When companies found that they could successfully shift operations of call center services to call center outsourcing provider’s years ago, many jumped at the chance, fueling an outsourcing boom to places such as the Philippines and India. Now however, some companies are choosing to go with an in-house model for call center operations, moving away from the outsourcing trend.
Communications services provider, Securus Technologies, Inc., decided to just that as they announced on the 6th of January that they have completed the transformation of their call center operations. The company set up a 225 seat call center in Texas to serve their customers 24×7. According to the company’s press release, they invested more than $2 million dollars to the project, which includes equipment, applications and training. Firm on their decision to have their call center operations in-house, Securus Vice President Danny de Hoyos commented: “With our staffing complete, state-of-the-art technology installed, and new training taking place, we’re seeing significant improvements in the overall customer experience – shorter hold times, quicker first call resolution, and significant improvements in customer satisfaction – have all been made possible by our taking on this initiative.”
Meanwhile, major airline, US Airways (NYSE:LCC) advised that they will be closing their call center operations in Manila by October of this year. The offshore reservations center that the company set-up was part of a temporary measure amid its bankruptcy in 2004. Instead, the company will be directing the call volume handled by its offshore center, to its domestic centers located in Reno, Phoenix and Winston-Salem. According to fellow airline Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) CEO, Richard Anderson back in 2009, “The customer acceptance of call centers in foreign countries is low, and our customers are not shy about letting us have that feedback.”
This trend however, hasn’t disturbed business as outsourcing providers remain steady in terms of growth. Cincinnati based outsourcer, Convergys (NYSE:CVG), is continuing its growth in the Philippines with a projected manpower size of 23,000 in the country, more than twice the number of employees that the company has in India currently. Nashville headquartered company Sitel on the other hand, announced on the 18th of January that it has doubled its capacity in Brazil with the opening of its new call center facility in Sao Paulo. The center will bring the company’s total manpower size in the country to 11,000. Aside from that, Sitel will also be setting up call center operations for Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) in its facility in Glasgow. Also expanding is Dublin headquartered company Accenture (NYSE:ACN) as the company projects that it will add another 5,000 employees to its 20,000 strong workforce in the Philippines. In a statement made by the company on the 18th of January, the company advised that they will be mirroring the outlook of the Philippine outsourcing sector for 2011, expecting double digit growth for the industry. The company however, does not owe a bulk of its operations to call center services.
In-house, nearshore and even telecommuting models for call centers have always been around, and many companies are once again giving these choices a harder look amid the economic recovery. While predictions are rife that this will be another good year for outsourcing, including call center services, it will not be surprising if in the next few months other companies will choose to move their call center operations back in-house.
Audrey B is a Strategic Solutions Executive of Infinit Outsourcing, one the leading companies that offer outsourcing solutions. Infinit Outsourcing offers boutique call center business services to small and medium sized enterprises giving them a competitive advantage in their respective fields.