Calling the Customer - An Industry Analysis of Call Center as Business Process Outsourcing Providers

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GRIN Verlag, Feb 14, 2005 - Business & Economics - 135 pages
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Master's Thesis from the year 2004 in the subject Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance, grade: 1,3, Maastricht University, course: Diplomarbeit, 68 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: This thesis focuses on call centers offering their services to companies, which choose to outsource customer contact. The goal of this study is to portray the industry and establish key success factors. Several environmental and organizational characteristics are depicted and the influence of two important aspects is outlined as they are the personnel and trust as a key factor governing the client relationship. The results suggest that the outsourcing call center industry is driven by the need of flexibility, the strong connection with the clients and trust as a basic requirement. Companies operating in this business tend to show signs of maturity, pay much attention to the management of the human resources, and combine leveraging their core competences globally with adapting flexibly to the clients’ needs and wishes. When managing the workforce, the agency theory applies. Hiring, training and monitoring processes are therefore of crucial importance and need to be adjusted carefully to the services offered. Continuous observation and adaptation is vital to the call center’s success. Pinpointing and targeting the training needs and fine-tuning the monitoring system are imperative. Surprisingly, when looking at the client relationship, the principal-agent problem does not exist, since the success of both partners it tied together very strongly. Trust and integration are therefore the main factors driving this success. Trust is assessed by using Numan’s (1998) framework, which focuses on balancing complexity, risk, control and uncertainty with trust, which in turn is shaped by beliefs. These relationships are found to hold true in this industry and the importance of trust reached the highest value available, when questioned. The main goal of a call center is to provide such an excellence service to the client that it becomes indispensable.
 

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