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Friday, May 25, 2007

GP Speaks in Local Dialect for Customer Service

GrameenPhone has introduced customer service in local dialects for its valued customers. You need to dial 121 (and start paying for asking for help) and press the specific language code for selecting your preferred language. Press 1 for Bangla, 2 for English and 3 for regional dialect. Once you press 3 you have the following options. Press 1 for Chittagong, 2 for Sylhet, 3 for Khulna, 4 for Rajshahi, 5 for Barisal and 6 for Noakhali district.

I tried the service myself and found it as a frail attempt to mimic the dialects. I assume GP must have trained its in-house staff, who they thought have a knack of picking up dialects well, but I am afraid the exercise still appears premature and artificial. And what intrigues me more is, what if I am a Sylheti speaking customer, opted to listen to Sylheti dialogues in the helpline and choose to talk to a Customer Service Manager? Will he/she be able to talk to me in Sylheti? If GP has dedicated call center staff ready to speak in dialects to customers willing to speak in dialects...excellent work GrameenPhone! That is called end-to-end customized service offering. However, if someone starts talking in plain Bangla (without dialects ofcourse) from the other side while looking at the script on the screen in a robotic voice, then what is the point in introducing 6 dialect-led welcome messages in the hotline? I will try to talk to a Customer Service Manager next time in Sylheti and if I don't get a Sylheti speaking voice from the other end....well...have to teach him/her a few Sylheti 'jharis'.

GrameenPhone has the luxury to experiment with service package, whether it actually serves the purpose or not. Users are still perhaps too small to dictate the terms. How about introducing one more FnF (Friends and Family) option for your prepaid customer segment GP? Is it a big ask? I would prefer having services that makes more sense rather than listening to artificial 'chatgaiyya noakhailla siloti' dialects.

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