The Negative Effects of Offshoring Customer Service

Topics: Customer service, Unemployment, Outsourcing Pages: 5 (1636 words) Published: October 2, 2010
The Negative Effects 1

The Negative Effects of Offshoring Customer Service
Lisa Morris
Com 120
December 1, 2009
Karen Halusek

The Negative Effects 2
The Negative Effects of Offshoring Customer Service
She is very excited. She just came home with her brand new computer. She and her husband had been saving every extra dollar for quite some time and they were finally able to purchase the computer they had been wanting. They succeeded in getting it set up and excitedly turned it on but could not seem to run it correctly. She called the toll free customer support line, confident that they would have their new computer up and running in no time. The call was answered promptly but she could not understand what the operator had said. She asked, “is this the Computer Company (fictional name)”? The customer service representative responded that it was, at least she thought that was what they said. The representative who answered her call had such a thick foreign accent that she could not understand them. She explained to the representative what the problem was, but she could not understand any of the information given to her. She asked to speak with a different representative; after being placed on hold for several minutes, she had no better luck with the new representative. She and her husband tried several more times to communicate with them, finally hanging up in frustration. They vowed to never purchase another thingamajig from the Computer Company again. They have just experienced offshore outsourcing. Offshore outsourcing of customer service is unethical and may have negative effects on the economy. Outsourcing customer service is companies hiring other firms to perform their customer service operations for them. Offshore outsourcing is contracting with firms in other countries. Offshore outsourcing is also known as offshoring.

The Negative Effects 3
Customers should be the number one consideration of any company. In the long run, it does not matter if a company can offer the lowest cost and most variety of widgets if they do not have the customers to buy them A dissatisfied customer will give their business to someone else. A company has an obligation to inform their consumers if they engage in offshoring customer service. It would be up to the consumer if they would like to continue doing business with that company; therefore taking a chance on iffy customer service; or if they would spend an extra dollar or two on a product from a company who does not offshore their customer service. Ignoring customer satisfaction by offshoring customer service is unethical (Weinstein, 2007). The language barrier is not the only thing standing in the way of receiving good customer service from offshore call centers. Many offshore call centers are in India and China. Most employees of these call centers have a working knowledge of English, but have no idea of the customs of the American people. To provide good customer service, company representatives have to be familiar with their customer base, not to mention possessing knowledge of the company and products they are representing. Employees at offshore call centers are not employees of the company they are representing; they are employees of the firm that a company has hired to provide customer service. They have no stake in how well the company does or what their customers think about them. How does handing someone in India or China a script to refer to when a customer calls to ask a question even come close to being considered good customer service? How can a company ethically advertise the benefits and superior things about their products knowing that if there is a problem, their customers will probably not find satisfactory assistance? Bad customer service equals bad word of mouth. A company will suffer if it provides bad customer service (Weinstein, 2007). The Negative Effects...

References: Offshoring: Will last 2-3 decades, 30-40 million American jobs lost. (2009, October 16). NA. Retrieved from General OneFile. Gale. doi:A210116897
Pfeffer, J. (2006, March 1). The hidden costs of outsourcing. [electronic version]. Business 2.0 Magazine.
Smerd, J. (2009). India on the outs? Workforce Management. 28(6), 30-34. Retrieved from
10% jobless is tougher than it used to be. (2009, November 8). The Forum, p. A7
The story of American jobs; Director Greg Spotts takes on offshoring, warning that it may make the American dream ‘more of a myth than an accessible reality’. (2004, September 10). Business Week Online. Retrieved from General OneFile. Gale. doi:A121822806
Thomas, M. (2009, July 16). The biggest advantage and disadvantage of outsourcing- to outsource or not to outsource. Retrieved October 13, 2009, from
Weinstein, B. (2007). Ethics of outsourcing customer service. Business Week. September 27, 2007. Retrieved October 12, 2009 from http//
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