INDIA OUTSOURCING TO……………THE U.S.?
India’s thriving outsourcing business is so successful that some companies are actually outsourcing their outsourcing to other countries like Mexico, Canada, Romania and – someone should be with Lou Dobbs when he hears this – to America. Uh huh. According to the New York Times, one Indian company says they are considering opening outsourcing offices in Idaho, Virginia and Georgia to take advantage of “states which are less developed.” Ouch! It does seem a bit loopy. Globalization meets Alice-in-Wonderland. This does suggest that when you call your neighborhood bank about a wayward check, you may actually be talking to someone in Idaho by way of Bangalore. Why, you may ask, doesn’t the bank let you call straight to Idaho and bypass the hissing long-distance frustrating chat with some polite guy who is doing his best to understand your vernacular-laden stressed out rant? The standard reply you usually hear from the outsourcer is “Those people don’t cost us very much so we can pass the savings on to the customer while we thrive as a result. Everybody wins. Maybe. There’s could be a micro-trend in the making towards businesses keeping customer service in the U.S., paying prevailing American wages and also thriving. NetFlix, the movies-by-mail people, has decided to IN-source their customer service center to a new huge 24/7 Oregon call-center in Portland, Oregon. Why Oregon? Because NetFlix says Oregonians are polite and nice to others. And indeed, they are. Netflix is saying something important to the business community. Connecting with customers pocketbooks is a good thing but connecting customers with an understanding and helpful human experience on the other end of the phone is a better thing. It is the significant differentiator in the market place. We live in a digitally-paced, voice-mailing, outsourced world where get-it-now-and-get-it-cheap is the prevailing mode. Somehow business has forgotten the old Fats Waller song, “It Ain’t What You do, It’s the Way That You Do It.” So, if our customer service call now takes us to polite and friendly Oregonian or Idahoan by way of India, then maybe it’s not so loopy after all. They just have to get rid of the distracting long-distance hiss on the line.