Monday, June 14, 2004

The Accent Factor

Despite the acquired accent and alias being used in calls by call centres in India, the customers calling from overseas single out the Indians. It is the accent of these Indian call centre employees, which is the give away. They listen to the accent of their accent and want to know, where they are located. In fact, they seem to be aware that these call enter employees are not from the U.S.

Earlier these Indian call centre employees were supposed to hide their location, but now the company policy has changed and if the customer overseas inquires, the call centres in India disclose their identity and location.

Indian accent is easy to single out, but at the same time U.S. is a multicultural country having various accents itself. In U.S. itself the accent of a person residing in Georgia is so different from that in Pennsylvania that they do not react abruptly to the Indian accent, but the Indian intonations and jaw movements are so different from theirs that it is easy to identify an Indian call centre employee and therefore they want to know where do these call centre employees belong to.

While someone is focusing on neutralizing the accent, other is concentrating on a global accent. Thus there is no unanimity on the usage of accent in the call centre industry in India so far.


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Call Center-The Forbidden Fruit

The lure of money is making youngsters drop out of college to take up jobs in the call centers. According to several parents, their children working in call centers blow money on the latest cars and cell phones, while they struggle to save money. Some youngsters working in these call centers project a kind of behaviour, which is shocking for some conservative Indian families. And though some of these young generation is very well aware of the fact that their family life, social life and health are getting affected, but they are ready to compromise and still want to stick by their call center jobs due to the monetary benefits.

These customer relations executives are part of the call center industry expected to employ more than one million people and account for $25 billion in exports by 2008. These call centers may well force a tradition bound country to rethink its age-old social conventions.