3 Reasons Nearshore Outsourcing Is a Better Bet Than Offshoring
November 01, 2018
By: Scott Newman
If you are a U.S. company that is considering outsourcing your customer service, sales, or support call center, nearshore outsourcing is a much safer bet than offshoring.
Here are a few of the reasons I make that claim:
Similar Time Zones
Nearshore outsourcing allows you to handle business in or around the same time zones as where your headquarters is located (assuming, of course, it is essential for you to get things done during regular business hours). For instance, you can set up conference calls and have real-time communication without calculating time zone differentials.
Fluent English-speakers/Cultural Awareness
U.S. consumers prefer to interact with native English speakers, and the likelihood of that happening is greater nearshore than offshore.
That does not mean, however, that all English is created equal. There’s quite a difference between speaking English and understanding it. That’s why U.S. cultural awareness plays a critical role and must factor into any decision you make regarding where to outsource.
Proximity to the U.S.
Traveling to call center locations is a lot easier if you outsource nearshore rather than offshore. If you live in the U.S., you exchange long flights that take you halfway around the world with much shorter trips where you can reach your destination in a little as 2-4 hours (not 24 hours).
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Nearshore Outsourcing Countries
With those advantages in mind, to which countries are U.S. companies turning?
While Mexico, Panama, and Jamaica have developed as mature markets, countries like Belize, Guyana, and El Salvador are emerging and show great promise for growth.
For example, Belize, the country where Transparent BPO’s call centers are located, offers unique benefits, particularly where English (the official language), U.S. cultural awareness, and accessibility are concerned.
Noted call center industry expert Peter Ryan, addressing the advantages of nearshore outsourcing in Belize, said, “Apart from English fluency, the country provides outsourcers with an accessible location from North America, cultural affinity with consumers in the U.S. and Canada, competitive costs, and a solid communications infrastructure. Combined, these elements have been the basis for the most successful of nearshore locations over the past decade.”
Add to that the fact that Belize ranks higher for ease of doing business than other popular outsourcing destinations, such as Brazil, Guyana, Nicaragua, or Venezuela, according to The World Bank.
Related resource: Top 7 Reasons to Consider Belize as a Nearshore Outsourcing Destination
Nearshore Outsourcing Considerations
Despite the advantages of nearshore outsourcing, several factors bear consideration, one of which is cost.
India and the Philippines offer some of the lowest per hour costs but, often, at the expense of quality. And while nearshore call centers aren’t the cheapest, their rates are favorable when compared to domestic call centers.
It’s the best of both worlds, really: Higher CSAT, FCR, service level, and other metrics at a price less than you’d pay onshore.
Geopolitical risks are another determinant. Several Central American countries — Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala, in particular — are facing political and social upheaval at an unprecedented scale. You may recall that one Nicaraguan BPO relocated its agents outside the country earlier this year due to the rising tide of political and social instability.
Hurricanes and tropical storms also affect several Central American and Caribbean countries, raising concerns over business continuity.
Belize, which sits at the crossroads of Central American and the Caribbean, is exempt in either case: Its government is stable, the social climate welcoming, and the country experiences relatively few hurricanes and tropical storms compared to some of its neighbors, such as Mexico.
As the CEO of a nearshore call center company, you would expect me to speak in defense of the merits nearshore outsourcing provides, but that’s because I have seen the benefits that can accrue when companies take advantage of what I alluded to earlier as the “best of both worlds”: domestic quality at nearshore prices.
If you are new to outsourcing or unhappy with your current call center provider, look at what Belize and Transparent BPO can offer as part of your diversification plan.
You can also call us at 800-276-5140 to speak to a member of our staff who can answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.