Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Economic Uncertainty: Nearshore and Offshore Outsourcing of Contact Center Solutions

January 17, 2017
By Special Guest
Michael D. Mills, SVP, Call Center Solutions, CGS -

Why This Will Remain a Viable Solution for U.S.-based Companies

With the new administration about to take office, many executives are unsure of the potential impacts to their future outsourcing strategies, resulting from the new administration’s proposed economic and trade policies. The outcome of such new policies on business process outsourcing (BPO) specifically will differ across industries and functions – including manufacturing, IT support, customer service and contact center services.

While manufacturing and IT outsourcing may realize significant changes from potential legislation that would incentivize companies to decrease offshore and nearshore outsourcing, contact center services will continue to be a viable offshore and nearshore outsourcing option for U.S.-based companies. In fact, the demand for offshore and nearshore outsourcing will be due to one critical service requirement differentiator: unique skill sets.

The presence of contact service centers in Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America enable global companies to tap into specialized skills and unique attributes related to the contact center agent and support teams. These regions offer the technically certified, college-educated and multilingual employees that are in demand and imperative to success for contact center support for companies that are expanding globally. While college-educated, tech-knowledgeable talent exists in the United States, the current work culture doesn’t attract these types of professionals to customer service or technical support jobs. Additionally, this type of U.S.-based talent is often costlier than in offshore or nearshore locations. Because of the skilled talent that regions offshore and nearshore are able to attract to contact centers, outsourced customer and technical support will likely be unaffected by potential policies under the new administration. 

In addition to the unique skill sets of the agents, offshore and nearshore contact centers enable global companies to be efficiently and cost effectively compliant as it relates to infrastructure, security and data confidentiality. Contact centers in Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America are often located in tech-forward communities that are experienced in network connectivity, telephony and redundancy infrastructures, while also certified Payment Card Industry (PCI)/SOC-1 compliant, which many companies require because of the confidential and proprietary data they are handling. And, with security being “mission critical” for every organization and its customers these days, ensuring data privacy compliance is crucial.

One example of PCI compliance that nearshore and offshore contact centers can efficiently support is for contact centers that handle financial and transactional payments (e.g. credit card information). If a contact center and its employees are handling this type of information, the BPO provider must ensure PCI compliance. This includes a set of standards to ensure a secure environment for any payment-related data being accepted, processed, handled, stored and transmitted. 

While new policies under the incoming administration have the potential to affect the outsourcing industry, demand for outsourced contact centers will remain a necessity for U.S.-based companies. Contact centers in locations such as Eastern Europe and Latin America will continue to flourish because they offer the skill set, infrastructure and security that organizations require – whether they are expanding their business globally or seeking to enhance customer service support.

About the Author

Michael D. Mills, senior vice president, call center solutions, CGS, has led BPO related organizations specializing in technical solution design and development and project/transition management delivery for more than 20 years. With his diverse client industry experience, Mills has been working with various global companies, helping to develop best practices for their worldwide organizations.

Edited by Alicia Young