(ASMT Note: ) Some of us will be saying “yaaay!!!” to such news – that some companies are starting to move call centers (customer support, technical support) back home (to the U.S.). I don’t know how many people have become annoyed by being forwarded offshore to foreign support or tech support persons who are often clueless, often more concerned with you taking a survey and “rating them good” than with actually doing anything about your problem. I know that Tech Support is very often a thankless job (I’ve done it…) – but at least you expect them to have some level of clue, and to escalate a call to someone that does when they have exhausted their knowledge or capabilities. Often with foreign tech support they have trouble understanding what you are saying, have trouble understanding the situation or problem, and do not have the capability to escalate the call (if at all, not easily). I don’t know about anybody else but I’d rather not be forced to waste my time in this manner. I am often supporting others (working for them, contracted to them) so I have to bill for time … even for “stupid time” or time that is wasted.
I’m not saying that I don’t like all foreign support – but mainly those where their English is not that good, and their knowledge of the products is not that good (consists of a flip chart? and if you don’t fit into the flip chart then they don’t understand you = wasted time.) I also will not name any particular country or countries that I do or don’t like … I choose to remain “generic” in my dislike for certain foreign customer support and technical support.
In this economy – I’d also like to see jobs come back here. There are people and companies here in the U.S. that can do the job – and do it well. They should get the work. Anyway off to the actual article…….
(end of ASMT Note)
Source: US Telecom Daily Lead (email bulletin)
Some companies start to move call centers back home
Exporting tech work offshore could be on the wane in 2009, according to a report that points to Dell’s move to give customers an option to reach a U.S.-based call center as an example of why outsourcing deals have dropped to their lowest level in years. One analyst cited a consumer “backlash” against companies who outsource jobs to foreign countries as a major factor in the trend.
The Wall Street Journal http://r.smartbrief.com/resp/obvkgnmYyBxrAHCibGtxlyXz?format=standard(subscription required) (12/30) ,
Offshoring Could Be on the Outs in ’09
An article in today’s Wall Street Journal reports that outsourcing tech work abroad is taking a hit despite the savings it can promise companies during this time of economic tumult. Outsourcing deals of this type were at their lowest in six years during the third quarter of 2008, according to the piece, which attributes the change to companies’ general uncertainty and caution due to the economy. While that may be true, xchange’s conversation last week with CIMI Corp. analyst Tom Nolle indicates this cold reception could be a sign of what’s to come.
According to Nolle, the U.S. is seeing a backlash against offshoring. He cites Dell’s (DELL) recent move to give customers the option of getting U.S.-based call center agents as one indicator of this trend. The Your Tech Team service from Dell, which may be known as much for its call center troubles as it is for its computers, offers customers assurance of domestic call center reps and limited wait times for $12.95 per month, or $99 per year for those with new Dell computers. (Without the service, customers are likely to get connected to tech reps in India or the Philippines.)
“The backlash against the support that’s provided by offshore call centers has been so radical and so horrible that a lot of companies are saying ‘we cannot afford, at a time that consumer spending and business spending is constrained, to piss everybody off. So we’re going to have to figure out a way to do this in house,'” said Nolle. “And I think they think the labor market is going to be more open, and they’ll have more opportunities to do that here. So I think that in the call center area you’re definitely going to see more activity to do more on-shore call centers in the U.S., be they run in house or by a service provider.”
In addition to more out-of-work folks, who could potentially populate U.S.-based call centers, one could argue that the economy and the incoming, hope-inspiring presidential administration could help further spur “buy American” sentiment, at least to some extent. The new Obama administration and Congress also could potentially set up new rules that make offshoring less appealing.
Whatever the case, Nolle said: “I’m confident that you’re going to find the whole offshoring trend is going to take a big hit in ’09.”
ITBusinessEdge: Dell Offering U.S.-Based Support Services, for a Fee
The Wall Street Journal: Outsourcers Brace for a Hit
Washington Post: The Bangalore Backlash: Call Centers Return to U.S.
Alan Spicer Telecom / Alan Spicer Marine Telecom
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