In the past week I’ve been visiting our facilities in Delhi and Jaipur and I have been really impressed by the way our team in India is working. I don’t mean in a typical sales pitch type way that our people and processes are better than the competition – I personally haven’t visited India for seven years so it was really interesting to see how much the market has matured in that time.
What I mean is how much India is now just another part of this global customer service industry. The negative headlines of a decade ago all talking of customer service jobs vanishing to India seem anachronistic now because so much has changed.
First, consider the marketplace itself. The companies who initially rushed to send customer service jobs far offshore have now seen that it doesn’t work for every process. Customers call a helpline for many different reasons and sometimes it is very important psychologically to know the agent is nearby, sometimes it is the knowledge of the agent that matters far more than their location.
So the companies themselves have started appreciating this a lot more than before, but customer service itself has become a lot more complex than it was a decade ago. Many new channels have arrived since then and most recently social media support means that customers are being supported transparently in full view of other customers in real time.
And what I found in India on this visit was an appreciation of all this. Customer service in India is no longer about having a warehouse full of people answering the phone, the industry there has grown and adopted the methods being used across the world.
There have been mixed messages coming from the Indian BPO sector recently with some analysts talking about the enormous market share (37%) and continued growth as some talk of decline in terms of how much other nations are growing and snatching up work that might have come to India a few years back.
I don’t believe that either of the strong growth or decline arguments need to be supported, but one thing is true, anyone with an interest in customer service visiting India today will find people who can rival any service anywhere in the world. It is no longer just the case that India has the most people working in customer services; they are now clearly among the best in the world too.
Photo by Prada Dearest licensed under Creative Commons