Should the US Government Fix Outsource Customer Service Call Centers?


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Have you ever called an offshore customer service call center and been frustrated with the customer experience? Ever wish something could be done to improve the customer experience in call centers? If the government gets its way, changes to offshore call centers are on their way.

Lauren Carlson, at the CRM review site Software Advice, recently discussed the government customer service fix bill, officially known as the U.S. Call Center and Consumer Protection Act or (H.R. 3596), and how 3 major service companies are leading the way in showing that customer service doesn’t need to be outsourced to save money and still maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.

Opponents of the customer service law argue that the costs to companies is too great to keep customer service work in the US. However, many companies are doing it right now.

In her article, Carlson points out that Working Solutions, a US-based 3rd party customer service provider, shows that it can cut costs in customer service by using home-based agents, or what they call Agents OnDemand. Today, Working Solutions home-based customer service agents number over 110,000 whose expertise spans all verticals, showing that customer service doesn’t need to be sent offshore to save money.

Focus on Flexibility Brings Skilled Customer Service Professionals

JetBlue’s CEO David Neeleman, early on decided to test the idea of hiring home-based agents to manage JetBlue customer service. Today, JetBlue employs about 1,500 home-based agents. JetBlue continues to receive praises from their customers for their service, while maintaining high levels of efficiency, productivity, and keeping employee turnover low.

What is the cost of the customer service customer experience?

No one was tracking the intangible costs. How much is spent on cultural training? Dialect training? And what about customer satisfaction? Sure, your labor costs are down, but what does your customer attrition look like? A new consideration is online reputation. Are your customers praising or bashing you on social media? What is the real cost of a “Like” or a negative review?

-Lauren Carlson, CRM Analyst, Software Advice

The government customer service law, if passed, means that any organization with a customer service team will be required to always have US-based customer service agents available to work with their customers. Whatever your political beliefs on the role of government, is this customer experience requirement a bad thing? How far are we willing to go to ensure a better customer experience? What shortcuts are we willing to take to cut costs? Are we willing to make sacrifices if that means an overall better customer experience?

What’s your take? The Internet is full of customer complaints. Who is going to step in and fix the customer service crisis?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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