Prologue
“Good Afternoon Sir. My name is XYZ. How may I help you?” In the past one-and-half month I have heard this statement over the phone for like a zillion times. When they say “How may I help you?” Do not think that you can actually get your job done through them. Because believe me they probably cannot help you. Let me start from scratch.

With the recent boom in the ITeS sector in India almost every company has its customer serviced by a BPO. Same goes for ICICI Bank – the largest private bank in India – ‘ICICI Bank Phone Banking Customer Care Service.’

Problem
I applied for a new ICICI debit card, which I received during the first week of January this year. But I did not receive the pin number for the new card, without which the card is useless piece of plastic. The pin number was issued to me by ICICI Bank and posted to me on 30 December 2005, but it was lost in mail.

So I have been calling the ‘ICICI Bank Phone Banking Customer Care Service’ to get a pin number. Every time I call I just could not get my job done. Either:

  • the line is busy, or
  • I am lost in the menu system and I have to call again, or
  • the customer care executive is unable to help and he/she transfers the call to someone else, and then the call gets lost in the transfer, or
  • server is down, or
  • transfer, transfer, transfer, and the call is lost.

Today, I decided that whatever it takes I will get the job done and get myself a new pin number for my ICICI Debit Card. Though I was transferred to 6 different people (in one call) and my temper was shooting as high as the Indian Stock Market Index. At last after 36 minutes I was able to place the request. Can you imagine that, it took 36 minutes to just place one request?

I was so frustrated. I even placed complain a regarding the bad service. To which I was told that “Your complain has been noted Mr. Garhwal and I will email it to my supervisor.”

Epilogue
I am not sure whether that complains will make any difference, because I guess that there are many victims of “customer care” like me, who are displeased with the service and do the same everyday as I did today. Probably these BPO received thousand of complains everyday. But I do not think that complaining will help, we – Indians – need to change our way of thinking. Service sector is growing in India. To help the service sector prosper we need to provide quality service. Who ever provides the highest level of quality service will survive and grow stronger.

ITeS = Information Technology enabled Services
BPO = Business Process Outsourcing

2 comments:

vp said...

u should read one night @ the call center, by chetan bhagat...great book...

garhwalk said...

READ A BOOK????? errr @#$%^&*( #$%^&*($%^&*(
i guess you know the only novel i read was THE GREAT EXPECTATIONS, cos it was required to read in high school. other than that I think I will need a hobby when i retire.. i will consider reading novels then.. hahaha