March 17, 2005 2:38 PM PST

Dell to open new India call center

Dell plans to open a third customer contact center in India later this month.

The contact center, like two others Dell is already operating in India, will handle telephone calls from consumers in the United States and elsewhere around the world.

The new facility, located in Mohali near the Chandigarh metropolitan area in India's Punjab province, will have 300 Dell employees at first, company spokesman David Frink said.

"If we're going to develop markets, we certainly ought to develop their people as part of the process."
--Kevin Rollins, CEO, Dell

The center is being opened to support Dell's huge growth of late. The company is now the world's largest PC maker over Hewlett-Packard. But Dell has experienced growing pains in the recent past, causing some customers to criticize its service and support.

The company's India operation has, at times, been at the center of those accusations by both consumers and businesses, with each sometimes complaining of lackluster service. Dell responded by taking measures such as rerouting some tech support calls from businesses to its U.S. support technicians. Company executives also have said Dell invested in more training for its India staff. As a result, Dell's support has recently received better marks from businesses. Executives say its India service also has improved.

Dell, along with other large companies, has been chided for hiring numerous employees overseas, making the move to open a new call center in India a potentially controversial one for the PC maker. But the company's top executive has shot back at those charges by pointing out that it also has added numerous jobs in the United States.

Kevin Rollins, Dell's CEO, said he feels it's important for Dell offices and factories to be located close its customers for logistical reasons. The cost of moving a PC around is much higher than the cost of building it, he has said.

But Rollins also feels strongly about raising the standard of living in the emerging markets Dell enters by providing good jobs to locals.

"If we're going to develop markets, we certainly ought to develop their people as part of the process," he said at an appearance in Boston last November. "Our model is to get close to the customer. It's not offshoring to go to India. It's going where the customers are."

Dell's employee roster has risen by about 9,200 to around 55,200 employees, with the majority of those people, about 30,600, located outside of the United States, according to the company's latest annual report. The figures reflect international growth--a major engine for Dell's overall growth. But the Round Rock, Texas, PC maker also has established several new facilities near customers in the United States of late.

Its next PC factory, for one, will be located in North Carolina. Dell recently broke ground for the plant, which it expects to begin turning out desktop PCs in September and to employ about 1,500 people within five years.

The company also has opened a call center in Oklahoma City, along with a distribution center in Westchester, Ohio. In addition, it has added customer contact centers in Edmonton, Alberta, and in San Salvador, El Salvador, within the last year.

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Do not Wish to talk to a foreigner
I'm sorry, but when I need technical help, I want to speak to someone whose mother language is English and has a similar cultural background as me, so they can better relate to me. If you want to ship these kind of customer service jobs over to Canada, UK, Australia or any other English speaking country, then fine. But not India.
Posted by jaximflash (236 comments )
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Dell's Mixed Record
I give Dell management credit for creating some new jobs here in the U.S., like their new factory and call center. It's probably more than their competitors are doing. On the other hand, it pains me to see yet more new jobs, like this call center, being created overseas.

Yesterday afternoon I drove through Sunnyvale to do some shopping. It was so depressing. Office park after office park half full. Entire office buildings empty. "For lease signs" all over the place. The most action was taking place at Lockheed/Martin, which is getting fat DOD contracts. Yahoo has 3 low-rise buildings, but the Broadcom building across the street sits empty.

I stopped at Fry's and it seemed like there were more sales staff than customers. It feels like a neutron bomb hit Silicon Valley. The buzz is gone, the energy is gone, and unemployment "officially" is up to 6.2%.

So Dell, instead of opening your next call center in a 3rd world country abroad, open one here in a 1st world country that is rapidly descending. We have 1st world jobs going out our front door and 3rd world jobs coming in our back door. This is not a sustainable economic model. Where are your customers of tomorrow going to come from?

Keith
www.techcando.com
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
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Out Sourcing Tech Support --- ???????
As a small business who repairs many of Dell's PCs for their customers who do not have the expertise or want to tackle the process of pc repairing their pc, I have experienced the fustration of many of the people who have called Dell Technical Support. I have heard from many of my customers the horror stories and fustration of trying to communicate with someone they cannot understand. I have called Dell Technical Support on many occasions to handle warranty work for my customers only to talk to some one who speaks broken english and has a very heavy Indian accent. Yes, it is VERY fustrating when you cannot understand what the technician is telling you what to do. I have even been hung on or conveniently disconnected when they cannot resolve the issue. Why not open a tech support center in the states for the many small business who do warranty repair work for Dell's Customers?
Posted by (1 comment )
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Dont buy a Dell PC
buy one from LDP Computers <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.ldpcomputers.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.ldpcomputers.com</a>
You get:
higher quality merchandise*
US Citizen tech support that is knowledgeable and friendly and its 24X7 free phone support
a 3year warranty on you entire PC parts and labor
IF we cant fix it we'll issue you a new PC (you pay for the shipping)
we'll beat any price you bring to us from a major PC builder EG:DELL HP GATEWAY
All of your software and OS is pre updated with all the security patches all you do is plug it in and turn it on
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
Offshoring call centers
hey...
I see the problem with offshoring call centers. I guess the customer facing portions of any business are critical and therefore outsourcing them isn't the best idea. All I have read on these forums are people complaining about the accents, broken english and bad support in general. Despite this, companies like Dell continue to open massive offshore customer centers in India. So, is it possible that some people do get satisfactory service from these centers? I'm just curious. Anybody with a "pleasant" offshore-tech-support-call experience?

If a large percentage of calls aren't handled satisfactorily, then these companies are indeed sacrificing long-term customer relationships for short-term cost savings.

Also, would persons with bad(offshore) support experiences care to post the most important problem they faced? (was it the accent? was it the fact that they didn't 'get' what you were saying?)
Chandrashekar(Chandra)
Posted by (5 comments )
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Dells Call Centers
Well Dell Lost a customer last week. I had researched a notebook and needed some info on installed software.
I could not get thru to ANY BRANCH Of customer service on telephone or live chat so I emailed !st reply was gibberish and second suggested software the exacr opposit of what I needed to know about.
Went to a super store and bought a HP.

This was not the rist time I had a problem with the Indian CSR so theya re now history OH and what is worse os MS Philipino call center
Posted by MajorCB (14 comments )
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Dell does not care about customers
I recently bought two computers and a television from Dell. Never again will I spend a dime on Dell.
On both computers I had to call customer service for different reasons. With the first problem the customer service call was routed to India and it was bad, very bad. They never did resolve the issue and I had to find the answer through their web site.

The second issue was the worst problem I have ever had with any customer service. Between the poor english skills and the truly bad attitude (one rep actually asked "What do expect us to do about it?") they did absolutly nothing except insult, transfer calls leading to the inevitable hang-up or disconect. This was for a $300 overcharge caused by calling Dell to upgrade an order and having the rep in India add an extra $300 to the total. It became a quest to try to get the overcharge corrected, but it turns out once India gets a hold of the order only they can handle any galls on the order. I made 20 calls and none of them even came close to caring there was a problem.

Not only will I never buy another Dell, but the friends who ask my opinion on computers will be steered well clear of Dell. And I get asked a lot.
Posted by (1 comment )
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If you want a positive experience buying from Dell...don't buy from Dell
When I think of customer service I think of receiving thoughtful, friendly help that surpasses basic assistance. I know this because I am a customer service representative for a company that is well known for providing excellent (May I brag?) technical product support in a field not related to computers. Any company that provides excellent customer service offers the most information up front to ensure that things will work out smoothly in the end for both parties. Over the past 3 days nothing has gone "smoothly" with my attempt to work with Dell's call center. Every night I have ended my evening with a phone call to Dell's call center attempting to make an address change so our PDA can be delivered and received. It wasn't until the 4th telephone conversation did the information get recorded and changed for correct delivery. Finally they sent the information via e-mail (which they said they would do on the 1st phone call). See, we work during the day therefore no one is home to sign for receipt of the item. As we all know if no one is there to sign for the package it gets rerouted to the UPS center. Funny thing is...my husband and I have hours that don't match the UPS center. So how are we supposed to receive our product?

It matters to most of us that jobs remain in the United States. It's also important that we talk to someone on the other line that cares (or at least demonstrates it in their voice) about our situation instead of making us feel powerless. Outsourcing or not outsourcing...anyone reading from the screen with no emotion does not generate security. Feeling like you've just been taken through the ringer with no tools to fight back is the worst experience anyone can have. That's exactly how I feel right now. Helpless...

Dell is big enough that they probably don't have to worry about my little venting session...but I definitely won't be buying my PDA through Dell. Lucky for my husband I've been the making the phone calls for him. Funny thing is I was in the market for an Axiom...looks like I'll order from PALM...

Oh, they said they'd send me a free printer for our painful experience...we'll see.
Posted by martinismojo41 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
I think Americans can be downright cruel!!! We need to love and have patience for others. Have you ever heard of the Pavlov's Dog Theory... Bell rings, dog drools. I wouldn't be surprised that when the phone rings for the customer service reps that they cringe to think that it might be a nasty American. I just totally had the coolest convo with a rep and actually was able to ask him about Jesus!!! So neat. To think, he didn't even own a Bible. I have never known anyone personally that didn't have or own a Bible. He was one of the nicest guys I have talked to in a while! Lets be patient. Maybe we learn a little bit in the process.
Posted by jesusluvsyouandme (1 comment )
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The problem with you American people is never read the terms and conditions of the sale , I worked with Dell outside America , and this is the other side of th coin , put yourself in our shoes , " do yo believe how funny is getting a call from a woman asking for her yahoo password and she belives that we as tech can easy get it? what about a man who thinks that the power button is the windows start menu? what about the lady who thinks that the television will work without an antenna and withoout a cable box or service &gt; what about the customer who enjoy going to xxx sites and gets viruses and want them removed from the system without Dell having installed them? what about the nice caller that gets error 404 page can not be displayed and after conferencing with comcast the csr informed called that he has not payed his monthly bill for the last 3 moths? and what about all those caller that don't even kwown what they are doing and don't even take the time to read the book.... Give a break and those smart callers are the first one asking for supervisors .... My advise to you guys is be gentle with your offshore tech cus the have the tool and the easiest way to get read of you people is the magic release button and you will be more than welcome to call back and stay 20 minutes waiting for another tech, So play smart , and never mention the word frustrated just because your Limewire is not downloading fast (that's peer to peer BTW) frustration is getting pay $ 1 per hour living in a third world country and still having a job dealing with rude people thinking that the cd tray is a cup holder and that is broken or just spilled their largo coffe inside the system. Best regards to all of you and sorry for my broken English.

Desi
Posted by blackmindboy (1 comment )
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