What Is "Quality Assurance" To An Indian Call Center?

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.

Our tipster explains, after the jump…

I have no power when it comes to how the process is handled, but if I see something is causing problems, I can send a complaint up the totem pole. My focus is just on helping the agents communicate better, and offer better solutions within the framework that the company provided.

Western corporations retain call centers and provide them with clear service guidelines that spell out what resolutions can be used in a given situation. Agents are closely monitored to ensure that these guidelines are followed.

There are lots of people who screen calls. Most are from a “quality” standpoint, or how much the calls fit the guidelines set by the client. There 2-3 people on site who do that, and another 2-3 in the US, working for the company itself. For each agent, they monitor around 5-10 calls per month, depending on whether that agent has had problems, or how new they are. My monitoring varies widely. Sometimes I listen to around 10-20 calls a month for each agent, but once I’ve gathered enough info, I’ll focus more on training.

Though agents are monitored and metrics are tabulated, the structure of call centers prevents the adoption of consumer-friendly changes.

The thing about any corporation like this, and the thing that causes most of the problems in customer service, is that there are just so many people doing so many jobs, that no one quite understands the hierarchy. I mean yes, each department has a head. That head has a boss that presides over the whole building. Then he has a boss that presides over all outsourced centers. Then he reports to the guy that runs all the call centers. But around that are so many team leads and managers, and supervisors, people in quality, training, quality & training, that no one really fully understands what is whose job. I’ve never actually met the man who is technically my boss. Anything I need to get done gets passed through so many people at so many sites while they try to figure out whose job it is, that it takes months.