UK Citizens Demand Better Service, Local Call Centers

January 30, 2015

Contributing Writer

What sort of discount on a product would make you willing to deal with an offshore call center for a routine service call? The U.K. public recently dove into that question and revealed that many of them would choose to simply work with a U.K. call center rather than take the discount and be forced to deal with agents from another country.

A recent report from the International Business Times U.K. explained those findings which are part of a compilation of research completed on the subject of attitudes regarding call center outsourcing. IB Times references an infographic it sourced from Kaizen Search, a global executive search firm, from which its representative, Sarah Footman, commented on the nature of costs as they relate to businesses outsourcing their call center duties.

“Even though there has been a significant shift in businesses bringing call centers back to U.K. shores, there are a lot that still outsource mainly due to financial reasons, with the Philippines becoming the increasingly favored location for international businesses,” Footman said.

The infographic points to 57 percent of U.K. citizens that say they feel having a U.K.-based call center is very important because it can provide better service and fewer cultural barriers to that service when compared to offshore centers. Furthermore, 92 percent of people in the age group of 65+ report that U.K.-based call centers are important to them for similar reasons -- largely that they are “more comfortable.”

Citizens say they want better service from their chosen brands than they currently receive and that offshore call centers tend to provide them with a low quality of service and issues concerning language barriers. Only 26 percent of respondents to one survey said they would take the 10 percent discount rather than trade that discount for dealing with a local customer service representative. Respondents says they want call centers to come back to the country, and they say they are willing to wait up to three minutes on hold to speak to representatives who are inside U.K. borders.

These feelings demonstrate a prominent dislike for the barriers between cultures and a desire for service that is efficient and effective. Perhaps the most telling statistic in the infographic is that people are willing to wait -- up to a certain point (three minutes) -- for quality service. Even if they receive expedited service from offshore call centers, it stands to reason that poor service, even if it is quick, may still be frowned upon. The pressure is certainly on U.K. businesses to increase their levels of efficacy when it comes to customer interaction. This does not always mean bringing call center operations back to home base, but it does mean an increased level of quality and a conquering of cultural barriers that clearly have citizens in a fit.

Edited by Alisen Downey