We live in a world that chasing profits is the first priority for most of the (profit)-businesses; hence, it’s logical to get some tasks that can be performed in a low cost labor countries. That’s right… it’s a very wise choice (in a short term) and most of the businesses did that (the booming time is at around 2010)… even … there was a popular tv show for that – “Outsourced”.
However, the question here is that … “is outsourcing bad or good?” … Outsourcing is good in every aspect in a short run… BUT in a long term… some of the divisions businesses should NOT give up to other countries because … most likely it will create negative impacts on the brand. For instance… “Customer Service Reps”… however, this department is particularly the one that most US businesses outsource to other countries (especially India) in the first strategic deployment.
Why US Companies Should NOT Outsource CSR (Customer Service Representative) Department To Other Countries?
Here we are talking about companies who only conduct business in the United States. We aren’t discussing multinational corporations (we will do in the next paragraph).
For US businesses only companies, they really shouldn’t put their CSR dep. in another countries even if it will save companies big $. Why? Because … sure it might save $ in a short term (obviously… otherwise … who would make this move?). However, those CSRs most likely will ruin your business reputation unintentionally… you will most likely need to spend more $ (and time) to come to rescue… to re-build your brand image … or even worse… to try to save your company from being put down to the ground because of the “Outsourced” CSR dep. move.
Why? … it is because of the culture difference. Here we are talking about the most common outsourcing country, India, because of the illusional “language” advantage (seemingly they speak English as well). However, the gap (behind the culture) between United States and India is too enormous so … it creates so many stupid situations to ignite angers from US consumers. The biggest reason is that … US companies’ CSRs in India don’t see things from the same point of view that US consumers are seeing. Or … the seemingly logical explanation in the US just cannot be comprehended in their (Indian CSRs) minds.
What Multinational Companies Should Do?
We are still talking about CSR dep. since this is the obvious problem in this time and age in the business world. Also, it’s the most outsourced dep. in all businesses.
Multinational companies should also prevent to put their CSR dep. in India ONLY. Sure… if you conduct lots of businesses in India, you should have a CSR dep. there then. However, if you also do tons of businesses in other countries, you should have your main CSR dep. in the United States to prevent cultural difference backfired on you.
Why should you build your main CSR dep. in the US? There are couple of reasons,
1) You are an US based corporation 2) US is the center of the world culture melting pot 3) more control and also much more flexible
Ask yourself that which country you can easily hire 10 CSRs from 10 different countries? United States should be the #1 nation in your mind. So … if your company conducts businesses in 3 different nations, you should put your CSR dep. in the US and hire CSRs whose nationalities are from those countries where you conduct your businesses with. Therefore, when calls come in, you can easily distribute the calls based on the origin to the CSR whose background matches the most. After all, CSRs are the glues to seal the crevice to prevent it becoming a big unpatchable enormous gap between a company and its customers. Therefore, “empathy” is one of the most important factors to perform the job.
Who do you think will have the empathy to deal with the issues customers bring up? CSRs who share the same culture or CSRs who are from different countries? Without the ability to put yourself into customers’ shoes, most likely it will have a long term negative impact on the company’s reputation. Worse… it might just open a huge window for your competitors to step in and take over your leading position in the turf of your expertise all because of short term savings from outsourcing your CSR department.
CSRs are the glues to seal the crevice to prevent it becoming a big unpatchable enormous gap between a company and its customers
Without the ability to put yourself into customers’ shoes, most likely it will have a long term negative impact on the company’s reputation.
We aren’t saying that businesses should NOT even consider outsource their CSR dep. It’s just most of the businesses weren’t doing a good job on trainings and analyses of the possible outcomes on impacts of the cultural differences. Sure, cost down is the key to compete but if the short term cost down will lead you to the possible grave… “Aim at Long Term Gain Instead of Short Term Savings”. Outsourcing CSRs when conducting businesses in the US… it’s a sure route to surrender your leading position.