Is Moving your Call Center Off Shore Cost Effective?

There are two ways to look at the cost of your support and marketing team.When trying to gauge the cost to income ratio, sometimes you have to account for factors other than your costs and perhaps look also to your sales figures. While saving money is most often a good call, when that savings severely impacts another part of your operation, it need to be reevaluated. There was an article about a company who had made the decision to outsource their customer service call center to the Philippines. While the numbers initially penciled out, the overall effect was the company lost sales because customers and call center employees could not connect.

First there was a language barrier to deal with. No matter how well-trained a foreign operator is, there will still be an accent, and there will still be language issues, things we say in our native country that will not make sense in another part of the world. The article I read showed the company’s management took a deeper look at what the move out of the country cost them, and while it seemed the cost per call was less expensive, the conversion rate of calls to orders was dismal. It was then they decided to bring their call center back stateside.

When they began the process of moving the call center, the proposed cost per call of the U.S. Call centers was far lower than what they had anticipated. Since they brought the call center back to the states, their call to sales conversion rate has gone up considerably. The quote I most identified with was “We moved our call center off shore to save money, but it’s not good saving money if you in turn make less because we lost orders and customers because of the move.”

In the two years since this company had moved their operation to the Philipines, there have also been significant advances in the way answering services and call centers handle their calls. While there have been advances in automation, there have also been strides made in training the people who take calls to have more training, to be more in tune with the companies they service. Combining the new software and hardware plus the focus call centers have made on training their people made the decision to move back stateside a happy one.

The more input companies provide their call servicers, the better the experience will be for the end customer. A good experience will almost always translate to more orders and referrals…

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