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Technological change - case study


Is it all good news?

The recent spate of stories in the newspapers of the workload of some who work in call centres has increased concern about the real impact of technology on the working lives of employees.

Pressure is put on employees to answer a certain number of calls per work period, particularly where sales are proportional to calls made. Customers complain of delays, an inability to actually speak to the correct department, which has led to increasing abuse of staff.

Some are questioning the ability of machines within an IT department to appreciate and manage employees in telesales sections. Can a machine actually understand what a human experiences when talking with another?

For an increasing number of potential customers, their first contact with a company is by telephone. The challenges presented by touch-tone systems, automated replies, lists of questions etc are not always appreciated by a possible purchaser. Neither do staff enjoy targets and unknown call monitoring. Perhaps some benefits of technology are less obvious than was first thought?


Question 1

Define a call centre

Question 2

Explain why the personnel employed in such centres are the primary concern of managers.

Question 3

Discuss how customer relations may be improved by the careful use of technology.