No matter how much popularity social media stirs, there is no replacement for a live human conversation. The more complex the inquiry, the more important a live phone call becomes. Sure, web self serve or email for simple inquiries can make sense. But they do not equate to a well handled productive phone call. Voice is recognized as high value, and professional conversations lead to customer satisfaction and ultimately profits. Call centers are not going away. They have been coming home. Welcome home!
Customer Experience Calling Offshore
It can be annoying when you call a company to order a product or you need tech support and you end up talking to someone on the other side of the world. Sometimes the accent is so heavy you have to keep asking them to repeat. This just drags the call out longer. In some cases it’s clear the agent has been trained to continually call you by name…over and over again. I find this interesting (among other things) especially when they are pronouncing my name wrong every single time. Of course that’s not to say offshore agents aren’t helpful…but these calls tend to require more patience and time.
A Tip to Get Back Home
If you are in the situation described above, simply tell the representative very politely that you’d like to be connected to someone in the United States. You may have to say it a couple times if they don’t understand you, but it’s always worked for me. There is no reason to be rude, just nicely request to be transferred. I’m hoping the call center statistics will show management that some customers prefer to talk with someone in their own country.
Starting to Sink In
Outsourcing American jobs to save money has been going on for years – but the tide has been turning. I called an 800 number recently to ask a billing question. The agent answered with something like, “This is Julie from the Fargo call center, how may I help you?” I said wow, really? You are in Fargo, ND? I love that! It was just great to be talking with someone closer to home.
Why Contact Centers are Moving Back
Technology improvements, higher cost of doing business overseas, and the fact that customers appreciate local service are 3 of the many factors that are pushing call center jobs back home. There are many sources of information about this trend. Here are just three:
Chuck Ciarlo, Contact Center technology expert, gives some interesting statistics and sums it up well here: “5 Reasons Why Contact Center Jobs are Coming Home”.
Frank Witsil, with Detroit Free Press, talks about call center jobs in America and explains the trend in a USA Today article: “Call center jobs increase as more return from overseas”
Here is a good 3-minute news video and article published by Willow Cherry Computer Solutions “Why Call Center Jobs Are Coming Back“.