Call center services is a growing industry. As businesses concentrate their efforts on marketing, customer service and gathering information from potential clients and current customers, someone needs to be on the other end of the phone line or email chat. Live personnel offer a human connection for businesses and brands trying to improve their conversion rates. The location of call centers has long had an impact on how well outsourcing companies can provide the services needed. As the industry changes and grows, however, the impact of locations is changing as well.
Offshore vs Onshore
While some offshore services have a lower hourly or per-call rate, the quality of the consumer’s experience often offsets the difference. A strong resurgence in American interest in keeping jobs onshore can influence where consumers buy their products. Conversations including cultural differences, language barriers and unfamiliar accents can send up red flags, lowering conversion rates.
Where call centers are located can be driven by a number of factors. One of them is that certain states and municipalities offer tax breaks to companies based in their jurisdiction. This incentive can draw desirable employment to geographical areas that would otherwise suffer from lack of industry and income for local residents. The federal government may also play a role, withholding tax breaks from companies who outsource offshore or by rewarding those who provide a much-needed source of employment to Americans.
Real estate prices, rent and the cost of living are another influential point in where call centers are located. High-rent districts can force businesses to go elsewhere if their overhead ratio is too top-heavy.
The right location for a call center is greatly influenced by the availability of suitable people to work there. Providing quality call center services means having employees who can follow directions, speak clearly, engage customers and provide a professional demeanor for inbound or outbound calls. Some projects require a higher level of education and training, such as a medical answering service or dispatch service, while others need only polite and professional personnel with a quality speaking voice. As a result, call centers may be located in college towns and geographical areas where distinguishable accents are non-problematic. A company requiring live chat services, on the other hand, needs workers who can spell well and type quickly. Their workers’ dialects and accents are unimportant, since their fingers do the talking.
The use of people working from home has also had an impact on the location of call centers in the industry. With the use of wireless communications and remote networks, a remote workforce enables call centers and virtual receptionists to be located anywhere in the country – or the world — without raising overhead or limiting the field of qualified professionals.
When choosing a company to provide call center outsourcing, individual businesses are now looking at more than simply a location for their workforce. They are able to find companies that fill their needs with reasonable costs, high quality customer service, niche specialization, and low language barrier and dialect hindrances.