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The Great Outsourcing Debate
Outsourcing customer service: For companies considering outsourcing, both are tough decisions.
For the rest of the February 2004 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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As hot topics go it doesn't get any hotter than outsourcing customer service. One debate focuses on whether to outsource at all; another rages over whether to outsource within the United States or to go overseas. For companies considering outsourcing, both are tough decisions. Those who are for outsourcing point up such benefits as cost savings, hiring experts to provide service in their areas of expertise, and allowing companies to focus on their core competency. Some advocates also contend that outsourcing increases predictability and improves long-term planning. Those who are against it say that companies lose control of important functions, add complexity to the outsourced business processes, and increase the risk of problems and errors. Additionally, they cite offshore outsourcing as a drain on the U.S. economy and job market. "Offshoring creates complexity, not simplicity. Moreover, complexity adds uncertainty and risk. So how does increased risk create strategic value and predictability? I contend the opposite is true....It's all about money," reader Eric Worden writes. In fact, offshore outsourcing is a particular sore spot for outsourcing's opponents. "It's going to flop," reader Michael Emmons says. Emmons was laid off and forced to train his outsourced replacement before he could receive his severance. "When India has all the IT, the prices will hit the roof. [Companies] will be paying through the nose to move [outsourcing] to China." This heated debate has its own benefit: providing information and opinions both for and against outsourcing that could help companies decide what's right for them. For those who have decided that outsourcing is the best choice for their organization there is yet another set of decisions to make, how to choose the right contact center outsourcer for their needs and what is the best country in which to outsource. This month we offer answers. "How to choose the right contact center outsourcer" (page 52) discusses the issues to consider during the vendor selection process, for example, agent compensation and performance metrics.
"Outsourcing Hot Spots" (page 26) evaluates the fastest growing markets for contact center outsourcing. Senior Editor David Myron warns companies not to be overenthusiastic about the potential cost savings associated with offshore outsourcing. "There are hidden costs [that]...can severely erode total anticipated savings," he says. Myron reveals the pros and cons of outsourcing in four key markets, and in an easy-to-navigate grid highlights particulars like turnover rates and infrastructure considerations that can help you make the best call.
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To contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com
Every month, CRM magazine covers the customer relationship management industry and beyond. To subscribe, please visit http://www.destinationCRM.com/subscribe/.
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