BT's onshoring call centres scheme continues
Bringing jobs back from India
BT's aim of bringing call centres back to the UK continues to make progress.
A Reg reader was told by a business broadband support line that all support for that part of BT's business should be back in the UK by next May.
The telco never promised to bring back all its support functions but said last July it aimed to onshore as many as 2,750 support jobs back to Blighty. BT has some 11,000 support staff already in the UK.
The news was warmly received by shareholders at BT's annual general meeting.
The company said at the time the move was not about customer service because standards were very similar around the world.
A BT spokesperson said in response to our questions: "BT will continue to focus on meeting our customer needs with a balanced resourcing policy. This has meant we have less of a reliance on India than we once did but continue to deliver Technical Help and some specialist services from India.
"Our primary goal remains delivery of No1 for Customer Services whether from UK or India."
The Indian call centre market has been under pressure for some years from cheaper competitors in Africa and parts of Asia. The recession and rising unemployment both in the UK and US has meant it is also coming under pressure from the countries it has been providing services to. ®
Here is what I do....
... if when I get a cold call from some company offering me a service and I believe that they are based in India then I ask:
[me] Hi, sorry to interupt but can you tell me where you are based
[operator] Oh yes, COMPANYXYZ is an English company
[me] Yes I know where COMPANYXYZ is based, but where are you?
[operator] I work for COMPANYXYZ sir.
[me] Yes yes, I know that. But where are you located? Where is your call center?
[operator] I am in Deli
[me] I see. I'm sorry but our country is experiencing an unemployment problem so I am not interested in dealing with companies that offshore their services when our country is in need of jobs. So thank you for calling, goodbye.
[operator] Goodbye sir
Its not verbatim but its a close enough paraphrase of the conversation.
My objections appart from ethical grounds is that I find Indian call companies provide substandard service as I frequently do not understand the operators and they are so keen to please they say "Yes" to everything which often hampers a conversation further.
Saying that, I got a Scottish guy at DELL a few months back. Didnt have a clue what he was saying but at least he did resolve the issue super quick.
Its a start, but ...
Bringing call centres back to the UK is only a very small part of what needs to be done by the average UK business.
The first priority has to be to ensure that the call will be answered promptly, by a PERSON not a machine, and that the person answering the call will be able to deal with at least 90% of the calls to that number without having to consult with somebody else or pass on the call to another department.
I'm no longer a BT customer so I'm not sure whether BT is still a criminal in this respect. But in other businesses there's far FAR too much wholly unnecessary "press X for XXX" nonsense. If you've got more than one department, then publish *separate* numbers for each department and don't waste people's time asking them to "listen to the options carefully because they may have changed".
A Dell, not a Research Machines PC ? You see, our country is experiencing an unemployment problem....