Four reasons outsourcing to North American call centers makes great sense

North American call centers make your customers feel at home

North American call centers make your customers feel at home

Depending upon which news stories or blogs you happened to last read, you might be convinced that call center jobs are flooding back to North American call centers after disastrous experiences offshore. Or you may understand that offshore call centers are flourishing, picking up more jobs and contracts than ever before. Frankly, every company’s story is different. Yes, some have found a gold mine in the low prices of offshore outsourcing, allowing them to reduce costs and therefore — but not necessarily — pass along the savings to their customers. Others, however, discovered that the language and cultural differences and the challenge of coordinating a call center so far away negated the savings they had hoped to see.

If we relied only on media coverage for our information, it might be easy to forget that North American call centers — or “nearshore call centers,” “American call centers,” “Canadian call centers,” or whatever you may call them — handle millions of calls every day, providing cost savings for companies of all sizes. They generally do avoid the language, cultural, and time-zone challenges that have haunted so many offshore outsourcing endeavors. However, the problem with nearshore outsourcing is the price-tag savings are not as dramatic as those seen by sending to countries such as India and the Philippines. So why bother? Why outsource to North American call centers?

We’re glad you asked! Here are four reasons North American call center outsourcing makes sense: [Read more...]

American call centers, Canadian call centers, and your customers

A call center can be a profit center rather than a cost center

A call center can be a profit center rather than a cost center

Taking care of business ultimately means taking care of both your customers and your profits. If you can make people happy while also generating a healthy profit margin, you’ll be just fine. Of course, one of the big challenges is that it almost always costs more to care more. Customer service and profit margins don’t always walk hand in hand, so if you try to increase one, it can often drive down the other. As your high-school math teacher would have said, customer care and profit margins are inversely proportional.

That’s an oversimplification, of course, since increased customer service levels should actually lead to increased customer satisfaction ratings, which will in turn lead to more business and, eventually, higher profits. But there’s no denying that more money has to be invested in the first step well before the rewards are seen at the end. As a result, customer service investments such as call centers are often treated as cost centers rather than profit centers, and many companies have done whatever they could to drive those costs lower and lower. Hours of service were reduced. Staff training was cut back. Phone numbers were made less visible, and users were instead directed to Internet sites with prepackaged Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). And in the case of many larger companies, North American call centers were shut down, with the work being outsourced instead to some far-flung location. [Read more...]

Four ways to get your company’s New Year’s Resolutions back on track

In writingphoto © 2008 Toshiyuki IMAI | more info (via: Wylio)

Here we are just two weeks into the new year, and already some people are feeling like their New Year’s Resolutions are doomed. We started the year with a tumbling mix of reminiscing, eating, partying, fireworks, and then discussions of how the coming year will be different. That gave birth to an admirable list of New Year’s resolutions that inspired some people… but prompted snickers from others. And so it began.

When resolutions are personal — lose weight, stop smoking, spend more time with family, stop wearing that meat dress — cynics can be a downer, but they are not necessarily a deciding factor in whether or not your new vision will be realized. However, when the resolutions are corporate — improve customer satisfaction levels by 7.3%, reduce call center wait times by 12%, introduce new CRM software and train all staff by June 1 — a few disapproving voices in the crowd can be as deadly as a team of snipers.

Here are four ways to make sure your New Year’s Resolutions don’t end up on the casualty list: [Read more...]

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