Ashton Deroy writes: Off shoring & outsourcing are legitimate business practices used frequent by fortune companies especially in the practice of setting up call centers. This allows the company to focus on their stock price, product development & Public image. However this has been mentioned to be a practice that economically annoys the public, antagonizes business customers and even shatters customer relationships with companies in some cases. What is wrong with the practice of outsourcing? Why is it damaging companies instead of bringing in benefits & furthering the companies?
Honesty & Transparency– Why is outsourcing perceived as dishonest? Think about it the representative is not working really to satisfy the customers. They are working to satisfy the needs or goals of the “Client”. In fact frequently when I was in call centers I struggled with seeing the line between “Doing the right thing” & “Pleasing the client”. What is created here is an environment where you try to please everyone and end up pleasing no one! The customer feels like they have no idea where your interests are at, then the client is mad because they have low customer satisfaction in some cases lower than their internal customer service teams!
(In call centers clients & company representatives rely on multiple sometimes contradicting key performance indicators to evaluate business success.)
They also randomize representatives to customers. Rather than provide direct lines which would establish connection and ensure customer resolution. This process has frequently made me think the customer & representative relationship was much too unfamiliar.
What is the better way to do this? The Employees should work directly with the client & customers. Why do it this way? The vendor has you work with company administrators who just become too many people. With a direct line to the employee/employees they can communicate common issues, trade negotiate concerns directly with the company reps & become self-empowered to resolve any customer issues.
Customer perspective “I have my favorite StarBucks Barista on Facebook! Why can’t I have a direct line to a call center rep I like?”
Over estimation of external tools – Ever supported a 24/7 call center from the cubicle position? Then you know what I am talking about! You cannot run computers, software &other machines all day every day without the systems starting to go to shit. Call centers should NOT be making a 24/7 service promise. For reasons of business limitations, human limitations and tech limitations. Besides this a 24/7 call center requires employees to often work longer hours which wears employees down & increases company churn. If you want a 24/7 operation you should be sorting it out with many call centers taking a chunk of time. Not a bunch of call centers taking 24/7. Customer relationship management software, servers & dialers also start to fail after so much time in use. Which can make it feel like you are helping people with your arms tied behind your back.
Over promising the employees – We tried addressing this issues with meetings at my last job but an over promise is an over promise if no resolution is made. So what do I mean by over promising employees? Service contracts are negotiated between clients & call center companies. It is no wonder so many service terms on these contracts are violated as some of the promises have nothing to do with company infrastructure and everything to do with how many call center employees that show up for that day! Call center employees really try to make employers aware when things aren’t working but often it isn’t enough with their personal interests contradicting the interests of the business. Often this results in the business booking employee hours that employees are not willing to complete. Which can result in employee churn & schedule non-compliance.
What could resolve this? Democratically elected employee representatives. The Union is dead in North America and it is really a shame! If someone was writing down legitimate employee concerns & taking them to an admin they might just fix some of the employee issues.
Honestly though despite the challenges of the job, call centers are the job of the future. No matter what line of business you work in you will have to provide customer support & resolution. If a center was able to meet my economic needs, or my scheduling needs. It may be the long term job for me.
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