What are call centres? There is no universally accepted definition of the term ‘call centre’. However, a possible definition, suggested by the Health and Safety Executive, is:
Call centre – a work environment in which the main business is conducted via the telephone whilst simultaneously using computer equipment (often linked to the internet).
The term covers parts of companies dedicated to this activity (such as internal helplines) as well as whole companies. Call centres employ ‘call handlers’ and many call centres use ‘hot desking’. Call handlers (also known as customer service advisors/ agents/associates) are individuals whose job requires them to spend a significant proportion of their working time responding to calls on the telephone whilst simultaneously using a computer.
Hot-desking is when computer and telephone work-stations are not assigned. For example, some call handlers may sit at any work-station within their team area; sometimes, other call handlers sit anywhere in a call centre and not necessarily with their team; some even hot-desk within a shift, sitting at different work-stations before and after a break. (source: Education Scotland)
Task 1 - Define the following: a. Call Centre b. a call handler c. hot-desking
Task 2 - Locational Factors What are the locational factors that determine where call centres can be set up. Take a copy of the diagram to the right and use he headings to help you. Task 3 - Why switch to India? Watch the first five minutes of the 'Diverted to Delhi video and make notes on what the Indian workers have to do to be able to work in a Call Centre. Then scroll to 16:50 and make a note of the reasons why Call Centres have relocated to India.
Task 4 - Thinking Geographically You are going to be completing a 'Thinking Geographically' exercise where you will be required to think about the issues affected. Click to the right to access the work sheet.