01664: The Call Center Conundrum

It frustrates me to no end how bad our local customer service practices here despite the fact that thousands of Filipinos work in call centers servicing other countries. From calls that I've listened to within my own company, I know that we're more than capable of providing excellent service. So it's not a question of talent or raw capability - the problem lies elsewhere.

Is it technology? Our local companies just not willing to invest into their customer support operations to provide them with the tools that they need to do the job better. Is it a process issue? Are we somehow stuck with really bad process flows such that we are unable to resolve even the most basic of issues without making customers jump through so many different hoops?

I don't quite know the answers here and I wish that I were in a role to somehow act as a consultant for various companies to help improve their customer service operations. And admittedly the changes won't necessarily be revolutionary - we know it's just a question of intelligent processes, good training and the appropriate follow-through as part of regular operations and its performance management. But for some reason we keep dropping the ball and instead we have really bad agents on the phones who don't know what they're doing and lack the confidence to deal with their customers in an efficient and effective manner.

You'd think that kind of a consulting role might be a good career for someone like me, but I highly doubt that anyone will be willing to pay. If they were, they'd have already made the necessary investments to improve their existing support operations.

We can do so much better - but why don't we? We're already delivering some pretty great service for foreign clients around the world. Why can't we turn around and do the very same thing here?