Couple interesting articles out there today. The first one is on news.com and is entitled Offshore Outsourcing Satisfaction Drops. Now I’ve never made any bones about the fact that I don’t like companies outsourcing. I just don’t think that the customer goodwill you lose is worth it. I also had one particularly horrible experience with Comcast. Read that, and then check out the comments as well. I was taken to task, for what to the reader thought was probably racist or nationalistic tendencies. It was a good debate, and I think we came to a good middle ground.
My issue is not one of race or nation. To me, it’s simple. If I call a help desk or support for a service I buy here in the United States, I should have someone on the other end that can speak understandable English. I don’t think that’s too much to ask really. I think everyone that subscribes to a service in their native country should be able to get support in their native tongue, and that support should be understandable.
To me it’s simply a language issue, I’m not even taking into account stupid techs. You’ll find those talentless script-reading hacks anywhere. I don’t like that at all either, but that’s not unique to outsourcing, it’s a problem everywhere.
Anyway, I think more and more people are getting fed up with the language barriers, and I think numbers in the article above are partly due to customer backlash on this very issue.
To further emphasize the point, an AP news story India faces outsourcing labor shortage stated:
Most people who apply for back-office jobs lack communication skills, knowledge of international practices and advanced computing skills, said Kiran Karnik, president of the National Association of Software and Services Companies, India’s technology trade body.
Number one on that list? A lack of communication skills. I don’t think that’s a coincedence.