India Based Call Centers: The Worker Perspective

July 16, 2011

ReadWrite Enterprise asks, “What’s It Like to Work in an Indian Call Center?” For an answer, writer Klint Finley turns to a Mother Jones article by an American writer, Andrew Marantz, who sampled Indian Call Center training.

With regard to overseas call centers, ReadWrite generally focuses on is whether businesses should invest them now or wait until working conditions and customer service quality improve. That question remains unanswered here, but this piece does call attention to the workers’ perspective.

Finley summarizes:

“Much of the article revolves around the cultural impact that the business process outsourcing industry has brought to India, both good (more economic opportunities for women) and bad (the potential stifling of Indian culture as call center workers attempt to conceal their identities). Here are a few interesting points:

Other key points we noted:

  • There are almost as many women as men working in the call centers.
  • Many of these workers are college educated, but are doing very basic work.
  • Some workers are encouraged to eat American fast food and listen to American music, even on the weekends.”

Treatment of Indian workers by their employers eager to westernize them is a tangled thicket.

How does this relate to search? Three points of contact.

First, search vendors talk about improving customer service. What seems to be more accurate is reducing the costs of support for the company offering help to its customers.

Second, it is not clear in my mind that brute force indexing or even more sophisticated systems do much to address the disconnect between what a customer needs and what is available to answer the question. If the answer is not in the processed content, who is kidding whom?

Third, the notion of improving a customer interface sounds great in a meeting. But the actual implementation is usually more about preventing the customer from contacting the company saying it is “customer facing” and “committed to excellence in customer support.”

Enterprise search vendors know how to address these issues. Right?

Cynthia Murrell July 16, 2011


6 Responses to “India Based Call Centers: The Worker Perspective”

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  6. Call Center on October 4th, 2011 2:37 am

    India was administered by UK but the disadvantage is they doesn’t familiarize the enthusiasm of American Culture unlike in Philippines.

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