CALL CENTERS

S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst
, PAGE

Aug 04 - 10, 2008

Call center is operated by a company to administer incoming product support or information inquiries from consumers. Outgoing calls for telemarketing, clientele and debt collection are also made. A call center is often operated through an extensive open workspace for call center agents, with work stations that include a computer for each agent, a telephone set/headset connected to a telecom switch, and one or more supervisor stations. Large businesses use call centers to interact with their customers like banks, utility companies, mail order catalogue firms along with customer support for computer hardware and software. Call centers use a wide variety of different technologies to allow them manage the large volumes of work. These technologies ensure that agents are kept as productive as possible and that calls are queued and processed as quickly as possible, resulting in good levels of service. There are 516 call centers which are operating in registration with Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB).

COMPANIES IN PAKISTAN & INDIA

CALL CENTRE COMPANIES

S. NO

PAKISTAN

INDIA

1

5C Alliance

Varshyl Company

2

AbsoluteXS, Inc.

24/7 Customer Philippines

3

Alt-Source

24x7 Live Chat

4

Call Central

3CLogic

5

Convergence

3D Networks

6

CRI BPO

Aaronz Connect

7

eWings Global

AB eMediRec

8

Faisy Solutions

Accrue Convergence Solution

9

Geneis BPO

ACCU-SWIFT

10

Green Apple Source

Acron Media

Source: Call Centre Directory

INBOUND CUSTOMER SUPPORT SERVICE

Inbound customer support center caters to all customer support needs. Its main purpose is to have an attentive customer service staff which ensures, that while customer is away, all the customer service calls are answered promptly, courteously, and professionally. Inbound customer support services is inevitable for any organization who wishes to be successful.

OUT BOUND TELEMARKETING

A host of International companies have set up telemarketing services and call centers to outsource customer support and telemarketing at very low costs and in an efficient manner. Offshore call centers offering telemarketing services help customer turn to the potential candidates into clients, and these clients/customers into advocates. A focus is required on building an enduring bond by using a personalized approach that provides the value addition which is necessary to maintain and grow the client.

SALARY

SALARY IN PAKISTAN

DESIGNATIONS

DOLLARS

Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer

5,436

Sr. Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer

9,392

Project Manager, IT

15,162

Network Engineer

5,745

Data Base Administrator

8,581

Human Resources Manager

10,937

Civil Engineer

5,846

Source: Pay Scale


SALARY IN INDIA

DESIGNATIONS

RUPEES

Sr. Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer

499,586

Project Manager, IT

939,032

Information Technology Consultant ( IT)

534,698

Project Manager, Software Development

998,871

Team Leader, IT

604,689

Source: Pay Scale

ISSUES OF CALL CENTER

Currently, there are many issues which need proper planning in order to manage call centers. A few of these issues like call center noise hazards, planning for failure of equipment, need for flexibility in meal times and lavatory needs, need for job variety and training, job exhaustion along with stress and staff turnover. There are so many positive attributes of the call center industry in Pakistan, but in spite of them, the industry is not picking up. †The cost of utility is so high, the process of import is very cumbersome, expensive and visa constraints on international employees and investors and lack of mass awareness of this industry by government /private media, which today is absolutely necessary to motivate our educated youth about the potential of the industry. There is no training subsidization by the government. We also lack IT enabled infrastructure and more importantly there is no support or encouragement from Pakistani missions abroad. Overseas Pakistanis have also developed a non-cooperative behavior from business houses towards call center. The issue of availability of abundant brokers is a menace that are out to make money out of Pakistani call centers, by offering failed schemes and there is no check on the part of government on such middlemen. Moreover, there is no facilitation from investment bankers and banks on financing the call centers.

FUTURE OUTLOOK

No doubt, the call center is an innovative technology in Pakistan. In Call centers employees have to work in night hours. This Technology provides economic growth in Pakistan in order to reduce unemployment. However, in Pakistan people are facing many difficulties because most applicants are unable to speak much less hold a conversation in English but our neighbor country India, has a strong English speaking middle class. Call center industry in Pakistan can be successful only when the government would ensure good IT enabled infrastructure, good human resource, creating a vibrant image of call center career among the youth and enabling financial institutes to understand the concept of call centers. Last but not least, the Pakistani missions abroad ought to realize there primary task and that is by creating new economic opportunities for the country.