Suppose you are working as an operator in a call centre in India and receiving calls from Americans and Londoners. How would you handle such calls?

Case let 1

Mr. and Mrs. Sharma went to Woodlands Apparel to buy a shirt. Mr. Sharma did not read the price tag on

the piece selected by him. At the counter, while making the payment he asked for the price. Rs. 950 was

the answer.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Sharma, who was still shopping came back and joined her husband. She was glad that

he had selected a nice black shirt for himself. She pointed out that there was a 25% discount on that item.

The counter person nodded in agreement.

Mr. Sharma was thrilled to hear that “It means the price of this shirt is just Rs. 712. That’s fantastic”, said

Mr. Sharma.

He decided to buy one more shirt in blue color.

In no time, he returned with the second shirt and asked them to be packed. When he received the cash

memo for payment, he was astonished to find that he had to pay Rs. 1,900 and Rs. 1,424.

Mr. Sharma could hardly reconcile himself to the fact that the counter person had quoted the discounted

price which was Rs. 950. The original price printed on the price tag was Rs. 1,266.


1. What should Mr. Sharma have done to avoid the misunderstanding?

2. Discuss the main features involved in this case.

Case let 2

I don’t want to speak to you. Connect me to your boss in the US,” hissed the American on the phone. The

young girl at a Bangalore call centre tried to be as polite as she could. At another call centre, another day,

another young girl had a Londoner unleashing himself on her, “Young lady, do you know that because of

you Indians we are losing jobs?”

The outsourcing backlash is getting ugly. Handling irate callers is the new brief for the young men and

women taking calls at these outsourced job centers. Supervisors tell them to be ‘cool’. Avinash Vashistha,

managing partner of NEOIT, a leading US-based consultancy firm says, “Companies involved in

outsourcing both in the US and India are already getting a lot of hate mail against outsourcing and it is

hardly surprising that some people should behave like this on the telephone.” Vashistha says Indian call

centres should train their operators how to handle such calls. Indeed, the furor raised by the Western media over job losses because of outsourcing has made ordinary

citizens there sensitive to the fact that their calls are being taken not from their midst, but in countries

such as India and the Philippines.

The angry outbursts the operators face border on the racist and sexist, says the manager of a call centre in

Hyderabad. But operators and senior executives of call centres refuse to go on record for fear of kicking

up a controversy that might result in their companies’ losing clients overseas.

“It’s happening often enough and so let’s face it,” says a senior executive of a Gurgaon call centre,

adding, “This doesn’t have any impact on business.”


1. Suppose you are working as an operator in a call centre in India and receiving calls from

Americans and Londoners. How would you handle such calls?

2. Do you agree with the view such abusive happenings on the telephone do not have any impact

on business?


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