In an article entitled Foreign Call Centers Phone Home, David Muir of ABC News notes that call center jobs are beginning to come back to the United States. After having some 600,000 jobs move out of the country in the 80s and 90s, employers are now asking whether you can really save that much money by going overseas.
“Is it really cheaper if it takes two calls to handle that customer?” asked Mary Murcott, CEO of NOVO1, a call center company located in the United States. “I can do the math very quickly and tell you it’s more expensive–that job offshore.”
This article continues by stating that the advantages of being back in the United States. Today, simple questions can be answered online, so the questions coming into a call center are more difficult to answer, and require better communication skills and product knowledge. Questions are more often answered up front and not deferred to others, creating a greater wait. And a better service experience can ultimately result in upsales of additional products or services.
But the question of whether it’s cheaper or not to do the job here or elsewhere should never be the question. World-class companies ask, “What will provide the best customer experience possible?” That may include addressing all the issues addressed above. It may even include asking what is ultimately less expensive to the customer in the long run. But it’s focusing questions on the customer experience and not on the bottom line. Not doing so is what got companies in trouble when they went abroad a few decades ago. And it won’t be any better simply by moving the work back home to the United States. You simply must ask, how can we create the best customer experience possible?