Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

More Call Center Jobs Moving Back to the US

August 12, 2014

When companies first started outsourcing call center operations to India, followed by other places in the world, the cost of doing business there was much cheaper than it is today. As these countries continued to develop, the high cost overseas is making many companies reconsider the downside of doing business there. While in the past they might have overlooked customers that complained about the cultural differences, today those complaints are taken to heart, which has resulted in more of them moving back to the U.S.

Until recently a third of the almost 5 million call center jobs were outsourced to many countries around the world, but that number now stands to around 12 percent, according to Mary Murcott, CEO of the global outsourcing firm, Novo 1. Murcott explained companies have been making a quite come back to the U.S. in order to fix the unsatisfactory customer service that has been delivered by outsourcing their operations offshore.

Cost still plays a great role in the decisions companies make, whether they are moving back to the U.S. or find cheaper alternatives that are now available in countries where they have native English speakers. But a variety of different factors is in essence forcing companies to move to the U.S., and on top of that list are customer complaints regarding the lack of a comprehensive understanding of language and cultural awareness that can't be taught to foreign call center agents.

According to a study conducted by the CFI group, agents that are difficult to understand were only able to resolve problem calls 40 percent of the time, while those that can be understood clearly had an 88 percent rate resolving problem calls. Customer frustration based on this fact alone has pushed corporations to move their operations back to the U.S.

It is important to note that even companies that have moved a portion of their call center operations back to the U.S. are still using offshore services to handle technical help, as well as low price, low margin item calls. When it comes to high-value customers and complex calls, also known as contextually sensitive calls, that require complete understanding of the language, they use operators in the U.S.

The role of technology in reducing the price of call center operations in the U.S. has been an important factor in being able to compete with offshore companies. Powerful enterprise-level applications running in the cloud now make it possible to hire call-center operators working from home. This has changed the pricing structure for call centers, allowing companies to access agents locally at considerable savings.

Businesses make decisions based on a wide range of issues, and at the end of the day the bottom line is almost always the driving factor. But as the cost of doing business becomes cheaper in the U.S. because of the available technology, the benefit of having call center operators here at home is far outweighing the diminishing savings they are experiencing with offshore companies.

Edited by Adam Brandt