Caring for customers

One common complaint in the Middle East is that customer service is almost non-existent.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  September 22, 2001

One common complaint in the Middle East is that customer service is almost non-existent. If you don’t already have a relationship with a company, getting a response, be it pre- or post-sale can involve unravelling a mess of telephone trees, unhelpful operators and staff that are never in their seats.

If you do have a relationship with the company, chances are you will have the mobile number of one or two sales or support people – but getting how often have you called only to find out that the engineer would love to help you, but he is out of the country on training or on leave? And giving out your mobile number to demanding customers is hardly ideal if you happen to be that support person.

Solutions are being suggested though. The call centre is gradually gaining acceptance in the region, not just among the bigger vendors, many of whom are have already invested heavily, but now among the channel, more companies are using call centres to push support and sales to partners. Hosted services, that allow smaller companies to utilise call centre solutions are also on offer.

So do these solutions really help? Does it make a difference if your customer can get through to a call centre operative, and can they then provide assistance – or do call centres simply shift the responsibility for fielding calls away from the people that can really help? And do call centres really help you reach you customers more cheaply, or is the investment involved too high?

I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Also, I’d like to welcome Guy Mathew to CRN, he has joined the staff here as assistant editor, and he is already providing valuable input to the team. I am sure you will all have the pleasure of speaking to him soon!

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