Why call centres should be kept in The United States
Call-centres.com is 'location-neutral' in that we don't publish opinion pieces from a variety of sources regardless of whether they agree with our own opinion or not. Below is a recent example of a US company suggesting that call centres should not be outsourced overseas. Of course, the company producing the article have a vested interest in keeping call centres within The United States.
Bad telephone brading is exemplified by many irritating situations that are commonly encountered when making a call: no answer, busy line, an abrupt 'Hold Please', voicemail 'jail', or an overseas call center agent you can't understand, just to name a few. Most companies cite cost savings as the reason for offshore call center outsourcing. However, Sound Telecom, a leading provider of USA-based call center services, asks if cost savings is worth sacrificing quality and branding image?
While overseas outsourcing can be appropriate, it is repeatedly fraught with problems that greatly outweigh the simple goal of getting the work done for the lowest price.
Here are 8 reasons why it is typically a bad idea to outsource call center needs to a call center located overseas.
1. Language Barrier
The problem here is simple, callers do not want to talk to people who can't understand them and to people they can't understand.
2. Cultural Barrier
Hey, let's face it; cultures differ in many ways. Our traditions, colloquialisms, holidays and customs are as difficult for overseas call center agents to understand as it is for us to understand theirs.
3. Privacy Issues
In today's world of heightened security requirements; what's more important, cheap labor or exposure to security issues? It is vital to consider sending sensitive customer information like social security, financial and medical data offshore. While privacy laws are relatively new in the United States, they are almost nonexistent in many foreign countries.
4. Security Issues
Even in foreign countries that have legal protection for data theft and security issues, the actual numbers of prosecutions are minimal. Also, in the United States new-hire background checking and interviewing is common, but that is not always the case in many foreign countries.
5. Regulatory Issues
An offshore service provider may have the contractual obligation to protect data for USA citizens, but there is no statutory obligation or cybercrime law which hinders or prohibits law enforcement assistance or prosecution for callers or the outsourcing company.
6. Poor Customer Service Training and Skills
Talk with a veteran call center professional or consultant and learn that overseas call centers seek customer service and skill training from the USA call center industry. There's a reason for that! This is epitomized in the amusing movie Outsourced starring Josh Hamilton and Asif Basra.
7. Accessibility for Training and Onsite Visits and Oversight
It is difficult, expensive and untimely to send team members to an offshore location for the valuable interaction and collaboration needed between outsourcer and outsourcing teams.
8. Geographical Dislocation, Political Instability and Political Considerations
Offshore call center outsourcing is complicated by unfavorable disparity in time zones and time reference. In addition, there is potential for political instability in some countries and the political ramifications of moving USA jobs overseas.
While cost savings is the compelling reason to outsource call center services offshore, the wages paid offshore call center employees are increasing, gradually providing more impetus to leave the business in the United States as the wage disparity gap closes.