Saturday, May 26, 2007

Call center

Call centers and customer care directly deals with a companies consumers - and so deals directly with the most important part of any business. Keeping the consumers happy should obviously be of paramount important and considering that most calls to customer care come in when consumer needs some help or are otherwise distressed about the companies services - it is all the more reason to treat them with kid gloves.
Outsourcing this to another entity, who will not feel the same involvement with the consumer, in my opinion is short sighted and foolish. Mind you, there are valid scenarios where this does make a lot of sense : but it is definitely not wise to apply this for most cases out there.
In a highly competitive environment where consumer has choice and the power to exercise it, after a couple of calls he will just move to the next service provider : and the resulting bad reputation created would effect not only the current but future customers too.

When companies started pulling back their business from call center's in India, the reasons given seemed logical to me but were disputed & rubbished at various forums.
After first hand experience for past few days, I am more than convinced about it.
Let us take two simple examples which happened to me in last couple of days:

I am used to ordering a set of specific combination of toppings and pizzas from dominos ... and for nearly 5 years now, this has rarely changed.
Of late, they refused to service this order claiming that they cant do that specific combination. If it was a change of policy, I can understand, but in between sometimes I would get my combination ... so nowadays, I insist and ask them to talk to their supervisor - after which all is well. I suspect they have fronted their calls at some callcenter.

Another incident happened today afternoon (which is prompting this post) - ordered something from pizza hut - they got my name, address, phone number and order wrong (all of them !) and I had to go about explaining it for well past 5 minutes : as with domino's, these details have been in their database for well over 5 years now. And at the end of it, I get some shoddy stuff delivered to me. On calling up the manager, he was all whining about how they outsourced it to a call-center and they are facing problems because of it, etc, etc.
Do I, as a customer, need to give a shit whether they got a call center to take orders ? If I am not satisfied, I will just move elsewhere and they will lose my business.

The above might look contrived, but I can quote many more examples from my and from friends lives which follow similar pattern.
The whole incident reminded on of an article I read a while back - of the mistakes startup's make. You should always try to be responsible for the core aspects of your business & the basic infrastructure it depends on - and should try to build & maintain it in-house as much as possible. This way, you will have complete control of the quality of service that is offered to the consumers.

And to end the tirade, watch this movie :-)

3 Comments:

Blogger AK said...

hmmm

5/28/2007 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/29/2007 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Manoj M said...

Long post, but very true :)

6/01/2007 03:18:00 PM  

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Friday, May 25, 2007

More movies !

I am on a roll ... watching some really amazing movies lately !
In last couple of days I saw :

Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
Mind blowing would just barely describe it.
This is the best animated movie I have seen ... ever !

Kakushi-toride no san-akunin (The hidden fortress)
Pretty interesting movie - acknowledged as primary influence on George Lucas' Star Wars.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
omg, this is so so freaking hilarious ! I get stomach cramps watching it :-)

My Cousin Vinny
Ok, I have seen this a lot of times already ... but in the mood of things, I watched it again. The most hilarious court room drama ... ever. You could fall in love with Marisa Tomei for her performance !!

Currently watching a few samurai movies Jôi-uchi: Hairyô tsuma shimatsu (Samurai Rebellion), Ran, Ugetsu monogatari, etc.
Also watched brainless (albeit funny) movies Anchorman, Talladega Nights among others :-)

And lest I forget to mention ... I just got nine Zatoichi movies delivered by amazon.com and Vipin just returned my Doctor Who collection (Key of Time series) :-D
For the uninitiated :
Zatoichi is the most awesome blind swordsman in this history of film making.
If you dont know Doctor Who, I cant help you much other than point you to this site. IIRC, I was attracted to science fiction through tales about him :-) (the recent series suck - the old books (and tv series too according to Vipin) were awesome though)

And I watched a documentary film on Bruce Lee - thanks to Vinay, really nice one !

So thats it, my life is going to be one movie to another !

2 Comments:

Blogger Unawoken said...

Dude, very nice. You're on a roll w.r.t. movies eh? Have you watched the other Monty Python ones (eg. The meaning of life)? They're hilarious too.

5/26/2007 01:02:00 AM  
Blogger AK said...

waiting to get my hands on those man!!! :)

5/28/2007 08:26:00 AM  

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Munnar will recover ?

I seriously hope other governments through out the world follow the example set by the current Kerala government w.r.t environmental concerns [1].
A drive has been initiated to remove all illegal constructions [2]; and Munnar has been declared a special zone where construction has been frozen.
Munnar is part of the delicate ecology of south India - particularly Kerala. In expectation of the increased land value due to it becoming a tourist attraction - indiscriminate construction, land grabbing and deforestation has happened in Munnar - thereby having an adverse effect on the entire region.

One resort demolished, five others served notice [3].
Apparently, more encroachments are to face the axe soon [4] !

3 Comments:

Blogger aadis said...

IIRC, Mount abu has had a construction ban for 10-15 years now. _No_ new construction without special permission, forget illegal stuff.

Oh, how I wish HP govt had done something similar for shimla around 20 years ago. Sigh.

5/23/2007 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger  said...

I loved that place. Sad to see it degrade, but relief at last. If govt has will, a lot of things can be set straight.

5/24/2007 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger Mridul said...

@sood
True, there are indeed wise decisions taken to protect the delicate ecological balance in various parts .... but we need more of these.
Munnar is just the latest, but slightly more high profile since the violaters are all rich and powerful politicians, industrialists, movies stars, etc.


@kousik
Munnar is amazing place to be at ! About 10 years or so back Ponmudi & Munnar were virtually untouched by tourism and amazing to visit.
Not sure of now, but the images on tv are not flattering :-(

I seriously hope they clean up the mess ... I am always reminded of Ooty : how a nice place can get messed up so fast.

5/25/2007 02:49:00 PM  

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Movies ...

For sometime now, I have been a major fan of Japanese movies ... and the number of posts on this or related topics in the past in this blog should attest to this :-)
And one of the most depressing Samurai movies I have seen to date is what I just finished watching : 'Samurai Assasin' - really remarkable movie in most respects !
I still have about 6 movies to go before I have to get some of these below -

Yojimbo
Tsubaki Sanjûrô
Dai-bosatsu tôge
Furin kazan
Hitokiri
Shinsengumi
Rashômon
Izo
Shôgun Iemitsu no ranshin - Gekitotsu
Furyô anego den: Inoshika Ochô

Any others movie suggestions ?

2 Comments:

Blogger Unawoken said...

Man! Lucky you! I haven't watched a single one of these, and I like Japanese stuff too :(
Too many things on the to-do list! :(

5/17/2007 04:42:00 AM  
Blogger Mridul said...

I just got a collection of Zatoichi movies :-D
I am going to have busy days ahead ;-)

5/23/2007 05:57:00 AM  

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Did you know ...

... presentation is available here ! (I tracked it online today - someone fwd'ed it to me a while back).
... that Manoj is married ? (Happened on friday ... there he goes ladies !).
... that scala is an extremely intriguing language ? I am still reading up, it looks really interesting.
... that Calicut has awesome food ? Ah well, any foodie who loves fish would :-) (and I am not even a foodie, much less an avid fish fan !)
... an xmpp extension (xep) by me and Rahul should be submitted soon.

1 Comments:

Blogger VKM said...

dont remind me of calicut food..i have been soo wanting to have biriyani from calicut and my mouth waters at the thought :(

5/13/2007 01:31:00 PM  

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"Jade Empire, Special Edition"

I am not too much into RPG's - not because I dont enjoy them, simply because they consume huge amounts of time ... and so have not played any in a long time now.
So, when Vipin suggested this game, I was not sure if I will be able to do justice to it.

First thing that did strike me was ... it has been a bit too long since I played RPGs :-) The gameplay experience has improved significantly (or this game is outstanding).
Let me see ... installed it at around 11:30 am on sunday, and played continuously (with a few 2 min breaks) until 4:30 am - which was when I had my 'dinner'. Played it since 3pm today (mon), and just completed it at 1:30 am (tue) - with about 3 hour break (power cuts thanks to BSEB).
As with any RPG, I spent more time doing side quests than what needed to be done !
By normal RPG standards, the game is short - but I did enjoy it a lot ... more so 'cos of the combat elements woven into the game (I am not a big fan of spell casting though I tend to be a mage when I do play RPG's usually ;-) ) - it is not the stupid slash slash from diablo.
The combat has a lot of elements of Mortal Kombat (which I was used to in a 'past life'), and some of the situations are 'almost a bit too challenging' !

Really good graphics, nice storyline, great gameplay - amazing fun :-)

4 Comments:

Blogger Noufal said...

In todays gaming world with it's lack of choices and imagination, I think RPGs are the best of the worst. Atleast they come up with *something* other than raw graphics and physics. The last one I played was Arcanum.

5/01/2007 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Moonjungle said...

I think you should get your hands on Bioware's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (ahem.... not the sequel). I'm sure that its much longer than Jade Empire. Sadly my PC conked out before I reached the interesting bits and thats what the guy who borrowed my CDs said.

Also for a more serious 'real' world fell check out Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

5/01/2007 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Moonjungle said...

BTW what was the last RPG you played?

5/01/2007 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Mridul said...

@noufal

arcanum was supposedly a bit too buggy for my taste, so did not give it a shot.
Jade empire is dead or alive meets rpg ... so it is fun :) The fights are proper combat.

@moony
dont remember which was the last one man ... diablo maybe : been quite a long time since i played any

5/01/2007 11:03:00 AM  

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