The call center outsourcing industry has always had to buck a few assumptions, whether it be the quality of service provided or the benefits it can deliver.
But, the global success of call center outsourcing services, and the emerging economies it helps support, seems to be proof enough.
However, there are still myths about outsourcing – despite evidence to the contrary – that we want to put to bed right now.
Here are three regional myths about outsourcing that are just not true.
Myth #1: Offshore Outsourcing is Always the Most Cost-Effective Choice
Saying “always” in any business scenario is fraught with peril, and making cost declarations is no different.
While it’s true that offshore call centers tend to offer the highest cost savings (up to 75%!) — these figures are typically pulled against the cost of domestic outsourcing locations. Comparing a call center in Manila to one in Dallas is not going to produce a proper cost analysis.
More competition globally has created emerging markets that are well-situated to compete with offshore rates. For instance, middle-market BPO vendors in the nearshore market and Africa are often priced similarly to large BPO vendors in the Philippines.
And flat costs are not the only consideration that impacts cost savings.
Rony Lerner, Vice President of R&D for TripWire, a software company in Portland, Oregon, chooses nearshore outsourcing because it’s the most cost-effective choice for his business.
“Offshore requires a lot more effort and investment,“ says Lerner. “I believe the difference on rates between offshore and nearshore options are not enough to cover the additional investment.”
Many clients are looking for the best value, searching for outsource call centers that offer quality service at affordable prices. But leaders need to take a hard look beyond the cost savings on paper and consider other costs that can impact the bottom line:
Other factors that can impact cost between nearshore and offshore options:
- Proximity — Nearshore locations may offer significantly lower travel costs per year and quicker trip durations. Managing a BPO with closer proximity (same time zone) allows for optimal real-time KPI management, training, and quality assurance oversight.
- Retention — A nearshore location that offers lower attrition rates will naturally lower the cost of replacing agents. (Training a single call center employee can cost as much as $7,500)
- Efficiency — Nearshore call centers often boast greater English-language skills and cultural affinity for domestic organizations, which can impact customer experience. (Experience-driven organizations see 2X growth in customer retention, repeat business, and lifetime customer value over their competitors)
So, the question is, can you afford to blindly trust the myth of offshore affordability?
Myth #2: India as a Call Center Destination is Over
The last decade has seen the Philippines reign supreme as the hub of the call center workforce — eclipsing the long-time leader, India, in total call center agents.
But the idea that India has suddenly become an afterthought as a call center destination is unfounded, as high-quality call center services in the region are still on the rise.
The 2019 Global Services Location Index ranked India #1 out of 50 countries, judged across four categories: financial attractiveness, agent skills, business environment, and digital resources.
India has continued to strive to meet industry expectations across emerging call center trends, like automation and cybersecurity — and India’s economy remains strong and growing.
India, as an outsourcing region, offers a depth and breadth of affordable, English-speaking services that few low-cost countries can match, according to the research.
Here are just some of the services on the rise in India:
- Non-voice BPO services
- Email support
- Social media
- Technical support
- Helpdesk support
- Content management services
- Web Development
- Data Cleaning
- Medical transcription
Before you dismiss India as a viable location for your BPO services, remember that India is the 2nd-largest market in the world, which grew as the result of continued and comprehensive success driving impact for organizations around the globe.
Myth #3: Top-Notch English Skills and Top CX Scores Come from U.S. and Canada
This last myth is an easy one to see how it could persist — while you’ll often find domestic agents have the best English-language skills and cultural affinity, it isn’t always the case…and the gap between domestic and foreign regions isn’t as wide as the myth would suggest.
Research certainly shows that quality scores increase from native language support, with 60% of customers expecting it as standard practice. But selecting exclusively regional agents from the U.S. or Canada ignores the incredible English-language skills around the globe.
In Central and South America, English is widely spoken, as many residents have spent time living in the U.S. and embraced conversational norms. In fact, English is the official language in Guyana, Belize, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.
While there are roughly 300 million native English speakers in the U.S., the rest of the world has plenty of fluent English speaking talent to compete:
Total English-Speaking Population:
- India – 129 million
- Nigeria – 114 million
- China – 81 million
- Philippines – 70 million
In fact, Egypt (a call center region we’ve highlighted before) boasts 28 million English speakers — the same as Canada.
Continuing to follow this myth could result in you paying far more than necessary with highly-skilled, English-speaking agents available outside your domestic region.
What’s more, the majority of contact centers anticipate an increase in multilingual interactions for their agents, so it may become an advantage to work with regional partners that offer diverse language skills.
Just consider the two most prevalent languages (Spanish and Mandarin) and how much of the world economy they represent. Embracing call center partners that can facilitate multilingual service could have a huge impact on your bottom line.
Debunking Myths for Better Call Center Results
In order to make the best decisions for your organization, you need to have accurate information at your disposal.
Allowing myths to influence call center choices – instead of proven strategy – is a superstition that can harm your ability to generate revenue and deliver positive customer experiences.
Have a question about outsourcing? Or a myth you want debunked?
Connect with Outsource Consultants, a worldwide call center outsourcing advisory firm that is 100% focused on finding you a perfect fit outsource call center partner.
We offer our services at NO CHARGE, so feel free to connect with our 25+ year BPO experts today to lower the risk of choosing the wrong outsource call center provider.