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Offshore Call Centre Guide

There are now a lot of options when it comes to considering the right destination for your call centre and our Offshore Call Centre Guide has been written to provide you with a general overview of the various options available.

Balancing cost, the customer experience, how well you can segment your customers and even the age demographics of your customers can all be key factors.

And once you’ve decided that offshoring your call centre is a good option, where do you put it?

Which location is right for your business ultimately comes down to considering a range of options including:

  • The type of calls (sales, service, support etc)
  • The complexity of the calls (just follow a script or is there a high level of autonomy required?)
  • The volume of calls
  • Channel support (phone calls, emails, Social Media etc)
  • Price (of course!)
  • The tolerance level of your customers (what other options do they have?)
  • Proximity to your business

Unfortunately, there is no single factor that guarantees success.

Offshore Call Centre Guide for Australian Businesses

In this Offshore Call Centre Guide, we’ve listed below the common destinations used by Australian businesses.

New Zealand

Similar in culture to Australia, New Zealand offers essentially the same level of service and capability however thanks to lower labour costs and some associated on-costs, Australian companies can save up to 30% by having their contact centre in New Zealand.

The close proximity is also an advantage with the key call centre hubs of Wellington and Auckland only 3 hours away from Melbourne.

South Africa

The contact centre industry is reportedly growing at around 15% per annum in South Africa and for good reason; a highly educated workforce, similar culture to Australia, UK and the US, robust infrastructure, low turnover, strong work ethic and to top it off, low cost with savings of over 50% from onshore operations.

Foxtel and iiNet are just two large Australian companies with a strong South Africa focus and expect plenty more to follow.

The distance may be a factor though with a trip to South Africa around 14 hours from Australia so if you need to have resources back and forth, make sure you consider the additional travel costs.

Philippines

Now the largest call centre industry in the world, the Philippines industry employs approx 1.2 million workers and is worth around $12.8 billion USD. Low cost (savings of up to 70%), American accents and time zones close to Australia have all contributed to a large number of Australian call centres moving their operations to the Philippines.

Customer sentiment is mixed with many Australians frustrated by the experience.

Like Australia, you get your mix of good and poor agents however training, empowering the agents with the right information and system access, selecting a good partner and being careful in what types of calls are handled can all mitigate the risks.

High staff turnover, exchange rates between the AUD and USD, inflation, a strained infrastructure and the high prevalence of natural disasters (e.g. flooding/typhoons etc) need to be considered.

Political uncertainty is now also playing a factor with the Trump lead US Government and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte both having firm views on the way forward for their countries.

Fiji

Similar in cost to the Philippines, Fiji is also in close proximity to Australia and with a fibre-optic cable linking Australia and New Zealand in 2009 and first world telecommunications in place, it is continuing to emerge as a viable destination.

A well educated English speaking workforce that is renowned for friendly customer service and cost savings compared with the Philippines will continue to put Fiji in the mix for consideration.

Egypt

Newer onto the scene, Egypt offers a new alternative for Australian Businesses seeking a highly educated, English speaking workforce.

With costs comparable to the Philippines (and not pegged to the USD), low attrition and a quite neutral accent (somewhat different to the ‘Americanised’ Philippines accent) and winner of the Outsourcing Destination of the Year in 2016, make sure you include Egypt in your considerations!

India

Once the global leader in call centre offshore outsourcing, India has been plagued by poor customer feedback and with the emergence of other cheaper and closer destinations, the Indian call centre industry continues to decline.

However, with its highly educated workforce, India continues to be a suitable destination for some high-tech/IT support roles and for back-office processing.

Staying in Australia

Of course, the other option is to keep your call centre in Australia.

Yes, labour can be expensive.

However, with the Australian Dollar on the slide, the value proposition in using offshore call centres has declined with it.

The $AUD has dropped over 30% against the $USD in the past 5 years – and with the majority of Philippines-based call centres charging in $USD, it has certainly lost some of its appeal.

With Customer Experience now the key differentiator for many brands, not products or price, using an offshore can also introduce an element of risk.

Customers will always prefer support where the ease of communication has the least friction e.g. can be easily understood (no accent) and by communicating with someone that understands the local culture and nuances.

With advances in call centre technology like automation (e.g. chatbots, Voice Biometrics etc) there are numerous ways you can reduce the headcount and improve service making it cheaper to service your customer from onshore.

Where to find call centre outsourcers?

Once you’ve made the decision to outsource your call centre, we’ve got two easy (and free) solutions to help you find the right outsourcer for your business.

1. Use our free CX Connect Service

Trying to find the right call centre outsourcing partner can be hard work.

Getting access to talk to the right person, repeating information over and over and trying to work out fact from fiction.

Our free CX Connect service does the work for you – simply complete our online form to specify your requirements and then we’ll arrange for quality tested and recommended outsourcers to submit their proposals directly to you.

You are still free to negotiate the pricing and final solution with the outsourcers of your choice – Simple!

Learn more about CX Connect.

2. Search our Business Directory

We have a dedicated category for call centre outsourcers where you can search by country, skills and more.

Once you find a call centre outsourcer you like, simply reach out to them directly to engage.

Search our Business Directory