After a little over two decades of marketing service jobs going overseas to save money and create a global footprint for corporations that would like to provide 24/7 coverage without having to juggle staff, the current administration’s call for more American participation in job creation coupled with customer satisfaction surveys have carved out more jobs in the United States for people who help enhance a company’s image and customer service department.
An Ongoing Experiment
If you ask management at Fortune 500 companies what the bottom line is when it comes to choosing to outsource in the United States versus overseas, the answer is normally about achieving results for routine tasks without having to provide much in the way of hands on guidance or management. Over time, cost in many countries has worked out to be not that much different from what those companies pay onshore. Many managers view offshoring as an experiment that continues to be run with different vendors in order to find a perfect fit for a pre-packaged set of processes.
On the other hand, although American-based firms were initially put at a disadvantage in this environment, they have rallied of late because many of the middle and upper management people in large corporations have already done the math as a result of working extensively with companies that provide support overseas. They are therefore open to the right mix of services and price, regardless of where it is sourced from- giving companies like Solid Cactus, a firm that provides all US-based call center services, an opportunity to show why they are so highly rated with their current client base.
Will Small Firms Follow Suit?
Although the US economy contains quite a few large firms that create a lot of economic opportunity, it is often said that the majority of business that is done in the United States is still done by small business. Like Fortune 500 firms, many smaller businesses ended up following the large companies off-shore in order to create more opportunity for their clients. The primary difference with small firms is that they tend to be more price-sensitive- so trying to get a piece of their business means that American firms need to either show that they are adding a lot more value or that they are cost-competitive.
In the realm of call centers and customer service, adding value means ensuring that there is no language barrier. The English they use must be perfect and the other languages that they support must also be sophisticated. It can also mean having a better grasp of what that company’s product and service guidelines are so that the customer hangs up the phone or leaves the chat with a positive impression of the transaction.
So the short answer is that although it is hard to match overseas call center pricing when no specialized service is involved, American-based firms are doing well by bidding for contracts that require a little more sophistication and responsibility on the part of the call center.
Whether the client is large or small, the overall trend for the past few years has pointed to more companies bringing call center positions back to the United States, something that has helped aid in the creation of local jobs in many communities.