local or offshore: how do you want to talk to your internet provider?
Internet | 31 January 2018
When it comes to choosing a new internet service provider, most people care about the download and upload speeds, the add-ons and special features, the costs and terms of service. And, that’s understandable: you want to ensure that you will get the best deal for your internet.
However, one crucial aspect that most people neglect is the availability and reliability of customer support. Think about it for a second: if you experience any problem with your connection, you want to ensure that you’ll get fast and easy support. A lack of professional customer service can be just as frustrating as slow internet speeds or outages.
More and more companies are moving their customer support service overseas in an attempt to cut down costs and keep them under control. At MATE, we prefer to do things a bit differently. As an 100% Australian owned company, we prefer keeping our customer service centre local. We only employ local staff and never outsource customer service jobs overseas.
Here are some of the reasons we do so that you may care about.
access to skilled customer support reps
Reports show that home-based agents are more skilled than their overseas counterparts. Not only do the vast majority of them have some college education, but they are also more knowledgeable about the local business environment, culture or events. As such, they can provide better and faster solutions to your problems than an overseas agent.
Just imagine trying to explain to an outsider who doesn’t understand your slang the problem you are experiencing with your internet connection. Sure, you may find a resolution in the end, but most likely it will happen after minutes (or hours) of frustrating dialogue.
security and privacy concerns
Overseas customer support representatives don’t always go through the same thorough background checks as Australian-based agents. It’s not uncommon for outsourcing companies to alter the employment history of agents and completely weed out their criminal records.
Most companies have no way of checking the accuracy of the information they receive, and they must rely on the trustworthiness of the companies they are working with. Even if they can double check every piece of information that comes their way, that will take a gargantuan effort and will require a lot of time and resources.
Fraud is a real concern when it comes to outsourcing customer support offshore. That is less likely to be a problem with local agents since every one of them undergoes strict and comprehensive background checks.
quality of outcomes
One of the main arguments companies that move their customer service operations overseas make is that they can now offer 24/7 customer support for a fraction of the cost. And, that’s true. If your internet service provider has offshore agents, then you can probably contact them at any time of the day.
But, here’s the thing: whilst locally based customer service teams may not necessarily offer the same hours of operation, you will inevitably get better outcomes in the timespan you desire.
Do you really think contacting a customer service rep on the other side of the world at 9pm at night is going to resolve an issue with your internet before the next day? Chances are if your issue is complex you will need to be transferred to a locally based representative anyway, which means you are likely wasting time bouncing between people before you have a solution.
Locally based reps are more likely to be able to diagnose and prescribe a solution for you in a short timeframe, even though it is only during operating hours.
Look, we’re not saying that you should run away if your internet service provider’s (ISP) call centre is located overseas. Other factors weigh in more than if your customer support rep understands your slang or local culture. However, you shouldn’t neglect it either.
Think carefully about what you want from your ISP and the kind of service you want to receive. If you feel more comfortable knowing that there’s no language or cultural barrier between you and your customer support agents, and if you trust locally trained representatives more than overseas ones, then look for an ISP that hires from its own backyard.