7 Key Reasons to Choose Onshore Call Center Outsourcing
Today, more businesses are choosing onshore call center outsourcing over the offshore option. Here are 7 reasons why it may be a good idea to “keep it local.”
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, the concept itself is a cultural punchline. Shorthand for every frustrated customer service call that’s involved any number of miscommunications, misunderstanding or clash.
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 call 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 communications. 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 online, via email and through any other channel that’s appropriate.
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 and all 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.,” as Paul Stockford, the director of research for the National Association of Call Centers, told the Detroit Free Press (via USA Today).
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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