Bangalore based Sparsh Call Centre was set up as a subsidiary of the major telecom software company IP-Trinity, with ambitious plans of becoming a significant player in the booming BPO (business process outsourcing) space. Its strategy, in line with that of its parent group, was to focus on telecom related services. Sparsh began its operations in 2002 with its first client Alfa, a US based VOIP telephone service provider and had three other accounts and employed over 400 people. Financial performance had been lacklustre and top management including Kumar, Director (Operations) was carrying out a review. Operationally, everything appeared to be fine. People management was, to a great extent, managed by sophisticated workforce management software, supplemented by supervisory actions by managers.This case is useful in highlighting the complexities of managing call centres and the unique people issues involved. This case illustrates that besides operational efficiencies, there is a need for a fit between strategy and scale of operations. In particular, high employee attrition can cause reduction in service quality as well as reduced capacity. Fast scale up of operations may be needed to make call centres economically viable. Cost effective innovative retention schemes may be needed to retain call centre staff to achieve this scale up.
Call Centre, Employee Attrition, Operational Efficiency, Scale of Operation
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