Apple Support Call to... India?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by kshkval, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. kshkval macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    #1
    I've used Macs since 1987 and have always been impressed by the quality of the American (or Canadian, same thing) technical support via telephone. It's always been a gazillion times better than the script-reading technical support I've received for non-Apple printers and such from folks in Pakistan, etc. So, I called the Apple Support number last week about my iPod Touch and got a guy named "John" in Bangalore, India. I was shocked, but impressed by the fellow's savvy and upbeat attitude. He helped me out and I got off the phone and was still thinking, "what just happened"? Since when did Apple relocate or partly locate it's technical support to overseas call centers?
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    They started in 2006, I think, although there were some false starts and pulling back from sending calls overseas. Glad to see you got a good customer service experience, though. :)

    The problem seems to be managing training of the CSRs/techs. India and other offshore locations have the advantage that they often get college-educated individuals (from relatively high profile colleges) to do these jobs -- better educated people than would do them here. But they need to be given opportunities to know the equipment. Not just read a script. Much like Henry Ford reasoned that people who make cars for a living ought to own them, themselves.

    That's particularly true now -- I mean, lots of users nowadays are used to being largely self-sufficient and trying things themselves and Googling for results. It's insulting when the cable company doesn't believe that you already tried power-cycling their router and makes you do it again two or three times before telling you there's an outage (which happened to me with a Florida cable provider in ... 2007 I think?). Tech support has to be able to deal with tech savvy and ignorant customers if it wants to delight.

    And also it should be part of a strategic growing of a company and not just a way to save money.
     
  3. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #3
    Never had any problems with the Indian support centre, they're always very efficient and able to deal with any issues that pop up very quickly.

    I can't figure out why people have such an aversion to India-based phone support, good support is good support. I've had some awful experiences with other companies phone support though they've been touted as "Australian-based." A dumb Aussie phone support agent is just as bad.
     
  4. kshkval thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    #4
    He knew his stuff

    Yep, I was impressed... I knew it might be rude, but I asked if he was script reading, something I've always hated. John told me he had to looks things up, but he also noted that he personally owned 4 iPods and 3 Macs and that the techs learn from "scratch." He also told me it was 3 AM and the weather was nice. Sounded like a nice kid.
     
  5. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #5
    Yep, same experience here, they generally know their stuff.
     
  6. kshkval thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    #6
    Thanks for the info

    Well, thanks for the info... I wondered. I found Apple India on the web. Then I googled the other international Apple Stores... I had no idea Apple was in Mali. Anyway, thank you for responding all. I guess my question is answered.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    See I think things like this too are a process improvement. It's nice I guess to have a name you can pronounce for the person on the other side of the phone. But five or ten years ago, it was common practice that "John" would be told to lie to you and claim that he lived in LA or something like that. So it's been a good change for them not to lie about things like that, since customers are naturally curious.

    (And also, FWIW, every company in tech of any size has some kind of presence in India at this point!)
     
  8. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #8
    But there's no accountability. If John is an idiot and you try to complain about it to management, which John is it? "Some guy named John gave me terrible advice and was rude." That's not going to go very far. Does management really know who is using which fake name so they can cross reference to an actual person? And hell, his name may be John on this call, and Mike on the next.

    And sorry, I still hate it when my call ends up in India. More often than not, the person on the other end has a very thick, impossible to understand accent, only made worse by poor line quality causing a lot of noise and static. It's refreshing to me when I hear them say "Hello, thank you for calling, my name is John" and I can believe that their name is really John.
     
  9. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #9
    I work in healthcare IT, and our Helpdesk was sent offshore to Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi. Virtually every agent I've talked to has had very little to no accent, due in part to the accent neutralization classes the agents take. Now, some of my fellow application analysts have rather thick accents, but they, like I, work more or less behind the scenes. We collaborate quite a bit by e-mail, and their English grammar is quite good.

    Also, our Helpdesk agents are allowed to use their real names, not some fake American name. This helps us in two ways: The customer's intelligence isn't insulted, and the agent gets to keep some amount of dignity.

    Personally, I have almost no problem with Indian accents. I've had quite a bit of practice, as I'm a fan of Indian food, and I frequent Indian restaurants and South Asian grocery stores.
     
  10. Maccin475 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    #10
    I'm pretty sure that "John" was his real name. Having lived and worked in Bangalore for 3 years, i met a lot of people that had western names (John, Matthew etc.) as South India (Esp. Bangalore) has the highest population of Christians/Catholics within India.
     

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