Why are companies rejecting offshore contact centers?

Companies are responding to customer pressure to bring contact center operations back to the U.S. But how do they battle the cost burdens that brings?

The costs of labor and office space are some of the detrimental factors affecting traditional contact centers, so companies are moving toward mobility, virtual contact centers and work-at-home agents. Some large organizations even have full staffs of work-at-home agents. Companies are trying to balance that cost and because it's no longer going to come from labor, they're trying to find other ways to cut costs but still have skilled labor. Ways to do that include not having to pay for an office, work stations or large-scale connectivity when you have individual people working out of their homes.

Of course, that approach comes with its own inherent challenges having to do with data security across those multiple locations. These companies are still managing people and now you have the task of managing people that you can't see. We're seeing technologies come out catering to managing remote workforces

Focusing on customers is something companies should have always been doing. But over the last two years, we've heard things such as unified communications, the customer experience and the customer journey.

Companies used to do a satisfaction survey and if that was OK, it meant that your customers liked you and there was no need to change. Now, because the cost of providing a service is so high, companies are putting money, time and effort behind customer retention. Companies used to look at their satisfaction surveys and observe that 5% to 10% of customers reported that they didn’t like the fact that customer service was offshore. Five years ago, some companies viewed an offshore contact center acceptance rate of 25% to 30% as OK.

For those same companies today, that ratio is closer to 8%; they are realizing that having offshore contact centers is a reason a customer will leave you. The cost of losing that customer and gaining another one is too high. It's really becoming a necessity now to move away from offshore contact centers.

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