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Nearshore Call Center Trends, Hot Spots and Hidden Gems

The call center outsourcing industry is constantly changing. Technology and locations are always evolving, which means that it can be hard to keep up with the right information. India was the prime outsourcing location over a decade ago and the Philippines has been the hot location in recent years, but that just begs the question: what’s next? This article explains some of the current most popular nearshore locations for outsourcing and where the call center outsourcing hot spots will be in the near future.

Nearshore Call Centers: Future Hot Spots and Technology Trends

With Fortune 500 corporations moving their outsourcing from India to the Philippines in recent years, many of the large corporations who are outsourcing are now all over the country and saturation will become a problem. These corporations have been putting too much investment into one location and now they need to outsource to an additional geographical region to diversify their risk and exposure. Adding fuel to the fire, The Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, has recently made concerning comments about policies regarding companies outsourcing to the Philippines and has threatened to potentially break ties with the United States. With this in mind, a contingency plan for outsourcing should be on your radar in case situations in the Philippines get escalated. It’s beneficial to look into nearshore outsourcing locations that have similar benefits to the Philippines as far as language and cultural skills, and similar pricing to the Philippines outsourcing marketplace. U.S. corporations who are starting to look at alternative outsourcing options can look to nearshore locations as a logical solution.

Companies have a goal to find the same features and benefits of the Philippines: great English-speaking agents, great culture, quality education, and similar pricing, which can be found in nearshore markets such as: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, Jamaica and Mexico. In the next five years, there is going to be significant growth as the neighboring regions’ cultural affinity is strong and the Internet and telecom infrastructure has been building out over the last several years. Nearshore market growth is going to be the next Philippines, if you will.

“Hidden Gem” Nearshore Call Center Locations

When searching for an outsource call center, it’s important to look for the best regions that are not saturated with too many call centers in the next two to three years because oversaturation leads to higher agent attrition rates.

Belize and Guyana are both very strong call center outsourcing options because the official language of both countries is English, which is also the choice within the educational systems is English. Therefore, English-speaking agents in those countries are very strong and many of the agents are college-educated individuals. There will be growth in Belize and Guyana over the next several years given these benefits in addition to 50% cost reduction off of U.S. rates.

Another example of a “hidden gem” nearshore call center is Tijuana in Baja Mexico. Tijuana call centers can help companies reduce costs by up to 75% while keeping call center operations as close as possible to the United States. Since Tijuana is right on the border of California and Mexico, executives can travel there easily. The average trip for a site visit can be as quick as a thirty-minute drive from San Diego, California. If you live further than driving distance, it’s easy to Tijuana directly via the international airport. This is extremely helpful for companies that want to be active in the overall process of call center outsourcing, from initial visits, to contract negotiations, to call center agent training, and general meetings and site visits.

In addition to the location, Tijuana is a “hidden gem” location because their agents are fluent in American English. Due to immigration, many residents of Tijuana have spent a significant amount of time in the United States, which means that a majority of the citizens speak it as a first or second language and also have a strong understanding of U.S. culture. These cultural similarities can ultimately result in a greater customer experience.

Philippine call centers have been the prime outsourcing options within the past five years like India was before it, but things could potentially change soon. Between an overload of people outsourcing to the country and possible political issues, it’s time to start looking at other outsourcing options, and nearshore locations can provide a great alternative. There are numerous countries in Latin America with potential to provide a great return on investment and many corporations aren’t giving these locations enough of a chance. Examine these nearshore call centers and take serious consideration into diversifying your outsourcing portfolio and it will benefit you greatly in the long run.

Corey Kotlarz, President of Outsource Consultants, has been in the call center industry for over 25 years. Outsource Consultants consults with companies to help them find the best outsource call center, cloud call center software, and BPO outsourcing solutions. Kotlarz and fellow advisors save their clients significant time, reduce their costs by 20% – 60%, increase vendor performance, and help minimize risk when switching or selecting new outsource call center partners. Kotlarz specializes in working with clients in the following industries: telecom, wireless, education, non-profit, health care, direct response television, financial services, consumer products, and retail. Prior to founding Outsource Consultants, Mr. Kotlarz served as Vice President for an award winning outsource call center service agency where he was responsible for new business development and marketing initiatives while driving growth to help achieve industry awards such as Rising Star, MVP of Quality, and a “Top 50” outsource call center.

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