[thechat] Say Hello to Sanjeep, Er, Sam

Martin Paul Burns martin.burns at uk.ibm.com
Fri Oct 25 04:22:00 CDT 2002

Madhu wrote:

> Many American companies find it cheaper to outsource customer support
> say, credit cards) to Indian companies because of lower labour costs. But
> Joe Consumer shouldn't know about it, hence the voice training.

Yep. ISTR BritishTelecom started an 'outsourcing to India' campaign earlier
this week.

The other reason for outsourcing globally is to help 24x7 opening hours. If
you've set your systems up right, every call centre is looking at the same
data (the mythical Single Customer View).

> >But one question: Why do Indian call centres aim Americans for selling
> >products?

> They're not selling Indian products.

And even if they were, that's export cash for India, right?

> If American Express wants to do direct
> marketing for their credit cards, they get Indian companies to do it for
> them. The Indians speak in fake accents, pretend to be true blue
> (with foreign names), and sell American products to Americans.

> (Actually, also to UK, Australia, etc., but USA is the biggest market.)

The UK is particularly interesting because we have a fairly large Asian
population who speak in a mixed UK/Asian accent (or along the spectrum
between the two ends), so the illusion is quite easy.

The best way to tell, though, is the delay caused by transporting voices
around the world, particularly with Outbound calls. The way many systems
work is that the call doesn't pop into the agent's ear until it's answered
by a person (ie not an answering machine). So although the systems are
pretty quick (and must be to handle real time conversations), add the
international delay onto the small delay in the dialer working out that
it's a person answering the phone, allocating the call to an agent, popping
the screen up to that agent and the agent starting the script, and you've
got quite a lengthy pause...


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