Nearshore call centers vs. offshore: trying to decide?

Nearshore call center agents have a great record of providing value and client care.

Your call center agents care for your customers and your support strategy.

Offshore and nearshore call centers are nothing new. At one time or another, any company that has staff assigned to answer customer service or tech support calls and emails has wondered about outsourcing. They’ve considered whether or not it would make more sense to let someone else handle the training, retraining, quality control, and all the other aspects and costs of operating a call center. Many will have spent quite a few hours researching the options and trying to find out what others are doing.

Of course, in cases such as extremely small operations, it will be fairly obvious that the best choice would be to keep it in house. And for some companies looking at their own strengths and weaknesses, it will seem just as obvious that they should outsource. But thousands and maybe even millions of businesses are caught in between. The question becomes even more difficult to answer when they balance the question of whether to go with a nearshore or offshore call center. The pro and con columns will often run down the hall, through the boardroom, and past every water cooler in the building, but still have no clear winner. And so those companies go on with the status quo, stopping to reconsider whenever the budgets come up again for review. And if they do decide to outsource, then comes the equally big question of whether to turn to a nearshore call center or go offshore.

It can be a tough call to make. As a nearshore call center outsourcing provider, we would of course love to chat with you about caring for you and your customers. On the other hand, if our services are not a good fit for your needs, neither one of us will be at all happy in a year’s time. So, to help you assess whether outsourcing your call center to a nearshore or offshore provider might be a good idea for you, we revisit some recent survey results from the American Teleservices Association (ATA), and we’ll leave it up to you to decide.

As mentioned in our recent blog post on whether or not your call center makes you feel loved, the ATA released a survey in 2009, called, “What Are Clients of Outsourcers Looking for Now? Three questions from that survey give us a glimpse into how well call centers — and in particular nearshore vs. offshore — seem to be working.

NOTE: To keep things short, we’ve shortened the questions and simplified things a fair bit, but have done our best to keep everything accurate. Please check the original ATA link for more detail or to confirm our accuracy.

Does your call center make you happy?

The responses to this question were very impressive. A full 91.7% said that they were either “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with their most recent outsourcer. There are not many industries out there doing a whole lot better than that. The survey does not indicate exactly what factors made each respondent decide whether or not they were happy with their call center. However, the responses to one of the other questions — also shortened here but again hopefully without changing the meaning — give us a possible clue…

Does your offshore call center make you happy?

When talking solely about offshore call centers, the percentage who answered either “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied” dropped from 91.7% to 70.6%. That’s significant for two reasons. First, it of course shows that a smaller percentage of offshore call center users were happy than nearshore call center users. But secondly, it also means that, if the average of responses about nearshore and offshore call centers was 91.7%, then the percentage of people happy with nearshore call centers must have been even higher than that. Higher than 91.7%? Nearshore providers sound like they’re delivering some solid value.

Of course, it’s one thing to say you’re happy with a service provider. It’s quite another thing to keep investing in it and trusting it to care for your customers. That’s where you really get to see how happy someone is. So how did the call centers hold up? Let’s find out…

In the next year, will you increase, decrease, or keep your current call center outsourcing program?

A full 92% of respondents said that they would increase or keep their current outsourcing program. I have to admit, that’s a very high figure. Unfortunately, the survey results that we saw do not break out the responses for those using offshore vs. nearshore call centers. Certainly though, it would appear that for both groups, most companies are planning to stick with or increase their outsourcing contracts. Once again, it would appear that call centers are doing a lot of things right.

So there you go. Again, these are shortened snippets taken from a detailed ATA survey, and we encourage you to take a look for yourself by clicking on the links above if you want more information. We do believe though that they underline that value that call centers — and nearshore call centers in particular — deliver.

Now, where does that leave your company? We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to discuss your possible needs for an outsourced call center. If you want to maximize the return on your call center investment, Tacamor may or may not be the solution you’ve been seeking. But we’d love to help you find out. How can we help you?

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