For years, companies chose overseas call centers to cut down on costs, even when it meant sacrificing customer service in the exchange. Now, these companies are going back to stateside communications partners, and hoping to repair their reputation as a result. What these businesses are realizing is that customers are more perceptive than they first considered, and know when a company is saving a buck by offering them poor service. Fortunately, U.S. based communications partners can give customers the responsive help they need, and help buoy a company’s reputation.
What are the problems with overseas call centers?
The most obvious and most substantial concern with foreign communications partners is that they just don’t know how to communicate well enough for most people. They may employ representatives that speak passable English, but customers will have to repeat themselves and strain to understand what they’re hearing at times. That’s a major frustration, especially among customers who are already frustrated.
This extends to the culture behind the language as well. Without a shared culture between speakers, messages are lost and people often act rude or unprofessional without meaning to or realizing it. This is the source of many negative experiences and is something that is hard for a company to control, even with tight scripting.
And scripts, which are another standard tool for overseas call centers, have problems of their own. Customers don’t like interacting with someone who is clearly operating from a script, and it reduces the scope of the conversation. While a script can help a non-native speaker communicate more effectively, what if a customer asks something that is not on the script? In most cases, the customer is just given a canned answer over and over, which isn’t helpful and may make the customer feel like they’ve wasted their time.
Finally, a foreign-based communications firm will have trouble executing more complex tasks, like screening potential clients and processing major orders. These are tasks a business should expect from their communications partner, so even if a company is saving money upfront, they may lose money if they have to hire in-house people to fill in the cracks.
A domestic communications partner can beat overseas call centers in every respect, and most importantly, it will give customers peace of mind as soon as they phone in. U.S. businesses have a customer service problem, as 80 percent of businesses believe they provide excellent customer service, according to a Bain survey. However, only eight percent of those companies received positive marks from their customers, a phenomenon known as the “delivery gap.”
If a business wants to close their delivery gap, the quickest way to do so is to improve the quality of its representatives. A stateside communications partner excels in this area, and can provide trained, well-spoken people to act as a business’s support and service staff.