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7 Key Reasons to Choose Onshore Call Center Outsourcing

Finding a contact center solution that is both efficient and cost-effective can be challenging. While outsourcing customer service functions overseas lowers operating costs, it carries with it certain risks that may outweigh the savings. Onshore call center outsourcing offers an attractive alternative for organizations in need of competitively priced customer service support without sacrificing quality or reliability.

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By opting for a domestic model, you gain access to expert agents and advanced technologies while eliminating concerns related to security, cultural sensitivities, language barriers, and more. Let’s explore seven key reasons why you should consider keeping it local as part of your customer experience strategy.

What Are Onshore Call Centers?

Onshore call centers are customer service centers located in the same country as the business they work for. Onshore call centers provide many benefits including improved customer support, better security and data privacy, and reduced operational costs.

Onshore call centers offer a variety of services such as technical support, sales support, customer service inquiries, billing questions, and other business processes. These centers offer the advantage of being familiar with local regulations, customers’ needs, and cultural expectations which would otherwise be difficult if one was to outsource their contact center operations to an off-shore provider. This familiarity also allows on-shore service providers to resolve issues faster as they have access to resources at their disposal and are not reliant on external partners to provide solutions.

From a security standpoint, keeping contact center operations on-shore provides a greater degree of control over sensitive information like customer data due to more stringent regulation laws at home versus off-shore locations. Furthermore, organizations can ensure that these operations meet established regulatory and compliance standards making sure customers’ personal details are properly handled and secure.

What Are Offshore Call Centers?

Offshore call center outsourcing—or hiring a third party to operate your customer service, using agents located in another country—has become a loaded term. Not only has the usefulness of offshore agents diminished thanks to shifts in communications technologies, but the concept itself is also a cultural punchline. Shorthand for every frustrated customer service call that’s involved any number of miscommunications, misunderstandings, or clashes.

In other words, once seen as a business necessity—the lowest-cost means of delivering the kind of ‘round-the-clock service customers now demand—offshore call center outsourcing is increasingly regarded as a burden to be avoided. As Jeff Wissink writes for Baseline magazine, “what started as a way to cut costs has, for many companies, ended with a customer satisfaction issue.”

what started as a way to cut costs has, for many companies, ended with a customer satisfaction issue.

Today, more business leaders are opting to use onshore call center outsourcing, where agents are located in the same country as their customers. The numbers are significant: Citing a report from Everest Group, TechRepublic’s Alison DeNisco Rayome notes 53% of call center outsourcing contracts had significant onshore delivery in 2015, compared to 35% just five years earlier.

And as the customer experience becomes more and more important (and more potent as a tool to undercut the competition), you can expect this trend to continue: Customer satisfaction and the prioritization of technological expertise now take precedence over simple cost savings.

7 Reasons Why Businesses Choose Onshore Call Center Outsourcing

Make no mistake, there’s more than just a desire to “keep it local” behind this shift. Here are seven key areas where onshore call center outsourcing offers a distinctive advantage over its offshore counterpart.

  1. Technological Evolution. The biggest change over the past decades has been a social and cultural one. The rise of the smartphone has, somewhat ironically, reduced the prevalence of the phone calls in daily life as well as in business. Today, fewer customers choose to open communications with a phone call. More prefer to chat, text, tweet, email or use some other form of instant communication. And this decrease in voice-based communications means bargain-priced call agents aren’t as appealing within a larger communications plan as they once were.
  2. The Need for Expertise. Today’s contact center handles an entire suite of technologies, and communicating meaningfully with customers across all these channels requires a high level of professional expertise (and concurrent technological footprint) than what’s readily found with offshore options. Your call center partner should be focused not just on fielding phone calls, but also on creating proactive strategies for engaging customers through all your customer service channels.
  3. The Need for Better Quality. Customer frustration with the communications and cultural barriers that come with offshoring has long been a rub. A high-quality call center partner will provide agents who not only possess a shared cultural context with your customers but who are also trained to be experts on your business and brand. They are fully equipped to answer any questions and ensure your customers have happy experiences.
  4. The Need for Continuous Improvement. The success of today’s communications is only one relatively small piece of the puzzle. A forward-thinking, call center partner also will fit what happens today into a larger picture that leaves you truly prepared for tomorrow. And that means using proven data and analytical tools to achieve goals, such as reaching daily milestones, long-term cost containment, and continuous improvement.
  5. New Opportunities for Cost Savings. Shifts in technology also have led to the rise of the home-based agent, a model used by onshore call centers to keep overhead costs much lower than the traditional, brick-and-mortar model. And because these agents are home-based, they’re also more motivated and efficient, providing additional value for money spent.
  6. Security and Privacy Issues. The countries where offshore call center agents operate may have entirely different laws involving data security. So too may they have different standards in the technology used to block viruses or thwart hacks or other cyberattacks. Other countries typically have different privacy laws (see: Google’s ongoing legal woes in the EU) or other regulatory barriers that could lead to unexpected outages in service. Partnering with an onshore service provider eliminates all these concerns at once.
  7. The Need for Customized, Specialized Service. Onshore customer service is particularly useful for those businesses selling a product or service that has a certain level of complexity, a higher margin, or requires a higher level of technical know-how. “The higher the value of the customer, the more likely the job will be in the U.S.,” Paul Stockford, the director of research for the National Association of Call Centers, told the Detroit Free Press (via USA Today).

Components of an Onshore Call Center

An onshore call center should have a few key components to provide the best possible customer experience.

Effective communication infrastructure that enables agents to manage calls efficiently and quickly. This includes a phone system that can handle large call volumes, voicemail systems for leaving messages, and interactive voice response (IVR) systems for automated services. Additionally, these centers should also be equipped with instant messaging tools as well as video and audio conferencing tools allowing agents to interact with customers on multiple platforms and channels.

Appropriate agent education so agents are well-equipped to handle inquiries ensuring customers receive accurate information and solutions within the required timeframe. This may include providing agents access to relevant knowledge bases and briefing them on the latest products, services, or programs.

Employ advanced analytics capabilities to gain greater insights into customer preferences such as preferred communication channels, buying patterns, or other behaviors so that appropriate strategies can be put in place for better customer engagement and service delivery.

Automation capabilities such as process-driven bots (e.g Rulebots) or AI-enabled digital assistants integrated to provide a better understanding of customer data and more efficient operations. This helps in offering more personalized experiences and reducing the manual effort from agents leading to higher satisfaction scores from end users over time.

Onshore contact centers offer multiple advantages both in terms of better customer experience and cost savings compared with offshore options and should be considered when selecting a service provider for your contact center needs. An onshore call center must have the right set of technology and talent in place to help create efficient processes while still providing human touch when required, leading customers toward the desired outcomes by leveraging available resources effectively.

Are you looking to level up your call center operations? Working Solutions is here to help! Schedule a consultation with us today and find out more about the benefits of onshore call center outsourcing.

This is just the tip of the iceberg: To learn more about the benefits of onshore call center outsourcing and what it could mean for your business, we invite you to contact us today to arrange a complimentary consultation with one of our call center outsourcing specialists.

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