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Advantages and Disadvantages of Call Centers for Customers

Introduction

Financial services providers including banking sector have developed their


own call centers, where trained staff handles the enquiries of customers on
telephone in a skilled and professional manner. These call centers have
some advantages and disadvantages for customers. This report describes
some of the advantages and disadvantages customers get out of them.

Advantages

1. It is cost effective way of communication for the customers. For example,


customers can communicate with a bank by sitting in their offices or at
homes to take some information such as account balance (canarabank.com)
and need not to visit the bank, thus saves time and travelling expenses.

2. Customers get a nice and consistent treatment from the call centre
attendant and they can get the information about the interest earned and
paid information on telephone (canarabank.com) and if customers think that
there is some discrepancy in the figures they can be referred to the
concerned staff by transferring the line and there the required information
will be provided.

3. There is flexibility of timing in getting the information, even after the


closing time of banks means 24 hours customer service (icicibank.com).
Services are provided twenty four hours and customer can enquire any time
by sitting at their homes. For example if a customer wants to know
information about mortgage procedure, the call centre agent will provide the
information at the same time and customer do not need to go to the bank in
bank timings.

4. Customers can check their Debit card related entries and wrong entries
can be rectified by consulting the call centre without going to the bank. The
example is the remarks of a customer from ICICI Bank. The customer
comments that,” there was a wrong swipe of his Debit Card and the call
centre followed up the matter at every step and helped him resolve the
same” (icicibank.com).

5. Customers get information about the introduction of new services or new


products from the bank on the telephone and customer can get further
information at the same time and can work on the feasibility of the usage.
The example is that customers gets a call from the bank in which call agent
explains a new policy on car leasing and invite the customer to avail the
opportunity. Customer can ask for further details at the same time and can
accept or refuse the deal.

6. Banks provide the facility to order for the chequebook through call centers
For example MCB Bank Limited provides this facility though their calls centre
(mcb.com). Customers can order for the chequebook and need not to go to
the bank. Bank will deliver the chequebook on the given address.

7. Customers can make payments to their clients through contacting the call
centers where upon providing the required information payments can be
transferred in to desired persons account. Many banks are proving this
facility through their call centers. For example Royal Bank of Scotland is
providing this facility through its call centre (rbs.com)

Disadvantages

1. Sometimes customers get poor response from the call centre agent due to
unsatisfactory interaction. For example if a customer wants to know the
balance of its account it is very likely that he may get a wrong account
balance due to negligence of the informer. Customer can not have the
option if he does not have some prior information about its balance as a
result customer can issue a cheque to a person which may be returned due
to less account balance causing a serious problem for the account holder.

2. A disadvantage is that customers left on hold for long to get the answer of
their enquiry. Customers get frustrated with such holds and disconnect the
calls. An Australian call centre study reveals that customers answer getting
time is 82 seconds, which is very high to respond (callcentres.net)

3. Customers are annoyed when they receive a call from the financial service
provider at odd times. For example if somebody is busy in an official work
and his full attention is towards the work, all of a sudden he receives a call
on his mobile phone from a call centre agent inviting to get a Credit Card
from a particular bank on certain conditions. The customer’s response will be
negative in such situation and he will close the call by refusing the offer. So
call centre agents do not have the ability to know at what time a particular
client should be contacted.

4. Customer gets only limited information about a service or product and for
detailed information they have to visit the bank and meet the concerned
officials. For example one can get the information about how an account can
be opened but for opening of account the customer has to visit the bank to
complete the formalities.
Conclusion/Recommendations

Organizations and financial services providers including banks have


established their call centre setups to facilitate the customers regarding their
enquiries answers and providing them latest products and services
introductions. Customers are getting many advantages out these call centers
with least disadvantages. It is recommended that banks should hire more
qualified and trained staff so that response to an enquiry time can be
reduced to minimum 30 seconds and they should avoid long holds.
Customers should be contacted by the call centre agents during their
relaxing hours such as lunch breaks, tea break etc, so that customers can
listen the agents with attention.

References

http://www.canarabank.com/english/scripts/CallCentreServices.aspx
Retrieved 06 June 2010

http://www.icicibank.com/Pfsuser/customer/compliment4_April09.htm
Retrieved 06 June 2010

http://www.mcb.com.pk/psc/online_services/phone_banking.asp Retrieved 06
June 2010

http://www.rbs.com.pk/Pakistan/retail/btf.htm Retrieved 07 June 2010

http://www.callcentres.net/CALLCENTRES/LIVE/me.get?
SITE.sectionshow&CALL1808 Retrieved 07 June 2010