خدمات مشتری در مراکز تماس بریتانیا؛دیدگاه های سازمانی و ادراک کارکنان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21012||2002||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Volume 9, Issue 6, November 2002, Pages 309–316
The 1990s have witnessed a dramatic rise in consumer demand for, and hence provision of, call centres in the UK. Central to the success of call centres is customer service. Although there exists an ever-expanding tranche of literature on call centres and customer service, it primarily focuses on aspects of their functionality. In contrast, this article encompasses analysis of organisational perspectives and employee perceptions in its review of the contemporary nature of customer service in UK call centres. Drawing from recent, exploratory research, the article asserts that, in general, there is significant potential for improving customer service and satisfaction through the medium of more sophisticated employee management practices.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Call centres are a relatively recent phenomenon in a market led culture of consumerism and consumption. They purport to offer instantly available and gratifying products and services and, as such, can themselves be viewed as a post-modern motif in the nature of their offering. In an ever-expanding and increasingly competitive operating environment, customer service is a critical success factor for UK call centres. Because of the unique medium of service exchange in call centres, callers’ impressions of the company are based largely—if not soley—on the nature of their service encounters in the first instance. Thus the performance of the front line staff, the agents, is of heightened importance. In addition to product cost, which is often compared to those of other call centres, it is evident that customers’ main demands are for value for money and call centre convenience in access. Beyond these characteristics, it appears customers’ wants include the features of agent friendliness and efficiency in a service exchange that at least seems to be non-standard and to involve the agent's active listening. Should call centres consistently include these characteristics in their service offering, not only will their reputation for service quality spread, but they will evidently enjoy something of a service differentiation. For within the context of the empirical work, some service gaps are stark. Only in one case organisation, Alpha Insurance Services, is there overall congruence between the organisational perspectives of the service offered, as indicated by the customer and senior managers’ views, and employees’ perceptions of the levels of customer service they give. Indeed, even in this organisation both the senior manager and employees participating in the research admitted that their service standards are not always consistent. Compared to the inclinations of staff to provide quality service and customer experiences of that service in the other two case organisations, especially in Bravo Insurance Services, however, the standard of customer service in Alpha Insurance Services is conspicuously high. Neither of the senior managers interviewed in Bravo Insurance Services and Charlie Insurance Services seemed aware of either their employees’ or customers’ dissatisfaction with the customer service, despite the close monitoring of agents. These mangers, in contrast, believe that, with some exceptions, their companies achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. That these service gaps exist in the call centres studied, strongly suggests that there is an opportunity for competitive advantage for their competitors if they can achieve higher levels of awareness and success in customer service. Moreover, if the organisations studied are representative of call centres is general, it may well be the case that there is significant potential for improving customer service and satisfaction across the call centre industry. Consistently achieving customer satisfaction when relying on employees who are typically bored by and stressed in their jobs is challenging. However, there is little evidence to suggest that senior managers in call centres are adopting a strategic stance on this important employment practices in the call centre industry run counter to the general development and direction of human resource management principles and practices. Embracing more contemporary human resource management strategies and practices in, most notably, job design and employee development, may, ironically, be the route by which call centres can achieve customer satisfaction. Despite the growth of the call centre industry in the UK and the need for ‘urgent attention [to be paid to] the running, staffing and management of call centre operations’ (Bailey, 1998), the research attention devoted to human resource management in call centres is insufficient, just as it has been the USA (Frenkel et al., 1998). Research work has recently started on developing human resource practices that support customer service in call centres, most notably on recruitment (Dale, 1999; Whitehead, 1999) and training (Brown, 1998; Bailley 1998; Davis, 1999). However, further investigating human resource management approaches and policies in UK call centres still constitutes one conspicuously viable direction of further research (Brown, 1999) which should be of interest and value to call centres. Another more abstract, but nevertheless worthwhile, new direction of research would be an examination of the significance of call centres in the context of postmodernism. Research in both directions has the potential to ensure greater congruence between organisational perspectives and employee perceptions of the customer service imperative.