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Dispose of your call centre

Ulrich Spranger
Ulrich Spranger
If a company really doesn't want to know what their customers think, then an external call centre is a great solution to shield you. Such a call centre can be in Berlin or in India, that's legal. It doesn't even need to be an external service provider, it's easily possible to assign one of your own departments to call centre duty and ideally move them to a far corner of the company premises, wherefrom no feedback can be heard.

It is also very popular to direct the call through an automated phone system: "Press one to file a complaint, press two to place an order" and so forth. Oh and: "Please type in your 18-digit customer number and confirm by pressing the pound key."

This is requested from me each time, even though the phone system can identify me via my phone number after my first call.

After selecting whether you wish to speak German, English or Indian, it follows up with: "Your estimated waiting time will be: 18 minutes". Instead of playing some music, it is recommended to bug the customer with advertisements during their 18-minute-long wait.

Expectations would soar high, if one didn't know that the person on the other end of the line who is going to pick up your call does not identify at all with the company whose name they are going to tell you (and of which they are not even an employee in most cases).

If I finally get into a dialogue, the staff member is trained to calm me down, enter my problem into a statistic and maybe help me with three or four standard questions. If that's not enough for me, I'm lost.

So: Those employees who are in contact with customers (which is almost everyone at Jarltech, for instance, because customers don't bite) should be in the middle of the company, should be allowed to communicate with all other employees in the company, to suggest solutions to the company and to demand solutions. Because in fact, they are not paid by their boss, but by the customer.

The chance to satisfy a customer through a call centre seems much lower than with the company genuinely caring about him. And if feedback only adds to a company statistic, how much of it still finds its way to product development?

Please make your call centre a part of your company. Customer contact is the most important asset a company has. Where does the idea of outsourcing this even come from?
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