What’s Trending? Call Centers are Returning to the U.S.

Whether you run a small business or large enterprise organization, your call center is a critical customer touch point. To improve the call center experience and drive higher levels of customer loyalty and satisfaction, companies are reinvesting in their centers, deploying new technologies, and implementing advanced customer relationship management tools to better understand their customers. And, they are moving their operations back onshore to the U.S.

While cost is still a big factor in the decisions that companies make regarding where to locate their call center operations, studies continue to support the premise that outsourcing your call center overseas to cut costs can seriously impact customer satisfaction and damage brand perception. At the top of the list of complaints heard by U.S. companies with offshore call centers is the lack of a complete understanding of the English language and cultural awareness—skill sets that can’t easily be taught to overseas call center staff.

When the CFI Group Contact Center Satisfaction Index (CCSI) debuted in 2007, the two issues that had the most impact on customer satisfaction were call resolution and offshoring. Based on the CCSI’s scale of 0-100, customer satisfaction with call centers was 72. Even more noteworthy, the study found that customers who thought the call center was located outside of the U.S. rated their satisfaction with the call center experience a whopping 26 points lower. Even more distressing, those customers were almost twice as likely to defect, compared to those who assumed the call center was in the U.S.

A decade later, not much has changed. The latest CCSI report, covering 2015, shows customer satisfaction with call centers dropping another four points to 68. Is it any wonder that companies have been re-thinking their call center management strategy? Falling satisfaction rates and rising customer frustration continues to push businesses to move their operations back to the U.S.

That doesn’t mean that companies are all together abandoning offshore call centers. Even as companies choose to move some of their operations back to the U.S., they are still using overseas call centers to handle less complex customer calls. Where the shift in strategy is more apparent is for complex calls and high-value customers. As the gap in the cost of operating call centers overseas continues to get smaller, U.S. companies are finding that the benefits of bringing their call centers back onshore outweigh the savings they anticipated with operating their call centers offshore. Simply put, customer loyalty to the brand is king.

Improving key business operations, like call centers, is paramount for organizations to stay competitive in today’s market. As customers demand even better services and support, companies are driven to find new ways to improve their business processes. That’s where we can help. Strategy and Management, Inc. (SAMS) provides business process improvement services, highly-skilled personnel and program support designed to assist our customers in achieving their desired results. To learn more about the range of Back Office Support and Call Center Operations we offer, contact SAMS today.

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