Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is It Possible To Out-Perform US Call Centers?

There is an existing debate going on between proponents of offshoring call centers and those against it. The belief that US Call centers can communicate messages effectively, know-how on instinctively promoting products and services and closing a sale outweighs the beneficial effect it brings globally, specially to third-world countries, is becoming prevalent.

Clearly the US Call Center industry has two clear and distinct advantages over its offshore competitors.

1. Clear Communication

Let's face it, no amount of language training can ever replicate those of a native-speaker. Accent and language barriers are the chief reasons why US callers hang-up. They get annoyed at the stark realization that they're trapped in a lengthy sales script delivered in a hard-to-understand accent. What's sad is that for a lot of these callers, a not-so-american accent equates to a not-so-impressive customer service. Even having an American sounding name doesn't help at all, in some situations it even infuriates the caller because the name doesn't match the accent.

Customer satisfaction surveys proves this point because as soon as the caller realizes that they're calling a call center instead of the business they need to be connected to, their opinions turn south. Even more so when they realize that they're speaking with a non-US agent, the opinions toward the agent plummets even more. Callers often point out difficulty in communicating with thick-accented agents, and they feel just moving back and forth with a set of scripted questions, lengthening the time spent asking even simplest of questions.

2. Cultural Affinity

A shared language and business culture is what connects US agents naturally connect with their callers.

These are but some of the hurdles offshore and outsourced BPO's and Telemarketing Call Centers have to face. What is least mentioned is the fact that offshore telemarketing services, lead generation and answering services provide a stable income for third world countries. What they lack in language proficiency they make up in excellent customer service, going the extra mile to prove that having a little if not negligible accent, is just a minor inconvenience compared to the customer service they will experience.

1 comment:

  1. I believe I read about a survey regarding Americans still prefer American call center agents to offshore agents simply because of accent. We all know clear communication with customers are very important. So far, I haven't experienced talking to an offshore call center agent whenever I call a company hotline. But on a personal note, it doesn't matter how the agent sounds. It's how he answers my queries. I'm not gonna spend my time thinking and complaining how bad his accent is.