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How do you neutralize voice and accent issues in Call Centers?

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words ‘call center’?  How about ‘outsourcing’?

The three biggest concerns everyone always seems to have when thinking about outsourcing service support options seem to be:

  1. Voice and accent
  2. Cultural disconnect, and
  3. Voice and accent

Since voice and accent (V&A) seems to be everyone’s concern about outsourcing offshore, how do you minimize/neutralize the V&A issue when looking to outsource your service support?  Simple … don’t offshore.  The best way to neutralize accents and mitigate concerns about cultural disconnects is to hire native English speakers here onshore!  Not only do they speak the language, they know and understand all the subtleties of American culture.  While some offshore agents may be able to engage in light chatter and rapport building, how many of them can successfully get beyond who won the last Super Bowl? Or ‘How is the weather in Duluth today?’  Realize it or not, everything we encounter day in and day out shapes our communication and social interactions — everything a call center agent does each and every call.  These subtleties are very difficult, if not nearly impossible, to duplicate offshore.

Why try?!  Let the others deal with how to inject culture into their conversations and neutralize their accents.  You can focus your attentions on building your brand, increasing first contact resolutions (FCR) and improving your Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) index, because you’ve got options to reduce your expenses and outsource onshore instead!  Seek out a good, solid domestic resource who can provide the service support you need.  Then focus your energies on growing the relationship into  a strategic partnership rather than focusing on how to neutralize accents or inject culture into your vendor’s agents.

In upcoming blogs we’ll explore the effects the current economy is having on call centers and how you can benefit.  I’d love to get your thoughts and hear about your experiences along these lines — good or bad.



This entry was posted in Call Center News, Outsourcing by John Dubay. Bookmark the permalink.

About John Dubay

As Director of Operations, John Dubay is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Sound Telecom's multiple service delivery centers and for ensuring the highest levels of service, support, quality and value for Sound Telecom's many clients. John brings 20+ years of experience in client services, account management and operations management with outsourced BPO and customer service organizations worldwide to Sound Telecom. His ability to leverage previous experiences in multiple industry verticals and successes in the consistent management and delivery of client specific operational metrics adds value to both Sound Telecom and our diverse client base. John earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington State University where he studied business administration, international business and economics.