Report shows customers want to speak with American-based call centers

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A recent study on call center satisfaction suggests that a shift to on-shore call centers will benefit companies like DialAmerica Inc., which pioneered the teleservices industry 50 years ago and exclusively operates from domestic facilities with US employees.

According to new research by the Ann Arbor, MI-based CFI Group, a customer satisfaction and optimization consulting firm, marketers may need to move off-shore call centers back to the US to satisfy demanding consumers.

In its June 2007 study, customers polled who thought a call center was located outside the US rated their satisfaction level with the call center experience 26 points lower , and were almost twice as likely to defect , than those who assumed the call center was in the US.

"Our company philosophy is to have Americans talking to Americans," said Art Conway, DialAmerica's president and CEO, of Mahwah, NJ-based DialAmerica, in a statement. "We know from experience that by operating solely on-shore we have a higher first call resolution - when the consumer can resolve their issues in the first call alone - which leads to higher customer satisfaction, and ultimately, customer retention."

DialAmerica Inc., one the nation's largest teleservices companies, has a diverse portfolio of clients in multiple industry sectors, including financial services, communications, healthcare, pharmaceutical, technology, travel and leisure, consumer products, energy and others.

The CFI Group study, titled "Customer Satisfaction with Call Centers Drives Loyalty, Word of Mouth, Retention, and ROI," reported the two biggest factors in customer call center satisfaction are issue resolution and a customer's feeling that the customer service representative is easy to understand and interested in helping them.

"Off-shoring has a negative impact on satisfaction because off-shore customer service reps are less adept at solving customer problems," said Sheri Teodoru, program director at CFI Group and author of the study. "Customer service reps located outside of the US are rated lower on communication skills. When communication skills are poor, customers' issues remain unsolved in the majority of cases."

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