Closure of overseas call centres and the return of local ones
Published: Thursday, September 17th, 2020
Like most of the blog posts we have written in 2020, this one references COVID-19 and the impacts it’s brought along with it. However, this one is slightly different as we discuss improvements in customer service, increased local jobs and better automation in call centres. How has COVID-19 had these positive effects? The closure of overseas call centres has welcomed the return of local ones.
Impact of COVID-19 on relocating call centres
Many businesses lost the operations in their offshore centres once the global pandemic hit – resulting in detrimental CX issues with customers being left on hold, longer handling times and unanswered queries. This then encouraged the relocation of centres from India, Philippines and Malaysia back to home turf.
This has opened new opportunities for companies like Vodafone and TPG to review and restructure their centres and how they operate. Major businesses like Telstra have announced that all their inbound voice calls will be made through Australian call centres by sometime in 2022.
As well as that, working remotely and home offices have become the new workplace settings for many – technology and automation have played a key role in enabling onshore call services.
Friendly local accent = exceptional CX
Oxford dictionary will have some fun trying to determine the word of the year for 2020 with so many strong contenders. For us, a few come to mind - virtual, lockdown, isolation, remote. These terms are a reality for how most of our lives have now become. This year has helped businesses recognise the importance of localised customer service in a time when internet services are used more than ever.
Customers enjoy hearing a local accent which they can relate to and given the emotional rollercoaster we have all been on, a friendly voice at the end of the phone can make all the difference. Delivering exceptional and friendly customer service is crucial to customers in isolation.
Westpac has identified the importance of localised CX with CEO Peter King stating,” We will be returning all dedicated voice roles to Australia to enhance the capacity of our existing call centres. This will mean when a customer calls us, it will be answered by someone in Australia.”
The UN's labour body estimates that 195 million jobs will be loss across the world due to COVID-19. However, the closure of overseas call centres has welcomed more local jobs when we're experiencing one of the worst global economic crises.
Employing local staff introduces a personal customer service, with reduced handling times in a time when personalisation and care is critical for customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Quick answers at the click of a button
COVID-19 has accelerated the need for companies to digitally transform their workplace in order to cater for remote and flexible working. The advancement in technology and automation has eased the re-introduction of onshore call centres.
While overseas call centre agent salaries are lower, the reliability and accuracy of onshore technology helps even out the difference in labour costs.
As well as that, automation and access to knowledge management system means that local agents can work from home effectively, reducing costs in office space and even training time. (Not to boast too much, but our core product reduces training times by 50%!)
The closure of overseas call centres has welcomed many new opportunities and ventures for both Australian and US businesses, a beacon of light in a time of COVID-19 negative news.
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