Onshore vs Nearshore vs Offshore Call Centers: What’s the Difference?
- Each call center type is categorized by the organization’s location.
- Nearshore call centers are located in a different country than their customers but in a region that’s nearby and in a similar time zone.
- Offshore call centers are located in a different country and time zone than their customers.
- Onshore call centers are located in the same country as the businesses they’re servicing.
- Demand for nearshore call centers has increased over the past few years for several reasons.
Explaining the Difference Between Onshore vs Nearshore vs Offshore Call Centers
To understand the difference between onshore vs nearshore vs offshore call centers, take the real estate approach—location, location, location. Each call center type is categorized by the organization’s location. For example, onshore call centers are located in the same country as the businesses they’re servicing. However, onshore call centers aren’t necessarily located in the same time zone as the customers they’re serving.
Nearshore call centers are located in a different country than their customers but in a nearby region with a similar time zone. For example, for US-based businesses, nearshore call centers may be located in Canada, Puerto Rico, or Mexico. Offshore call centers are located in a different country than their customers, typically somewhere quite far from the businesses they’re servicing. For example, a business in the US may use an offshore call center in India or the Philippines.
The Drawbacks of Onshore Call Centers
One of the biggest drawbacks of using onshore call centers is that they include overhead technology, equipment, and work space costs. It’s also challenging for onshore centers to find employees with the right skillset to manage customer needs, since onshore call centers hire team members looking for employment where the center is located.
The Drawback of Offshore Call Centers
The disadvantage of offshore call centers is that their employees often don’t speak English as their first language, so there can be a communication barrier that causes frustration for the customer. Since they’re located in a different country, many offshore centers operate within a five to 12 hour time difference from their customers, so business owners that work with offshore call centers often find themselves adjusting their schedule to accommodate their partner.
Whether you’re using an offshore, onshore, or nearshore call center, there are important metrics to keep on your radar.
Nearshore vs Offshore Call Centers
The biggest benefit of working with an offshore call center is cost savings since centers located in other countries often pay lower wages—but choosing an offshore call center can have a negative impact on your business. Let’s take a closer look at the disadvantages of choosing an offshore call center to get an idea of the difference between nearshore vs offshore call centers.
Disadvantages of offshore call centers include:
- Cultural and language barriers may interfere with communication
- Privacy concerns
- Lack of control
- Mismatched values if brand expectations and values aren’t aligned
- Lack of transparency regarding metrics and reporting
Why Is Nearshore Outsourcing So Popular?
Now that you have an understanding of how partnering with an offshore call center can negatively impact your business, let’s find out why nearshore outsourcing has become a trend over the years. Demand for nearshore call centers has increased over the past few years for several reasons:
- English language skills and cultural awareness are highly sought after in the outsourcing world.
- Nearshore markets are outperforming US call centers.
- Nearshore outsourcing provides a great balance between onshore and offshore call centers.
- Nearshore call centers operate in similar time zones that make it easier to collaborate with their US counterparts.
- Nearshore agencies have stronger ties and familiarity with US culture, products, and services.
- Skilled, bilingual, multilingual, educated, and tech-savvy people are selected as employees at nearshore call centers.
Nearshore call centers are also more cost-effective than onshore centers and can still provide bilingual services. They also offer business owners more control over their operations compared to offshore centers, since nearshore agencies operate in close proximity to their customers.
The Benefits of Nearshore Call Centers
With a nearshore call center, you can get:
- Up to 50% more cost-effective solutions than onshore centers
- Bilingual agents who can help with the US demand for Spanish fluency
- English fluency and cultural familiarity since many agents have lived or worked in the US
Why Nearshore Outsourcing is the Best Solution for your Brand
Since nearshore call centers are in close proximity to the border, many agents have family in the U.S. or lived there at some point in their lives, so they have a first-hand cultural understanding to relate to your customers, products, and services. Nearshore call centers also operate in similar time zones so you don’t have to adjust your schedule to accommodate them. Call centers near the U.S. are also 50% more cost-effective than onshore centers, and you still get the benefit of providing bilingual services to your customers. Working as a call center agent in a country near the border is a highly sought-after career path, so nearshore call centers employ educated, tech-savvy agents equipped with the right skills to represent your brand positively.
An Experienced Nearshore Call Center Partner
ListenTrust is an experienced nearshore call center partner offering all the services you’d expect from a first-class telecommunications partner, and then goes above and beyond. We’re committed to ensuring that every person we engage with gets a positive customer experience.
Headquartered in Portland, Maine, and operating in Mexico, ListenTrust’s nearshore call center employs over 800 highly skilled English and Spanish speaking live agents. Our highly skilled agents have the knowledge and experience to represent your brand well and connect with your customers to provide a satisfying experience. Contact us today to connect with an experienced nearshore call center partner.