The Shifting Sands Of The Outsource Contact Centre Marketplace -

26 March 2013
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Many large companies outsourced their call centre function overseas to cut costs. In some cases they shifted their entire customer service handling, lock stock and barrel, to one or more foreign countires to save money.  India became the call-centre capital of the whole world, built on a cost-saving agenda, not a quality agenda.

But now, we’re seeing a shift in the opposite direction. Huge companies like BT, Aviva and Santander are moving their call centres back to the UK.

Companies were oustourcing abroad to save money, but wages are now rising in India, as are property prices. Property prices are remaining stagnant in the UK, costs are falling and staff retention rates are improving due to the high level of unemployment, making it a more attractive option than before. Santander has opted to move back to the UK from Mumbai to improve customer service, following complaints from customers and because operating in India was ‘no longer cheap’. The move will create 500 new UK jobs.

Companies are beginning to compete on service rather than price. That’s not to say that overseas call centres can’t offer good service. But many customers at least believe that they’ll have an easier time getting their point across to a UK-based outsource call centre worker.

And in addition to all of this, supporting jobs in the UK is good publicity. At a time of high unemployment, investing in the UK economy and ‘putting something back in’ rather than ‘taking something out’ , will appeal to potential employees and could be a strong selling point for a company.

It was always in our view the right time to outsource to a UK Contact Centre, and having proved that off-shoring has had a significant negative reaction from UK customers now is definitely the time to consider using a professional UK based operation that can deliver a great customer experience at a competitive price. There are many advantages to call centre outsourcing, or going a step further and outsourcing your entire customer service function to capable, understanding, knowledgeable and trusted partner such as openContact.

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