Call centre hot line

The first call centres appeared about a quarter of a century ago

The first call centres appeared about a quarter of a century ago, with more than 80 percent of American companies and banks now using this convenient option to gather market research and feedback.
The first call centres appeared about a quarter of a century ago, with more than 80 percent of American companies and banks now using this convenient option to gather market research and feedback. The tradition also took root in our country.

At National Bank’s call centre

Several years ago, such a centre was established at the National Bank. The organisation was eager to receive feedback from customers (larger entities and individuals). The ‘hot line’ proved popular, stirring trepidation among banks, which wondered what truths citizens would share. In fact, most of those who call wish only to ask practical questions: in particular, which banks offer the best saving and borrowing rates.

The National Bank tells us that, last year, its call centre accepted 16,900 calls, with about 10,500 coming from ‘ordinary’ citizens. The most common subjects discussed were the activity of the regulator, currency transactions, instruments of payment, and the system by which savings are assured. Some wanted to know which banks are subsidiaries of Russian financial establishments, perhaps inspired by news of the financial crisis in Russia.

For some time, a significant number of complaints have related to citizens’ obligations in paying loans taken out by relatives. In cases of the borrower losing their employment, the bank will turn to the guarantor of the loan, who has countersigned the contract.

The National Bank notes that increasingly more cases are being recorded of borrowers suddenly becoming insolvent: more than 6,000 such rang the call centre last year, with most requesting information on the structure and operation of the National Bank, as well as currency regulation and control, the reception of foreign currency credits, and the procedure for advance payments.

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Approximately 41 percent of calls concerned currency-exchange (purchase and sale of Dollars and Euros) as well as the exchange of damaged banknotes, and of rare currencies and coins. Another 20 percent of conversations concerned transactions with jewels, while 19 percent of callers asked for information on National Bank services: instruments of payment, money transfers, traveller’s cheques and transactions with banking payment cards. Some also complained of relations with commercial banks.

By Alexander Benkovsky
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