Reply To: BA Outsourced UK Call Centres

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I missed this topic first time round, so I’m going to chuck my thoughts into the ring.

Let me first say that in my previous and current role, I have and still regularly work with outsource companies. My thoughts on Outsourcers are based on those years of experience.

The role that outsourcers play within my business is critical to the success of my company.
Although, their numbers are significant, they are still in the margins, allowing us to flex our model when demand dictates. Therefore we have a workforce that can be there for our customers when we require them., thus benefitting our customers.

And when I interact with the management teams at our partners, they are always accommodating and are more than happy to accept our corporate values within their business.
Their employees working on our account are trained and expected to live our corporate values and deliver the same service level as my internal colleagues. .

And now the reality ……..
An outsourcer makes money by paying minimal wages to build an already tight profit margin , and are generally just interested in “bums in seats” to ensure they meet our request. I’ve actually caught one ex-company fiddling the figures by ghosting staff, and worse filling seats with totally untrained people. .
Attrition rates at outsourcers are generally high, resulting in almost continual back filling, so not only is there little loyalty to the company paying their wages, there’s even less loyalty to us.
On more than one occasion, I’ve gone on “walkabout” by myself, blending in to the background, listening to team leaders rubbish my company to their team, and stating to their team, that it’s our fault their work conditions are what they are. Commonly heard, is that internal staff are paid and treated much better than they are.
Thus driving jealousy and resentment with people talking to my company’s customers.

These outsource companies that I visit are global organizations with their own corporate values and tag lines, exuding an outward appearance of professionalism and willingness to deliver excellence..
To finish, after one particularly bad visit, I had to take 4 colleagues who were supporting and upskilling to a pub, allowed them to vent about their negative experience with the staff and had to point out that normally as a client there is a veneer of respect and collaboration demonstrated when we appear on site, but actually as soon as us pesky clients leave the outsourcer they’ll revert to type, so don’t let them get to you……..It’s just the nature of the beast !!

Finally, as far as Indian call centres go, I’d suggest that the culture in India dictates that you’re more likely to find people taking pride in their work, as opposed to what I’ve experienced back here in blighty.

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