Thursday, 6 July 2006

How’s the weather in Bangalore this morning?

Over the past five years many large organisations have moved their call centres abroad; apparently this can bring savings of up to 50% in operating costs.
Some, discovering that their customers don’t much like finding that they are speaking to someone in another country, are closing their Indian call centres (Powergen is one). Whether this will help them is doubtful, for their customers’ dissatisfaction with the quality of the service might still apply: companies running poorly performing call centres abroad will run the same in the UK, and vice versa.

From time to time I raise a telephone query with a financial services organisation and it is answered efficiently from the other side of the world by a lovely voice with perfect diction; today it was Ruchita who spoke to me, and if ever there were an excuse for using the word dulcet, her tone provides it. I cannot be the only caller who finds it soothing at any time of the day (or night) to listen to her or someone like her gliding gently through a prescribed script before getting down to the more intimate personal matters regarding my account.

So I would not be at all pleased if this company brought its call centre operation back to England or, worse, transferred it to some other distant country such as Scotland or Ireland where the natives' way with our common language is less pleasing. My only sadness is that although Ruchita and her colleagues all sound as if they are beautiful, which some of them probably are, and as if they have first class honours degrees, which some of them probably do, they are likely to be earning a—by our standards—derisory wage.

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