Reshoring has been a trend for some years. In 2009, 35% of US companies maintained “offshore contact centers or help desks.” The number thereafter dropped substantially. By 2013, “the percentage of contact center contracts with significant onshore delivery climbed to 53 percent…” During that year, a Deloitte study found that “[f]or US-based companies, the US continues to be the primary region for contact center expansion.” A 2016 Site Selection Group study showed the reshoring trend continuing and that “the United States led overall growth with 281 projects announced with 76,324 jobs” created in the time frame studied. Reshoring is on the same trajectory in 2017: “Four Democratic senators led by Bob Casey of Pennsylvania plan to send a letter to President Trump on Wednesday seeking an executive order to help preserve call center jobs by banning federal contractors from offshoring such posts.” In addition, the president’s call to bring jobs back to the US has outsourcers concerned about penalties they may face for keeping jobs overseas (though there is some indication that outsourced contact centers may not be directly affected). In short, reshoring will not be reversing any time soon.
How WorkFlex Contributes to Reduced Costs
The single biggest reason companies outsource is cost. For those bringing contact center jobs back to the US, the cost factor is a serious concern. Higher agent wages, the need to hire workforce and HR managers, the cost of maintaining facilities and investing in technologies – these costs join another cost that drains company budgets, and immensely and adversely impacts customer service: agent turnover. One way in which WorkFlex helps reshoring companies reduce costs is to help them reduce the “Total or True Cost of agent turnover” which can be “as high as $15,000 – $20,000 per turnover” (and that was in 2010). WorkFlex increases agent satisfaction, thereby bringing turnover rates down. We accomplish this feat by putting a tool in agents’ hands that makes them autonomous managers of their work life. Yes, they still have their assigned schedule from the contact center, but they can adjust it as they wish and need with the mobile app we designed specifically for agents. They see all available opportunities for time off and extra hours in the app interface. If there isn’t any available time off, they can trade with another agent via the app, or they can swap time with themselves. They can even earn extra time off with the gamification capability we have built into the interface. With most agents now part of Gen Y (Millennials), this flexibility is a must for employers seeking to hang on to their workforce.
The schedule flexibility WorkFlex provides agents in the contact center is so valuable to them that a considerable percentage (about a third) will accept a lower hourly wage to get it. (The SWPP survey we sponsored late last year shows the high importance of flexibility to the current agent population.) Reduced wages produce cost savings for the contact center. New recruits can be hire at a lower wage, and existing employees can receive lower annual wage increases. The savings in wage per hour frees up the funds to pay for WorkFlex, which, in turn, raises employee satisfaction and shrinks turnover, reducing the high cost of recruiting and training new agents. See the figure below for a budget breakdown:
WorkFlex also promotes Adherence, a metric with an enormous impact on customer satisfaction. Since 82% of customers will, according to one study, stop doing business with a brand because of unsatisfactory customer service, ensuring that agents adhere to assigned time schedules is imperative. Spending too much time on break or on a given call means leaving customers waiting, a source of irritation for them that can easily translate into negative brand perception. WorkFlex real-time alerting is game-changing functionality for Adherence issues.
To conclude – yes, reshoring is a growing trend and WorkFlex can help reduce the cost. Talking to one of our team members can provide you with more details. Contact us if you’d like to have a conversation about this or other subjects related to contact center performance optimization.