I generally try and keep a positive outlook on life and work. Problems often arise and customer can be demanding and difficult but at the end of the day, we are here to provide the best service advice and care that we can.
Organisations much bigger than ourselves have in the past moved whole departments to far flung corners of the world in order to save costs and supposedly to improve service. Call centres off shore became the in thing over a number of years. Recently however, there has been a trend to bring back customer service call centres back into the UK and some of the best companies advertise the fact that they do not use off shore call centres.
I am astonished (and had I known a stronger word, I would have used it) that a well known, veteran company in the imaging industry has recently decided to send their large format call centre off shore. Admittedly only to Poland but off shore nevertheless. Moreover, the warehouse also moved and the fulfilment of orders is now done by a logistics company in the midlands. Did I mention that the buyers and planners remained in the UK? In a different location? Astounding!
The Effect? The call centre people are thousands of miles away from the stock. They are order takers and know nothing about what they sell. The buyers are hundreds of miles away from the stock and the sales reps are in their cars – miles away from anywhere…..
The Result? Need I say more? Remember this is a well known imaging company who put cost savings before their reputation, before their customers and before their sales targets. Their customers are upset because no one can give a straight answer, the sales reps are upset because they cannot hit their targets, spending more time placating rather than selling, and the call centre staff are upset because their English is not perfect and the English customers are really angry.
So let me make a pledge to you! We have a warehouse in North West London. Our sales and customer support people sit within 30 seconds walk to the warehouse and our warehouse team are employed by us. We strive for perfection but when the gremlins strike, we can correct matters very quickly. We will not for the foreseeable future, change any of this and look forward to keeping a close contact with our customers through the various mediums by which we communicate.
And if senior management of that company are reading this (You know who you are), take heed. Customer can be forgiving if we correct things quickly but are unlikely to give you a second chance in a hurry if you repeatedly perform poorly! Happy printing.