The recession is over, the economists tell us. While this is news to many Americans – who still remain without jobs in record numbers – there may be a little evidence of it, at least in job creation in the call center industry. In fact, while once we saw call center jobs being shipped offshore by American companies in record numbers, we're now starting to see the reverse: foreign call center companies opening call center facilities in the US, hiring Americans.
Texas-based NBC affiliate 9News.com is today profiling one such company: India-based call center company Aegis, which has opened a call center in Dallas that handles 100,000 calls each day. The company says 90 percent of the workers are Americans. (India call centers outsourcing jobs to the US – now that's a switch!) In the last few years, reports NBC, Aegis has expanded its operations in the US five-fold. It now has nine call centers and more than 5,000 workers within U.S. borders.
It's quite a trend: after more than a decade of call center jobs being outsourced overseas, many of those jobs are beginning to return home. Call it “onshore outsourcing” rather than “offshore outsourcing.”
So why the new trend? It's more than a bit of role-reversal. With the boom in the economies in places like India, wages there have been rising, while wages in the U.S. have been steadily heading south. As a result, the cost savings formerly associated with offshore outsourcing has narrowed, and more companies pay attention to customer service quality, they're aware that Americans like to speak to other Americans when they pick up the phone to call a toll-free number.
Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell