While Google is great at a lot of things — artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud services — it is royally terrible in the customer service department. After years of pain and suffering, the company may finally be ready to tackle this problem head-on. Following up on a pilot program that started back in 2018, Google is greatly expanding its effort to improve customer support by hiring thousands of its own representatives to answer calls and troubleshoot product issues.
Google released a blog post on The Keyword earlier today detailing its plans to move customer service roles away from third-party vendors in favor of building in-house teams. By the end of 2020, Google promises to have created 4,800 internal customer support jobs, which include the 1,000 agents that are already working within Google’s Operations Centers. To house the anticipated influx of employees, Google will expand its Indian and Filipino offices, in addition to building a new Operations Center in Mississippi.
This is undoubtedly a step in the right direction for the future of Google’s customer service efforts, but it arrives at a precarious time for employee relations. The company has increasingly found itself caught up in organized walkouts, internal conflicts, and a controversial decision to pay the father of Android to leave the company following sexual harassment accusations. With four ex-Googlers now determined to file charges against their former employer with the National Labor Relations Board, the way the company treats thousands of new low-level support agents is likely to draw enhanced scrutiny.