An anonymous tipster responsible for quality assurance gave us an insider’s perspective, which we will share throughout the day.
You know the ‘this call may be recorded for quality and training purposes” message you hear? I’m that guy. I’m the one that listens, finds problems, and fixes them.
To most Indian call centers, quality assurance has nothing to do with the happiness of the caller, and everything to do with how well the agent toes the company line.
CNN has an article up, explaining the cutting-edge technological battle between the fast food chains: drive-thru automation. It will surprise none who have experienced the annoyance of trying to order a cheeseburger through a fuzzy, warbling speaker from an anonymous immigrant on the other end that the strategy these companies are banking on is absolutely clueless. What will companies like Burger King and Wendy’s be doing to guarantee a better drive-thru experience for you, the consumer? One: outsource your order to call centers, possibly in India. Two: use computer programs that guess your upcoming order.