Are you considering outsourcing your customer service to an overseas call center?

You’re not alone.  It’s becoming very common for businesses to explore outsourcing overseas. There are attractive opportunities for saving on equipment and labor costs. You may even reduce your management and spatial needs.

While there are clear advantages of external call centers taking your calls, overseas outsourcing has significant downsides that many people overlook.

Keep reading this article to learn the biggest pitfalls of outsourcing to an overseas contact center.

1. Less Control

When you outsource your call center needs to another country, you have reduced insight and direct communication. These changes translate to less control, as you have to rely on other people (who you most likely don’t know) to keep things in order without your guidance.

Of course, outsourcing certain business processes is commonplace, but when you are considering outsourcing work to a completely different country it makes the process more cumbersome.  Your customer service is in the hands of a foreign company and you must depend on their ability to manage every aspect of their business.

On top of the loss of control, you may have to make a big effort to help them adapt to your business, quality of service and other needs.

2. Communication Issues

Call center outsourcing comes with the risk of serious language barriers. Your customers probably won’t be happy if they have to talk to someone whose English isn’t very good.

Overseas call center workers with thick accents or very limited English-speaking abilities are far from rare.

Your customers will experience a lot of frustration if they must struggle to understand or be understood by call center workers.  The end result is a subpar customer service experience.  And, if you outsourced your customer service because you were hoping to improve customer retention, providing frustrating customer service experiences isn’t going to produce the results you want.

3. Trust Issues

Aside from the fact that your customers might have extremely frustrating interactions with foreign call center operators, there is also an overall bad perception of overseas call centers.

Unfortunately, over the years many scams and SPAM-type phone marketing campaigns have utilized offshore call centers.  As a result, these overseas operations have a negative stigma attached to them and your callers might have an inherent distrust.

Additionally, it’s important to know what federal regulations affect the type of data that you expect a call center to handle for you.  If you aren’t careful, you may be breaching customer confidentiality laws when you outsource to a foreign call center. Depending on your industry and the associated data, this can be a crime. Foreign contact centers might not even be aware of U.S. legislation and therefore cannot help you avoid legal issues.

If you need a call center, using one in your own country will make it much easier to comply with rules and regulations.

4. Less Focus

When you outsource your customer service to any third party, you risk a loss of focus.

Your own in-house call center has the benefit of being able to focus fully on your business but might lack the knowledge and experience to really provide your customers with amazing and seamless customer service experiences.  Outsourcing makes sense because a professional call center can provide omnichannel support in an efficient and affordable manner.

Reducing your overhead and providing improved customer service makes sense even if you have to work with the outside call center a bit to fine tune your account.  The outside contact center is probably not completely focused on just your business since they have other accounts, but ultimately it’s worth it.

However, when you consider the language barriers, the difference in time zones, trust issues, lackluster support experiences AND the loss of focus on your particular needs, outsourcing overseas starts to look a little less novel.

5. Call Center Outsourcing Reduces Jobs

When you outsource your call center operations offshore, you eliminate U.S. jobs.

Eliminating jobs from the local job market has the potential to soil your company’s image, but perhaps more importantly, it negatively affects the economy that your business relies on to thrive.

Picture of woman working in call centre

A Local Solution

As you can see, there are many significant downsides to using a foreign call center.  The potential cost savings can look very attractive at first glance, but when you consider the overall negative impact a foreign contact center can have on your business, are you really saving money?

In this day and age, maintaining good public relations and customer satisfaction is non-negotiable.

You can still reap the benefits of call center outsourcing while avoiding the pitfalls of outsourcing overseas by choosing a U.S.-based call center.

Check out our guide to comparing answering services.

If you’re interested in our service, get more info here.

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