You’ve made the decision to outsource your call center and use a separate company to handle your incoming customer service inquiries and the like. Once you’ve determined your budget for your outsourced call center, the next step will be to choose whether you want to use an offshore, onshore or nearshore call center. Here, what you will get with each option and how to determine which is best for you.
An offshore call center refers to one that is in a faraway foreign country in comparison to the country where your headquarters are located. For a company based in the United States, an offshore call center would be one based in India, the Philippines or Malaysia. Depending on what you are looking for in your outsourced call center, there are many benefits to utilizing an offshore one. They include:
- Low costs
- A competitive market, operational efficiency and a large labor force—these are professionals in their field
- Availability during overnight hours in the US thanks to the time zone difference
- Potentially multilingual agents
There are also some disadvantages to using an offshore call center, some of which may be an important consideration for your company. They include:
- Cultural and/or language barriers that may frustrate customers
- Lack of control over or transparency into daily operations
- Possibly misaligned values, such as call volume over quality
If your call center is receiving a massive volume of calls, at all hours of the day and costs are a big consideration, an offshore call center may be the way to go.
Onshore outsourcing, also known as domestic outsourcing, is using a call center in the same country where your company is based with agents whose first language is the same as that of your customer base. There are quite a few benefits to using an onshore call center. They include:
- The absence of cultural or language barriers, paving the way for stronger connections between agents and customers
- Being in the same time zone as your call center, which is helpful for training and communication
- More quality control
- Stricter data security and intellectual property regulations in the US than in other countries
As far as disadvantages to utilizing an onshore call center, there is one big one: costs. An onshore call center is going to come with a much higher price tag than an offshore one, potentially one similar to what it would cost to have your call center in-house and run by full-time employees of your company. That said, if budget is not a concern for you, the benefits of using an onshore call center are certainly attractive.
Considered by many to be a sort of happy medium between offshore outsourcing and onshore outsourcing, using a nearshore call center means it is located in a different country, but one that borders or is near yours and is in the same or a similar time zone. For companies based in the US, a nearshore call center might be located in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina or Canada. Some of the benefits of choosing a nearshore call center include:
- Physical proximity in the event that you need to travel to the call center
- Greater familiarity with or fluency in English
- Higher likelihood of agents who are also fluent in in-demand languages in the US, like Spanish
- More reasonable pricing than onshore
- Being in the same or a close time zone, making communication and training easier
Like with onshore call centers, the biggest negative about nearshore call centers is going to be the cost. While it will likely be less expensive than an onshore call center, nearshore will still cost more than an offshore call center.
When deciding whether to use an offshore, onshore, or nearshore call center, it’s all about determining the factors that are most important to you. One thing that is important no matter which you choose: A robust and easy-to-use call center platform like CallShaper. To learn more, reach out to us today.