An Open Letter To Volt

Thanks to the people from Volt for posting to my blog. Seeing as two of you replied to my original posting, I must have struck a nerve.

Just so you know, I have managed call centers on both the $12/hr end of the spectrum, and the $50K – $60K end of the spectrum. So I have an idea of how these places work. Here’s a few facts: When I managed call centers at the $12/hr end of the spectrum, I could not keep the best staff that I had as people at the other end of the spectrum kept poaching them. When I managed call centers at the $50K – $60K end of the spectrum, I found it all to easy to steal those people at the $12/hr end of the spectrum.

Why? I put it down to this:

1. Many of these “entry level” positions don’t have benefits.

2. The hours are long (sometimes as long as 12 hours a day).

3. The employees that I have stolen from call centers that pay these low wages report that they aren’t treated well by the employers.

4. There’s more of a value placed on getting people on and off phones rather than actually solving the customers issues (likely because the more calls that are handled, the better these call centers are paid). This frustrates the best and the brightest that exist in these environments and make them seek employment elsewhere.

The fact is that I believe that to have excellent customer service, you have to find the best and the brightest people. That doesn’t mean that you are looking for the guys with MCSE, CNA, A+ and other certifications. It means that you are looking for smart people who are willing to work hard and learn. In other words, I look for the same people you are looking for.

Here’s the difference. I believe that you need to build a coherent team that are willing to go to the wall for whomever they work for and provide exceptional customer service. The only way that I can see to do that is to pay these people wage that they can live on, have them work 8 hours a day and five days a week, give them decent benefits, and treat them with respect. When I do that, I retain staff and I’m able to gain the best and brightest from places that pay $12/hr. When I am not able to do that (because I’m paying someone $12/hr or something like that), I lose my best staff to people who pay more.

By the way, I have hired entry level people and trained them to do whatever I needed. Plus, I worked their schedules into the call center schedule so that everybody wins.

But let’s get to the central issue: Can you find a person to do tech support for $12/hr?

Sure you can.

But I believe you can get a better employee if you pay more. I believe you get a hard working and loyal employee if you pay more. I believe that you get a employee that remains committed to your company and provides excellent customer service if you pay more.

At the end of the day, it’s about hiring the best staff to provide the best customer service possible. So, while you can hire people to do tech support at $12/hr, I don’t believe that you can hire the people who can take your customer service to the next level for $12/hr.

One Response to “An Open Letter To Volt”

  1. daphne carrasco Says:

    I can tell you allot about volt technical resources I work for them and this has been one of the worst years of my life…. This company is unprofessional and the face that apple has anything to do with them is a complete joke. Please respond to me if you would like me to tell you all of the details .
    I am concidering a lawsuit .

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