An assessment of outsourcing of offshore call centres on customer service: a case of Barclays bank Zambia.

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Nkonde, Zillah
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The University of Zambia.
Call Centres are important channels of communication in an organisation as they are the first point of integration between call centre agents that represent the business and customers. Therefore, by correctly seizing the opportunity of any given call, a Call Centre can bring benefits not only in terms of improved customer service (efficiency), but also in terms of increasing market share (effectiveness). The study sort to assess outsourcing of offshore call centres on customer service as most studies have not yet examined impact of offshore call centres on customer service. In order to address this gap, this study explores the different types of call centres, challenges faced by Barclays bank Zambia and discuss what would help the organisation grow in market share and at the same time deliver excellent customer service. The study was based on 125 bank customers and purposive sampling was used in the study. Descriptive statistics and correlation were used to analyse the data. The results show that the call centre is a very important aspect of customer relations as all the customers sampled indicated that they utilise the call centre line for various services. Further, the study revealed that customers experienced some challenges while using the call centre. About 57.4% of the customers experienced challenges using the call centre with connectivity failures on their MTN and Airtel, and long waiting periods. Some network providers like Zamtel were discovered that they were not toll free like the other two networks, making it expensive for some customers on the network to contact the call centre. Other major challenges experienced were language barriers and cultural differences between the call centre agents and customers. However, it was discovered that the district of residence of a customer, gender, age, level of education attained were not related to customers having challenges with call centre agents giving the country’s geographical information but a customers’ position in their company was loosely related to this challenge. On the other hand, the district of residence, gender, age and level of education attained of the customer were related to them having challenges with language barrier and cultural issues. It was therefore concluded and recommended that creating a local contact centre here in Zambia would help so much in alleviating these challenges and improve the customer experience.
Thesis of Master’s degree in Business Administration – Management Strategy.