Onshore vs. Offshore Call Center Outsourcing: an Ultimate Guide

When setting up a call center, you have two options: onshore or offshore call centers. However, the data shows that more and more companies are choosing call center offshore outsourcing instead of setting up a call center closer to their location. 

In fact, spending on outsourced services in the global market has grown in the last two decades, from $45.6 billion in 2000 to $86.6 billion in 2018. In this article, we will compare onshore and offshore call center outsourcing so you can see that offshore centers are the best option.

What is Offshore Outsourcing? 

Offshore outsourcing is setting up a dedicated team in a country other than your own. Usually, this will be in a location across an ocean. Therefore, companies use offshore call center services to take advantage of all the benefits this model has to offer. Let’s explore the benefits of an offshore call center in greater detail. 

Advantages of Offshoring 

Below, you will find some of the biggest advantages of setting up an offshore call center: 

  • Increased brand awareness — if you are operating in a crowded marketplace, setting up offshore customer service teams can really help you stand out since you will be able to lower call wait times and improve other call centers KPIs. 
  • Cost-effectiveness — imagine getting the same qualified agents that you would like to hire in your local market but getting the same quality talent offshore for a ration of the cost. This way, offshore call center pricing allows you to get more value for your money. 
  • Time Efficiency — this is a big onshore and offshore difference because offshore call centers are more efficient since they have strict KPIs they need to reach, and they have a detailed plan on how they plan to improve efficiency across the board. 
  • Best results with the latest technology — another offshore and onshore difference is that offshore call centers have experience using the latest technologies and know how to best use them to give you the best results. 
  • Access to a skilled workforce — no discussion about on-shore vs. offshore would be complete without discussing the quality of the workforce. Offshoring gives you access to the best talent pool that location has to offer. 
  • Bilingual services — most likely, you will need to provide customer service in languages other than English. Offshoring can help you hire agents that speak the languages you need. This is another big advantage when considering offshore vs. onshore.

Disadvantages of Offshoring 

While there are many advantages to offshoring, there are some disadvantages as well. Let’s take a look at these next:

  • Time zone complications — the service provider might be located in a much different time zone than you making communication difficult since the business hours don’t match up. 
  • Potential language barriers — it may be difficult for you to speak with the service provider since they may not be fluent in the language you speak. 
  • Cultural differences — various cultures have different customs, and what may be perfectly acceptable to you may not be in the culture of the service provider.

What is Onshore Outsourcing? 

Onshore outsourcing refers to getting the services you need from a company that’s outside your organization but within the country you live. There are also advantages to this model as well. Let’s take a look at these next. 

Advantages of Onshoring

You certainly have the option to set up an onshore call center which offers benefits as well. The biggest ones are listed below: 

  • Ease of management — an onshore call center allows you to be more engaged with what goes on inside the call center.
  • Increased supply chain controls — if you do need to provide some sort of equipment to the call center, it will be much easier if the call center is located in your country. 
  • Timely communication — there probably won’t be any time difference between you and the service provider, making communication a lot easier. 
  • Minimal language barriers — if you and the service provider are in the same country, there probably won’t be any language barriers between you.

Disadvantages of Onshoring

Now that we have looked at the benefits of onshoring, let’s transition to the disadvantages: 

  • Financial investment — hiring a dedicated team in your local market will cost a lot more than hiring one overseas.  
  • Longer startup time — companies in your market will have a lot more administrative hoops to jump through than offshore companies. 
  • Difficulties in maintaining continuous business operations — according to Quality Assurance and Training Connection, turnover in the call center industry averages 30% and 45%. With offshoring, the turnover rate was as low as 12%.

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