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Offshore timebomb threatens customer loyalty

Flush with higher than expected operational and financial performance, companies are still ramping up their offshore investments. But the sting in the tail, according to research from customer management consultancy CM Insight, is that service quality falls below that of home-grown service centres.

"Despite their high performance, the quality has dipped in 75% of cases and this is where the alarm bells started to ring," CM Insight Mike Havard told delegates at the Offshore Customer Management conference in Prague last week.

"Quality measures have dipped, it seems therefore, that if organisations are continuing to grow at a faster rate than the business case, they are saying that that's OK - the quality dip is an allowable compromise versus the cost savings. And when you ask the obvious question out of that: 'what's the quality dip?' you draw a blank."

IT Directors need to tackle this "customer impact denial" as Harvard calls it, and to address the implications of growing absenteeism and attrition rates offshore, if they are to maintain early offshoring successes.

"You have to beware the sting in the tail: the budget and the plan need to be worked through diligently and have appropriate benchmarks - you need to consider all of the cost dynamics and all of the cost impacts," says Havard.


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