Choosing Call Center Locations: Quality Over Cost Deciding Factor Says New Report

26 March, 2019


The call center industry continues to expand globally as companies seek to balance labor availability, labor costs, geopolitical stability, and business climate says the Site Selection Group (SSG) in its latest location trend report, which identified regions showing the highest rates of growth.

The report’s findings are as follows:

Reshoring Taking Center Stage

The demand for quality service has led many U.S. companies to bring call centers back onshore even though it means suffering higher costs as a result.

“As in years past, many companies reshored operations from the Philippines, India, and other offshore markets as they sought to improve quality levels despite higher costs,” the report says.

Offshore Growth Slowing

India and the Philippines continue to lead offshore call center growth, mainly in non-voice operations, such as software development. However, growth has slowed as the market in the Philippines matures.

“The Philippines has become extremely mature, so a lot of the growth we once saw in the Philippines is now migrating a bit to Latin America,” said Site Selection Group CEO King White regarding the shift.

Other reasons for the slowdown include rising labor costs, a need to reduce attrition, the impact of changes to the PEZA economic incentive program, and competition for labor from the Chinese sports betting industry.

Latin America Region Continues Growth Trend

The decline offshore has been offset by increased expansion among nearshore, Latin American, Caribbean, and Central American countries.

Most of the new projects stem from the need to “consolidate pan-Latin America operations or serve customers in high-cost locations such as the United States,” the report reveals. In total, the shift to the region has resulted in more than 25,000 jobs at 34 announced projects.

New Focus on Nearshore Outsourcing Good News for Belize

One especially salient point White made is that when it comes to nearshore outsourcing, U.S. companies are looking for “something even closer” to the States, which is good news for Belize, the Central American country where our call centers are located.

Here are just a couple of the reasons why:

Short flights. Flight times to Belize are between two and four hours from several major U.S. cities, and more airlines are offering direct flights to the country. (Also, the main airport — Philip S. W. Goldson International — is located within minutes of our call centers in Belize City.)

English and cultural affinity. The caliber of English and close ties to the U.S. lend themselves to a cultural affinity that’s as good or better than you’ll find anywhere in the region. Belizeans don’t just speak English; they understand U.S. cultural idioms, current events, sports, and more. That’s certainly not something you’ll find offshore or many other nearshore countries either.

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Quality Outweighs Cost in Call Center Site Selection Equation

Of all the report’s findings, the one that stands out most is that the trend toward reshoring and away from offshore locations sends a clear message — the need to ensure quality service outweighs the desire to save on costs.

But either/or is not the only solution, not when a both/and option is available nearshore.

A common perception with nearshore outsourcing is that the lower price point also means lower quality. While I can’t speak for every call center in Belize, I can say that’s not true with Transparent BPO. We offer nearshore pricing but without sacrificing the quality you would expect from domestic call center operations.

We ensure higher quality in several ways:

Tight span of control. Our operations management structure ensures a tight span of control with our industry-low agents to team leader ratio, providing our agents with the resources, tools, direction, and expertise to address customer issues.

U.S.-based client services. Our client services team is based in the United States, which removes any disconnect that often occurs with an offshore or nearshore partner.

Continual process methodology. Our management team uses a continual process methodology to identify, monitor, and improve behaviors that positively impact the KPIs important to our clients and their customers.

360-degree feedback. As part of our continual process methodology, we adhere to a 360-degree feedback loop for influencing quality results to propel behavior-based improvements within agent recruiting, training, and operations management.

This deliberate attention to quality and span of control has allowed us to outperform on the KPIs our clients expect of us consistently, not only nearshore and offshore but also in domestic locations.

If you would like to know more about the services we offer at Transparent BPO, let’s schedule a time to talk. (You can see my calendar here.) During the call, I will happily answer any question you have to help you make an informed decision regarding whether nearshore outsourcing, Belize, and Transparent BPO is right for you.