“[We] will send you a notice within 45 days advising you of the price increase,” the woman replied for the third time!
I asked, “if the price increase is effective on Feb. 15, it is already Jan. 30, and no notice has been received yet, how is it possible I will have a 45-day advanced notice?”
Then I asked, “Are you located in the Philippines?”
Has this ever happened to you while calling your insurance company, the cable TV company, or just about any provider of service and product these days? When was it decided that it was practical to send these jobs overseas? What convinced these companies that they would save money by transferring their customer service function overseas? And all the jobs lost!
Coming from sales and customer service in the semiconductor industry, I always believed that the best way to create customer loyalty and increase sales was delighting the customer by exceeding their expectations. Not just words—we had to work at it.
Today, it seems that companies prefer to focus on the bottom line, assuming that this will result in a satisfied customer, instead of the other way around!
Even though English is routinely spoken in the countries where the call centers are located, it does not assure that complex or compound questions are understood.
The example cited above actually happened to me. I was on the phone for more than 25 minutes, and I never did get a satisfactory answer. How can that save my insurance company money? If the call took five times the amount of time it should have taken, even if the cost is half or a quarter of what it normally would cost if the center is located here in the United States, how did they save money? And I can guarantee you I was not satisfied, nor will I possibly be loyal to this insurance company.
Perhaps there were other reasons for justifying the move of customer service functions overseas. I simply believe we need to overcome those rationalizations and create a climate for retaining these jobs here in the states. What do you think? Would you like to speak to someone who understands you, understands what you mean, and satisfactorily answers your inquiry? Only those who share your background, your culture can do that. This is not meant to be negative on the capability of those from another culture or country, simply a statement of fact.
Today, we need those jobs, and the companies we do business with need our loyalty!