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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Trend: Outsourcing: McD's Drive Thru Call Center

I am not sure that most Americans fully understand the impacts of globalization on local market production.

McDonald's is experimenting with Drive-Thru service that outsources the order taking to a 40-person call center in Santa Maria, CA then sends the order back to the local restaurant.

No more local teen employment, and another strike at the economic stability of the working poor and middle classes.

According to a feature in NY Times:

The people behind this setup expect it to save just a few seconds on each order. But that can add up to extra sales over the course of a busy day at the drive-through.

While the call-center idea is in place at over 40 locations throughout the US, and has received some attention since a franchises began testing it 18 months ago, most customers are still in the dark.

The new service, currently experimental, reduces costs by centralizing customer service operations within a set of skilled and more precisely trained individuals.

The remote customer service center is subject to typical efficiency pressures. "Software tracks [their] productivity and speed, and every so often a red box pops up on [their] screen to test whether [they are] paying attention. [They are] expected to click on it within 1.75 seconds. In the break room, a computer screen lets employees know just how many minutes have elapsed since they left their workstations. During peak times, operators can take anywhere up to 95 orders an hour.

Money saved through this cost efficacy can be re-directed towards other facets of customer service and superior product innovation, like...hmn. Um. Well.

McDonald's is joined by the owner of Hardee's and Carl's Jr., CKE Restaurants, which plans to deploy a similar system later this year in restaurants in California.

And for the operators, another bonus. One worker said after work, "I don't smell like hamburgers."

AKI COMMENT: Ironically, the current McD's commercial campaign features celebs like Carl Lewis and Macy Gray thanking McD's for their first jobs when they were kids.


Tim said...

That might seem like a funny example, but when I read The world is flat by Thomas Friedman I realised that this is actually changing our world by now. Interesting book with a bunch of really scary outsourcing scenarios.

Web2earn said...

Hello and thanks for the opportunity to post on your blog.

I believe call center and answering service outsourcing is the way to go for many US-based companies who want to cut down running costs and thus increase their overall profits. However, one of the main issues that needs to be dealt with is that of staff training. There are a lot of professional call center training courses that are destined to be attended by the call center agents in order for these people to be more efficient and to be more specialized in their jobs. Most of the call center operation staff is composed by call center industry managers with experience in telecommunications, information technology and business development. Call centers are normally providing a whole range of external services, such as: call center services, contact center and help desk towards the biggest companies in the whole world.

In case you wish to read more about this I invite you to read my study on outsourcing call center services

Warm regards,

M. Rad

Danielle said...

I do agree with you, nowadays, call centers are now providing lots of services that helped other companies in outsourcing their specified services. Thanks for sharing this article to us. It is indeed an interesting one. More power!


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