Thursday, August 04, 2005

What are you saying?

Had to call the HSBC to check my debit card status (local account). First time, I called, there was someone called Sarita speaking in a neutral accent. She didn't know much about my problem, so she forwarded me to a local guy. Now, I think they had a look at the number from where I am calling - Norwich, transferred to a guy born and brought up in some far flung village of Norfolk. The accent was so horrible that couldnt understand most of what he said.

Even today, the woman on the line had such a strong local accent, that you need to really concentrate on what is being said.

Now, clearly, even the ordinary British must find it difficult to deal with these local call center representatives on a daily basis. Even earlier, most call centers were located in Ireland (lower costs) and Irish is not something that you get used to quickly. But these guys never complained about that. But are now complaining about strong Indian accents!

One point as my cab driver told me was the lack of understanding of local culture by call centers in India while trying to decipher the information the customer is passing on. Well, that would need more training, but don't cast aspersions on the whole BPO space.
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