Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
interestrateripoff

India's Call Centre Growth Stalls

Recommended Posts

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15060641

India's call centre industry has grown rapidly in the past decade, but recent research suggests it's no longer the world's biggest. Some British and American companies are moving operations back home, so what's the future for Indian phone bashers?

In a classroom above a bus station in Mumbai, a group of students is being given a language lesson.

"B-U-T is pronounced as 'but', however P-U-T is pronounced 'poot', [like foot] not 'putt'," explains teacher Stephen Rosario, as he coaches the class in how to enunciate English words.

The students, who are mostly college graduates in their 20s, are doing vocal exercises: "Cake, Lake, Take," they chant in unison, trying to perfect their accents, as Mr Rosario waves his hand in encouragement.

The lessons here at the Let's Talk academy are designed to teach young Indians to speak with a "neutral-sounding accent" to train them for work at a call centre.

The sound of an Indian accent at the end of the customer service line has been frustrating for many consumers in English-speaking countries who have had difficulties understanding or being understood.

.......

But the call centres are facing other pressures too. A job in a call centre in India is no longer as prized as it used to be, says Aakash Kadim, the owner of the Let's Talk academies.

"A call centre today is no longer a prestigious career here in India. Initially you wanted to get into the call centre industry to make quick money," he says. Over time, young graduates have become more aware of the downsides, such as night shifts and lack of career progression.

Mr Kadim says the number of people hired into jobs through his academy has fallen drastically in recent years - he now recruits hundreds of students annually rather than tens of thousands.

Seems like the Indians themselves have realised call centre jobs offer poor prospects. I wonder how much money has been wasted moving these call centres to India and then back again. Still I'm sure govt subsidy arbitrage has made it profitable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is not the accent itself. The problem is that as soon as you hear the accent, you realise you are dealing with a company that doesn't give a s**t for customer service, and you know you're in for a fight to get anything done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is not the accent itself. The problem is that as soon as you hear the accent, you realise you are dealing with a company that doesn't give a s**t for customer service, and you know you're in for a fight to get anything done.

Customer service is just a cost. Create on oligapoly in an industry and forget customer service, just watch the cash roll in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have actually had fairly decent experiences with call centres. Am I the only one. :o

Or was I just lucky ? Only one was in India by the sounds of it - and he was very efficient and spot on. So I didn't really give a toss that he was in Mumbai and not Morecambe. Another was strangely in the USA. Think it was for Elephant insurance. Again - very good service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have actually had fairly decent experiences with call centres. Am I the only one. :o

Or was I just lucky ? Only one was in India by the sounds of it - and he was very efficient and spot on. So I didn't really give a toss that he was in Mumbai and not Morecambe. Another was strangely in the USA. Think it was for Elephant insurance. Again - very good service.

BT Broadband Help are dreadful, and it's because it's BT rather than due to location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BT Broadband Help are dreadful, and it's because it's BT rather than due to location.

Never heard of them. I just find all the stories about horrendous customer service don't add up with my own experieince. Perhaps because people come out more often to complain about things than say when things are good ?

Ones I have used recently

Elephant - call centre - very good

RBS - call centre - very good

RAC - call centre - very good

O2 - in store - very good

Most of the poor experiences I have are in person rather than over the phone. Which is the opposite to what I may expect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is not the accent itself.

Its nothing to do with Accent, it's their comprehension of the english language.

Also, they don't understand the level of customer service expected and/or don't give a t*ss how much you want your peoblem sorted.

I always ask if a company has a british call center befoer I use them and I wont do business with any company that does not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest eight

BT Broadband Help are dreadful, and it's because it's BT rather than due to location.

I think it's very telling that BT retentions are in the UK, whereas their call centres for seemingly everything else are in India.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always ask if a company has a british call center befoer I use them and I wont do business with any company that does not.

Surely, you'd want a US call center. In Britain we have call centres.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience the problem is neither with the accent nor the level of comprehension of Indian call centre workers - it's the inability to think off the script. Most British call centre workers will ask a superior if they don't understand; in India they are much less likely to. An English friend of mine trains Indian call centre workers and says getting them to admit they don't understand something is the hardest part of the job - it's all to do with that oriental thing of not losing face.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience the problem is neither with the accent nor the level of comprehension of Indian call centre workers - it's the inability to think off the script. Most British call centre workers will ask a superior if they don't understand; in India they are much less likely to. An English friend of mine trains Indian call centre workers and says getting them to admit they don't understand something is the hardest part of the job - it's all to do with that oriental thing of not losing face.

Are Indians Oriental ?

Maybe you could ask your friend to stop training people to take OK based jobs. He's part of our problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are Indians Oriental ?

Maybe you could ask your friend to stop training people to take OK based jobs. He's part of our problem.

I think I have seen this very discussion before on Indians being oriental - I think it stems from a derogatory use of the term like **** for anyone remotely brown. I could be wrong. To an ozzie asians are chinese so maybe some other culture uses the term.

wikipedia:

The Orient means "the East." It is a traditional designation for anything that belongs to the Eastern world or the Far East, in relation to Europe. In English it is a metonym that means various parts of Asia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always ask if a company has a british call center befoer I use them and I wont do business with any company that does not.

Boll0x do you. You'd be doing no business in the UK if that were the case. Who provides your utilities, phone, broadband, insurance, car breakdown service, bank, building society, online shopping, etc.? List them and I'll break the bad news to you. Even the ones who do sales onshore will probably have account closures, debt recoveries, etc. offshore.

The original article is half right; Indian call centres are slowing because other countries are picking up the low-end voice work and sometimes with easier comprehension issues to solve (e.g. Philippines).

Edited by Paddles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked in a call centre for American Express for a while in Brussels, while filling in between contracts.

It's a pretty awful job, so I have some sympathy for the people who do it.

I can also say that many companies do it very badly . . . O2 was simply abysmal. I had a complaint which dragged on for months and was never resolved. With many 'customer services' centres, you never get the same person twice, they can't call you, and any e-mail follow up is dealt with by a third or fourth person and so on. You end up having to explain the problem over and over again.

I have certainly had problems understanding people . . . quite the most impossible was a call centre based in Scotland :)

I've also received e-mails from noreply@customerservice. That says it all I think.

I guess how good a call centre is depends entirely upon the company's attitude to customer service. Amex was excellent. A company like Ryanair, however, will charge a £1 a minute to even dare call them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems the Great British Public has grown to hate the sound of an Indian voice on the phone and is actively refusing to engage. A lot of companies are bringing their call centres back to the UK. The original idea: as sold to us, was that "you won't be able to tell the difference from a UK call centre." That's a laugh; not only can you ALWAYS tell the difference, sometimes you can't understand them at all.

I got into an argument with the HSBC call centre in India with a girl who seemed never to have heard of the Sales of Goods Act and since she wasn't making any sense over the phone I told her we would henceforth do business the old fashioned way, by letter. I demanded her full name and business address both of which she was very reluctant to supply. Eventually she hung up and a few minutes later someone in London called me back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BT Broadband Help are dreadful, and it's because it's BT rather than due to location.

I deal with BT on a corporate level. How this behemoth still trades and makes money truly inspires me. Imagine having to have the luxury of not just having to deal with one single point in contact, but there are several, who are more than happy to ask YOU how the work is progressing that you've asked BT to complete. Yes, I say, this is the way forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I have seen this very discussion before on Indians being oriental - I think it stems from a derogatory use of the term like **** for anyone remotely brown. I could be wrong. To an ozzie asians are chinese so maybe some other culture uses the term.

wikipedia:

The Orient means "the East." It is a traditional designation for anything that belongs to the Eastern world or the Far East, in relation to Europe. In English it is a metonym that means various parts of Asia.

In Sweden an Oriental is either...Japanese/Chinese etc. An Asian person is the same. If you are from India, you are Indian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I do. You should too. It's that sort of attitude that's made the UK a laughing stock.

http://www.callukcentres.co.uk/index.htm

Bit tricky for me, considering the line of work I'm in but if I ever lose faith in the free market and don't need a regular revenue stream I'll bear it in mind, thanks.

How far does this UK only campaign go? Where are the clothes you are wearing today manufactured?

Offshore call centres get a bad press because of the poor implementations of companies who would have done them badly onshore too.

The dirty secret of offshoring is that often it's better quality.

Edited by Paddles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bit tricky for me, considering the line of work I'm in but if I ever lose faith in the free market and don't need a regular revenue stream I'll bear it in mind, thanks.

How far does this UK only campaign go? Where are the clothes you are wearing today manufactured?

Offshore call centres get a bad press because of the poor implementations of companies who would have done them badly onshore too.

The dirty secret of offshoring is that often it's better quality.

There is no way you could possibly "buy british" for everything these days, but part of the problem the UK has is a. Money going abraod. b. Immigrants coming to the UK. Less money spread around more people + inflation = poverty for the masses. Any attempt to keep to UK based companies must help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is not the accent itself. The problem is that as soon as you hear the accent, you realise you are dealing with a company that doesn't give a s**t for customer service, and you know you're in for a fight to get anything done.

Yep...bad company, more interested in its shareholders and directors pay than their customers and employment of British workers...... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its nothing to do with Accent, it's their comprehension of the english language.

Some of it is the awful phone lines that have such cranky delays than you feel like you should be chewing your own leg off to escape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's the cold calling that's really driving people crazy- we get an average of 3 day- many being delivered in a really poor heavily accented english.

I can't bring myself to be rude to these people- they are just trying to make a living after all- but the delay between picking up the phone and the connection being made is now so familiar to me that I hang up immediately. God knows how these outfits make money though- does anyone buy a product or service from someone who can barely articulate the offer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 332 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.