Many companies, when thinking of outsourcing their Service Desk, automatically assume they have to do it offshore. We naturally feel that there are a lot of benefits in any type of outsourcing, if done carefully and correctly, but here at TUC we really believe there are less risks and more economic benefits to outsourcing within North America (or “onshoring”).
In North American society today there is a stigma associated with offshore Service Desks. Rightly or wrongly, even if the offshore Service Desk is performing well, it creates a negative reaction from the end-user as soon as they realize that they are talking with someone offshore. Most native English-speaking customers are more comfortable speaking with a Service Desk agent who is fluent in English and understands the culture and environment. With a North American Service Desk, language and cultural barriers are eliminated, as most North American Service Desk agents will be native English speakers and share the same culture. These interactions tend to result in greater customer satisfaction and positive impressions about the services being received.
A mainland call center will also be easier to visit, making it more accessible for hands-on training and management purposes. Here at TUC, some of our contracts require the supporting teams to frequently visit the customer sites for continuous training. This also helps the agents to learn about customer culture, environment and also meet other support groups and end-users for better understanding of processes.
Some consumers who have concerns about security issues may be more willing to divulge personal data when dealing with a North American Service Desk. This is important if your agents need to take customers’ credit card numbers and other personal information in order to resolve an issue or create a Service Request.
The biggest misconception about a North American Service Desk is that it costs more to use their services. A price comparison of North American Centers will show that some are lower than others due to being located in a part of the country, particularly in Atlantic Canada, where the cost of living is lower. The best solution is to create a hybrid model between a call center in Atlantic Canada and a large city like Toronto and Ottawa with sites fully redundant to each other.
It would be a mistake to base one’s decision on pricing alone; a Service Desk that does not handle user issues well could lead to customer dissatisfaction and loss of customers. Many businesses have chosen to stay with North American Service Desks because they believe this leads to greater customer satisfaction and retention. We aren’t going to argue with them.
by Mark Scott – CEO, TUC Managed IT Solutions