February 20, 2008
Research Reveals Germany as Sound Contact Center Investment
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Despite the controversy that surrounds offshore outsourcing in the contact center industry, many companies still take this route as it proves to be economically wise and their customer service does not suffer as a result.
For those companies that search for smart offshore investments, Germany is proving to be a location of choice for contact center investors. For those that do, they receive both an entry point into Europe’s largest market and access at an affordable cost.
Soren Dressler, professor for International Management Accounting at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin and founder of the Offshoring Institute, argued this point at Call Center World 2008.
Dressler believes that growth in the contact center industry can be seen throughout all of Germany. The industry proves to be growing at an annual rate of 10 percent. The growth, along with the presence of major companies such as Transcom, Telecom Italia (News - Alert) and eBay, is evidence of the country’s expertise and continued potential in contact centers.
The contact center market in Germany is also price competitive. According to the Offshoring Institute, increasing wage costs in Eastern Europe is creating a cost advantage to investing in Eastern Europe in comparison with the Berlin-Brandenburg region which drops 6-8 percent each year. Wage stability can be seen throughout Germany as unit labor costs have fallen in recent years.
Students in Germany are now able to take advantage of a practical and theoretical training program in “Dialogue Marketing and Sales”. Such training is raising the standards of contact center employees and producing a strong base of workers for the contact center industry.
In addition, many Germans can speak and second and sometimes even a third language. As a result, many companies can install non-German language contact centers in Germany, or centers that cater to more than one demographic.
Real estate is also promising in Germany. Real estate in this region has proven to be affordable and the country’s telecommunications infrastructure is world-class. Such benefits provide strong arguments for companies considering investing in contact center operations in Germany.
Each of these areas of focus are important considerations for those corporations considering investment in Germany. Customer perception of such a move must also be examined.
While some consumers refuse to use companies that have outsourced their operations to India, will they react the same way to operations established in Germany? Extensive research can provide the answers, but the truth is really only revealed in the actual experience.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.
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