Overseas customer support centers might save companies money, but this is at the cost of the customer. Consumers demand service that is clear and concise, which simply can't be provided from overseas due to communication barriers.
What happens when you seek support with your technology and you are speaking to someone who quite likely does not even have access to or use that technology? You don't get help. You get frustrated and you ask to speak to a supervisor. Three people later, you actually get someone whose English you can understand. Americans need jobs now, and it is a waste of time and money to employ people who can not deliver effective customer service.
When customers call for technical support, that support should be local. The biggest problems with technical assistance that is located overseas is that their is, at times, a language barrier and, sometimes, the overseas operator may not understand the customer's request, or the customer may not understand the operator's instructions. When people reach out for technical support, they're already most likely frustrated, and having to deal with such issues just upsets the customer further.
Businesses have an obligation to provide customers with technical assistance from native American English speakers, if they do business in America. Local accents and idioms make communication very difficult. When it becomes necessary for a customer to contact customer service, the customer is already frustrated. The difficulty of communication only escalates the frustration.
I am definitely in favor of having native English speakers available as IT operators. I believe that businesses have an obligation to provide good technical service for their products and this includes being able to understand what the technician is telling you. I have gotten hold of some IT operators whose English was so bad that I could not communicate well enough to explain my problem and just had to hang up the phone and seek help elsewhere. In addition to the language problem, we have many people out of work right here in the United States who would like to have these jobs.
With our high unemployment rate, we need to keep as many jobs here in the U.S. as we can, instead of hiring operators in India.
Businesses that outsource IT operators to other countries do so because of financial concerns. When regulations on domestic workers in the IT field drive companies to the point that they are losing money, they have two options: outsource to competent workers who will work for less, or go out of business.
If employees of a company need help, their employer should have someone who can assist them here, in this country. Not only is it good business sense to have tech help here in the U.S., it is also easier for the person who needs help. Quite often, it is very difficult to understand foreign accents over a telephone, and when it's something confusing that makes it all the more frustrating.
It is the business owner's responsibility to maximize their productivity. Employees are paid to do their job, and if there is something hindering that, the business managers should help to find ways to fix that. Overseas IT operators can present a language barrier, which can slow productivity.
The only obligation a business has is to provide quality services and customer service. As long as the technical services provided are top quality and meet customer expectations, i dont see how the location of the IT operators become a debate. The debate should solely focus on quality provided assistance
If a business wishes to contract overseas agents, that is their choice. But,
they should take into consideration how well those agents understand and
speak English, as well as how well they are able to comprehend the general
conversation. As much as I don't like all these jobs going overseas, it is
really up to the company.
Businesses respond to the marketplace. They choose to outsource customer support, because it is cheaper to do so. If customers dislike this practice, they should vote with their dollars and their complaints. If enough business is lost due to offshoring to make the practice economically unsound, companies will adjust their practices and move call centers to the U.S. They should not be obligated to do so, as this would artificially constrain the market and result in higher consumer prices, without necessarily improving service quality.
Businesses usually send IT work oversees in order to save some money. I feel that this is fine to do as long as the business makes sure that the oversees worker could speak fluently and be easily understood. So it is important that they hire workers who can communicate properly. Unfortunately, sometimes some businesses only look at the bare minimum communication skills.
For most businesses it's not their responsibility to use domestic technical support personnel. With many services it's not necessary to provide any phone support whatsoever, so the fact that people are receiving technical support over the phone can be considered a bonus in some ways. If the employee needs more assistance than a overseas operator can provide or can't understand the technical operator then more assistance should be provided.
I believe that jobs should be kept in our country. They don't need to be outsourced to China, or any other country. If we kept more jobs in our country instead of outsourcing them, this country would be in a better economic state than it currently is. There are plenty of people here who are more than willing to work that type of job, and plenty who need jobs.
It is also the responsibility of customers to hold businesses responsible for their level of IT support. If a company chooses to move IT support overseas, that is their right. They have no obligation other than what the customer requests. It is up to customers to send a clear signal to the business if they are unhappy with IT support.
Businesses need to constantly strive to improve profits and grow, to better serve their employees and customers. If this includes outsourcing technical support and it is an adequate method of solving problems then this is an acceptable solution.