A LoyaltyLobby reader, who previously worked for IHG at one of their US contact centers, dropped me an email email today that IHG was closing both Salt Lake City and Charleston centers and moving the functions to Jamaica and Dominican Republic.
Number of IHG employees from Charleston went to Santo Domingo recently to train these new third party contractors without knowing that their own office would be closed.
Here’s response that I received from IHG spokesperson regarding the contact center closings:
We made the difficult decision to wind down our Charleston and Salt Lake City call centers. We recognize that any decision that impacts our employees’ lives is difficult, which is the reason we are committed to treating our people with dignity, fairness and respect through this process.
A review of our central reservations operations has shown that these centers continued to experience staffing challenges leading to lower overall performance. While this is a difficult decision to make, it is in the best interest of IHG, our hotels and our owners. We’re executing a strategy to partner with a well-known third party vendor that will effectively and efficiently staff these reservation operations moving forward.
While both centers will wind down operations by November 2018, we will maintain a small team of guest relations specialists including our executive liaison team and a test lab in Salt Lake City.
IHG has big call center in the Philippines that many members have fixed feelings about (and I have written about it too).
It is really difficult for call center employees to provide adequate service if they lack the cultural connection to the callers and never get to experience the product by themselves.
Call center employees in the Philippines make $500+ per month and apparently the salary what these contractors in Santo Domingo get are roughly $3 per hour without benefits.
It is good that IHG retains the executive liaison (Michael Lawyer) and guest relations specialists teams in Salt Lake City that deal with issues that guests experience at their hotel.