Call Center Business Dries in USA

I was alarmed at a report that stated that the number of call centers in New York City has dwindled over the years. New York, being the hotbed of business and financial activities, is the source of many call center projects that feed the BPO units across the world. It’s such an irony that the employees of the city itself have to stretch themselves over to find work as BPO service executives. The closing down of the telemarketing units have been around for some time. The projects are being outsourced to offshore destinations. When you see the conditions of the business process outsourcing sector in USA, you feel that they actually need an anti-offshore bill to pull things around for them. Think you have heard the last of the story? Certainly not!

The Ohio State Department is under severe distress because the rebate program they received in the Barack Obama stimulus package has been outsourced to a call center in Central America! The inbound call center division is being handled by agents in El Salvador, fuelling mass indignation. The Texas-based BPO unit that won the contract thought it was wiser for them to outsource the project and save costs. There was nothing in the contract about not using overseas call centers, so they were within their rights to outsource the work and save some money. As the Ohio department feels outraged, the incident raises serious concerns about the way things are. If state work gets outsourced to answering service units overseas, where do we stand in asking private players to use business process outsourcing units in the USA?

You have to look at both sides of the coin to arrive at some decision. The problem is that the case for and against outsourcing call center work to overseas destinations is equally strong. If you speak for the motion, you can say things like cost cuts that business firms need at this stage. Very few business firms would choose being patriotic in the face of cold business logic. They would certainly choose outsourcing to offshore call centers because the cost factor is still a difference that cannot be bridged. With the quality of call center services improving at the developing countries, they have no cause for complaints. The BPO service units in the developing countries have pulled up their socks to be competitive players in the market. They are aware of what these telemarketing projects can do to their economy and business.

On the other hand, if you are speaking against the motion, you have a whole industry running dry of projects. There are reports of layoffs and diminished pays and perks for call center executives every day. The unemployment percentage is shooting up and the concerned authorities will be tempted to stem the flow of lead generation jobs outside the country. With time, the situation is going to worsen. Business firms are not warm to the idea of using USA call centers for their work yet. The recession has left them high and dry. They have a long-winding list of expenditures and paying extra for work that can be done for less is something that’s not on the agenda.

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