Customer Service Trends: Outsourcing

One of the most controversial developments impacting customer service is the move by many organizations around the world to establish customer service functions outside of either their home country or the country in which their customers reside. Called outsourcing, companies pursue this strategy to both reduce cost and increase service coverage. For instance, having multiple customer service outlets around the world allows customers to talk via phone with a service person no matter what time of day.

However, moving customer service to another country has raised concerns on two fronts. First, many see this trend as leading to a reduction of customer service jobs within a home country. Second, customer service personnel located offshore may not be sufficiently trained and often lack an understanding of the conditions within the customer’s local market both of which can affect service levels. At the extreme, a poorly managed move to outsource customer service can lead to a decrease in customer satisfaction, which in the long run could affect sales.