You’ve decided to consider locations for your nearshore contact center, but where do you start your research? Reasons for outsourcing customer care may seem obvious, but companies that rely on outsourced help for inbound and outbound call center services must look deeper than just cost-benefits. We’ve put together 6 questions you’ll want to research to find the perfect location.
1) Are there ready, highly-skilled employees?
If you’ve started to compile a list of locations, look at the country’s or region’s plans to enhance language education and training. This will help you get a stronger understanding of the long-term opportunities your selected location may offer. For a more detailed view, you can research the number of higher education graduates, the percentage of PhD graduates and how the universities in the area rank. These are all signs of a technologically proficient workforce.
2) Does the location offer bilingual talent?
The ability to have accent-neutral agents works in favor of U.S. markets due to the diversity in its population. Latin American countries offer a highly educated workforce with truly bilingual agents who have had exposure to English throughout their education and who are comfortable with and knowledgeable about American culture. Aside from Spanish and English, you can find employees who speak French and Portuguese, which are both becoming increasingly popular.
3) How business-friendly is the call center location?
A proximity to the U.S. enables more efficient interaction between employers and nearshore call center service providers. Ease of travel leads to closer monitoring of service quality and better training, which are factors to maintain quality and improve performance over time. A key aspect to consider for business executives is travel time. Can trips to and from the country be achieved in a matter of hours or does it take a full day? Does the location provide easy access to global markets? In relation to the U.S. and Europe, pay attention to the location’s shared time zones and how they match up to your main consumers’.
4) What are the cost-savings of each outsourced location?
Cost savings are one of the most important factors for companies considering outsourcing their operations. How do the direct labor costs from your location differ from others?
To understand the location’s labor costs in the region, look at how it ranks on the cost-of-living index (goods, services, housing). Colombia’s cost of living is 52.8% lower than the United States.
5) Does the contact center exclusively service the U.S. and primary markets or is its focus on the local domestic market?
Typically, local near shore markets are laggards in terms of technology adoption and focus on customer experience, while partners whose sole focus is service delivery to the U.S. or Europe possess more modern tools and better understand as to why and how they impact customer experience and customer life time value.
6) Does the local management team have autonomy?
The local team in charge of operating must have deep experience in service for the U.S. and primary markets and be able to correctly function without the intervention of a U.S.-based management structure. The local team must be fluent in U.S. or European business culture and rhythm and possess sufficient autonomy to be able to operate efficiently without the oversight of an onshore management structure.
Choosing the right nearshore call center location to outsource your company’s support needs is easier said than done. But by finding the answers to these questions, you are well on your way to narrowing down your list of nearshore call center options.