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Fortnightly dope

In or Out ?
How many times have you heard a BPO employee cribbing about his job? Chances are, that he/ she must be in an outbound process.

To deconstruct the BPO lingo, ‘Outbound’ means calling people and persuading them to buy things – the same way you receive stupid telemarketing calls on your mobile. Yes, here you convince and sometimes even beg people, to buy your product. And you end up feeling like a loser, if at the end of the day you don’t meet your ‘targets.’ Yes, there is SPH (Sales Per Hour) to achieve, and also at the same time AHT (Average Handling time) to keep an eye on. Which, simply put, means the average time you take per call. Whoever said a BPO job is simple, hasn’t been in a outbound process! Every word you speak is being monitored, so if you lie just to get a sale, your ‘quality score’ will suffer a setback.

BPOs like Zenta are usually not preferred as they are totally out-bound call centres. US customers, on an average, get 10-12 calls daily. There are times when the moment you say “Hello”, people hang up, so an outbound process requires loads of patience. And you have to be really alert – minor goofups or stammering can lead to the customer hanging up. This stress is one of the major reasons why so many call centre workers are addicted to smoking and caffeine.

If selling is not your cup of cappuccino, then you better look out for a job in an ‘inbound’ process. Incoming processes are considered to be more safe and less stressful, as people call you, for help. But everything has it’s own pros and cons. Even while you’re trying to pacify a customer regarding his phone bill, you see the red light blinking, which indicates the next waiting call in the queue. And one might end taking 200-250 calls in a shift. Preeti who earlier worked in Ocwen, once fainted on the operations floor, exhausted due to the very high volume of calls. And sometimes, you may have a bad day (or night, depending on your shift), if an irate customer abuses you on the phone. Inbound or outbound, the job’s not ‘easy money’. But which job is??!!

Over time
The so-called bandh, after the Ayodhya attack had no effect on life in Mumbai. But BPO workers paid a price. At Intelenet, in the TransUnion process, employees whose shift ended at 6.30 in the morning were forced to stay and sleep in the company premises. Reason: they did not want to suffer any losses due to employees not turning up, citing the bandh. And the next morning they were asked to do the 12.30 am shift. Other employees too had to do a never-before 10 hrs. shift. Employees were pissed off, but helpless.

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