Offshore Contact Center BPO Dead?

Yesterday, I listened to an insightful talk on Voice of the Customer Radio, given by Jeff Russakow, Chief Customer Officer at Yahoo.

During the hour, he presented his experiences with social media as a service delivery tool, how to strategically reduce aggregated contacts presented, and BPO.

Did you say… BPO?  Essentially, Jeff believes that the days of offshore outsourcing are almost over due to reduced arbitrage benefits.

Although, the topic of tax breaks did not come up in Jeff’s presentation, I wondered if the days of offshore outsourcing are really dead.  Are companies already starting to bring jobs back to the US or will bringing jobs back to the US get dragged out by BPO consulting firms?

Recently, the GHRO Group blogged about companies bringing customer service jobs back to the US.  From the GHRO blog…

“Experts currently estimate that hiring someone in Nebraska to work at a call center costs only 15% more than hiring an employee in India.  Take into account any potential tax-breaks the company may receive for hiring new (American) employees, as well as the impact that employee could have on their local economy, and the benefits of an American-run call center begin stacking up.”


So this leads me to ask, which companies have already brought customer service back to the US and what did they think about when making that decision?

ICMI recently published an article called Expert’s Angle: The Business Case for Repatriation of Contact Center Jobs Back to America.  In it they say..

“You’d think companies would herald the return of their contact center jobs back to the U.S. – but with the exception of a few companies like Delta, AT&T, Dell, US Airways and United, most companies won’t admit they have come back. We know of tens of thousands of jobs and many other Fortune 1000 companies that have returned. But they declined to let us use their names in this article. Wouldn’t you think they would make a big announcement? Isn’t this a customer- centric decision you would want to share with your customers?”

OK – so companies are red faced about making this decision, but the decision IS being made, which I think is good news.  Maybe they should read Harvard Business Review’s article The Art of Admitting Failure?  (I ask…  Are these really resilient companies if they can’t admit failure?)

Anyway, the ICMI article also talks you through what to think about when deciding how to bring back your contact center, so it’s good reading.

Looks like the offshore customer service experiment is over and US service leaders can now return their focus to delivering service that customers want.

Now it’s on to THE CLOUD!


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