Should Contact Centers Be Forced To Reveal Where They are Located?

It happens almost every year: A bill is introduced in Congress to address contact center outsourcing.

The 2018 version comes from Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who has proposed legislation requiring contact center employees in India and other foreign locales to reveal their location during each call, and offer customers the option of being transferred to an agent within the United States. If that offer isn’t made, customers can request it.

If you polled the average consumer about this, they’d probably be delighted. There’s nothing quite so frustrating as calling a company to request information about one of their products, question a billing charge or place an order. After waiting (and waiting, and waiting) on hold for a customer service representative, your call is finally answered by a distant-sounding voice with an indistinguishable accent.

But companies that outsource argue that it’s an economic necessity. No one argues that the service is better when it comes from the other side of an ocean; but by doing so agents can be hired for a fraction of the salary they would make at home.

Senator Brown’s bill would also create a public list of companies that outsource call center jobs, and give preference in federal contracts to companies that haven’t shipped these jobs overseas.

The good news for companies that outsource is that such legislation has not passed when previously proposed. But, there’s always a first time.

Do you believe contact centers should be forced to reveal their location?

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