Onshore Vs Offshore Outsourcing

      

Onshore Vs Offshore Outsourcing

Adam -blog

Back in the early 2000's, outsourcing was all about working more cleverly and shipping calls off-shore to save money and improve business costs.  Everything was great - call answering times dropped, companies protected their profit margins and sleeker call handling processes were put in place.  The only trouble was the customer was not happy, with surveys by loyalty specialists Surveylab suggesting that more than 90% of customers were fed up and wanted to deal with a UK call handler.

The main issues identified were language barriers, cultural differences and, to some extent, honesty as companies were reluctant to promote the fact that their "important" customer calls were being handled in foreign call centres.  Coupled with the growth of technologies and reduced costs at home, gradually UK orientated companies returned to having their calls handled within the UK.

But it appears that this was not enough.  A recent trend has emerged for "localised outsourcing" as companies explore the option to have their calls managed within the same region as perhaps the company HQ is based or associated.  Although there may be a strong case for localised sourcing in some sectors, such as manufacturing, where agglomeration economies can take effect, when it comes to call handling perhaps the pendulum has swung too far?

The answer lies in what a company's outsourcing objectives and strategy are.  If it is a high volume, low value international business then perhaps an off-shore call centre is most appropriate and equally for smaller regional businesses with traditional values, perhaps a local solution provides the answer.

The reality, of course, is that most businesses are somewhere in the middle.  Customers are genuinely important, unnecessary costs do need to be removed but, most importantly, organisations want competent people to represent and reflect their business when dealing with customers wherever they may be.

In the last few years we've seen the growth of cloud computing and telephony integration (CTI) all of which have brought speed, convenience and better connectivity between client and outsourced partner. The improvements on services have lowered the cost for companies while improving service and efficiency, all without the need to go off-shore.

 

When it comes to call handling, the need for regional or provincial support is less acute, because there is little difference between calls handled in Durham or Dover.  What clients do notice is the quality of people working on the business and their understanding of their customers' needs, wants and desires.   When this is achieved with a chosen outsourced call handling partner, then the pendulum will have swung into the right spot.

Written by Adam Tilson at 09:32

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