Wednesday, August 16, 2006

If not India, where?

Flipping through August 7th Business Week magazine I was stopped by the headline “Call Center? That’s so 2004.”

The article detailed the fact that as international outsourcers (particularly in India) get more sophisticated at taking over outsourced work from the west, they are finding that the “lowest end” of the business – call centres – just does not pay anymore. Apparently Indian outsourcers are beginning to turn down call centre contracts. (The article was interesting in its detailing of the difficulties encountered by offshore call centres.)

This made me think. The national Do Not Call List (DNCL) is around the corner. I think that it will inevitably have an effect on the outbound prospect telemarketing habits of Canadian organizations. I think that some organizations are likely to re-jig their telemarketing mix away from prospecting, to focus more on existing customers (who are exempt from the national DNCL requirements). Even before reading the Business Week article I was wondering if such a shift would result in an increase in the prevalence and size of in-house call centres in Canada. Add the point that the article is making – that North American companies are potentially going to find it more difficult, or at least more expensive, to outsource call centre work – now I might place even more money on the potential that in the next little while we are going to see an increase in in-house telemarketing by Canadian organizations.

What do you think?

Relevant to the question is a Contact Centre Canada study done in April 2006 titled “Customer Contact Centres in Canada: the Impact of Offshoring, Technology and Regulation on Human Resources”. Contact Centre Canada is the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Sector Council focused on the HR challenges affecting the contact centre sector. Interestingly, their study predicted that offshoring will increase over the next five years…


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is also the intermediary step between "India" and going in-house - domestic outsourcing. There are many external call centre suppliers who provide excellent call centre service, both outbound and inbound, to both prospects and current customers. Just because call centre services are not being off shored, it does not necessarily follow that they will remain in house.

4:35 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off-shore outsourcing is a problem because wages, benefits and government regulations have become so draconian and out of sync that companies have little choice.

Corporations can try to be loyal to their customers and their countries of origin all they want, but when it comes right down to it, the shareholders are the ones they have to account too. And if you are losing money out of the shareholder's pocket just because you want to provide more local jobs....revolt is on its way.

11:40 p.m.  

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