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Domestic vs International Contact Centers: Which Is Right For You?

by Meg Monk

Sales growth is an exciting accomplishment for any business. But landing big accounts often means an increase in customer support requests. If your in-house staff doesn’t have the capacity to handle an increase in call volume, you may be considering offloading support services to a BPO call center.

Both domestic and international call centers can effectively handle customer support requests, but the specific needs of your business may make one or the other a better choice. Your decision impacts the customer experience, and ultimately, your business reputation. 

Below, we’ll compare international and domestic contact centers and explore solutions that will support your agents worldwide. By understanding the differences between domestic and international call centers, you can overcome the challenges that could affect your customers and staff as you decide which option best fits your company’s needs. 

What's the Difference Between a Domestic and an International Call Center?

The primary difference is the contact center's proximity to its customers. Domestic contact centers serve customers within the same country, while international centers can connect with customers all over the world. Choosing to keep your support operations in-country can eliminate cultural or language differences that can adversely impact the customer experience.

As your business expands globally, you may want to add domestic contact centers in other countries. For example, a local call center operating in Germany will only serve German customers. 

An international contact center, on the other hand, interacts with customers from many countries. In some cases, an outsourced call center can be located in an area where none of your customers live or work. In this case, your support center may have phone numbers local to the areas your business serves, so your customers can call your helpline without incurring per-minute fees. 

Many US-based companies have one or more domestic call centers within the country as well as in foreign countries to serve international clients who speak languages other than English. Some may use an centralized international contact center located in – whether inside or outside the United States – to communicate with clients in all countries served. 

Domestic vs. International Contact Centers: Which Is Right for Me?

The differences between domestic and international call centers can affect your company's management and customer care, so it's vital to choose the right solution for your organization's specific needs. Moreover, your contact center software, which ensures connections between your agents and customers, can limit or expand your options. Consider the following aspects of domestic and international contact centers before deciding which direction is best for your company.

International Contact Centers

An international contact center can be more affordable than setting up separate support centers in multiple countries. One location with various teams and shifts can handle calls around the world. You can deliver a seamless calling or messaging experience using modern CCaaS tools.

An interactive voice messaging (IVR) system and advanced call routing tools match inbound callers to the best agent based on many preconfigured rules. A caller who dialed your local number in France can be automatically directed to multilingual agents. An IVR system can also route calls based on the caller's geographic location or send a known client to their favorite customer service representative.

However, according to the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI), nearly 60% of contact center leaders report challenges with "finding and retaining in-house bi/multilingual agents." Avoid taxing your current workforce by adding a domestic contact center when your call volume exceeds your international call center capacity. 

Domestic Contact Centers

When a significant portion of your voice and chat messages stem from a particular region, adding local call center agents can improve your service quality. Domestic contact centers reduce your risk of language and cultural barriers while ensuring compliance with local regulations. They can be a transformative part of a localization strategy, allowing your company to deliver personalized care across the world. 

Fifty-seven percent of surveyed contact center leaders say that, in general, customers expect support in their native language. Therefore, agents with native language skills can drive customer satisfaction rates higher while reducing your average time to resolution. 

CCaaS provides the flexibility to operate call centers worldwide without losing access to valuable insights. Consequently, companies often take a hybrid approach using intelligent cloud software to expertly route customers to domestic and international contact centers.

Domestic & International Call Center Management Solutions

Today's AI-driven contact center platforms eliminate geographic boundaries between your agents and customers. Moreover, they provide options that you can leverage to get the best of both worlds. Contact center tools route calls and messages globally, allowing you to scale your customer service one agent or one location at a time. 

The best solutions even support routing to an outsourced call center. In that case, you can retain the data about your callers while contracting out international call center management. Using both domestic and international contact centers can pose certain challenges. But it's nothing that a strategic technology partnership can't fix. 

Centralize Customer Conversations to Ensure CX Consistency

Although there are differences between domestic and international call centers, your customers shouldn't detect them. Client interactions with your human and virtual agents should feel comfortable and natural, regardless of your representative's location. The best way to achieve this is by deploying contact center AI solutions. 

Conversational AI and natural language processing (NLP) tools supply advanced team leader analytics, enabling them to support and coach remote agents. Likewise, cloud-based contact center software unifies data from multiple call center locations without compromising security. 

A CCaaS platform like UJET that is purpose-built for customer relationship management (CRM) limits the personally identifiable information (PII) kept on the platform. Instead, it stores PII and customer data natively in the CRM, increasing your company’s security and giving your global team one source of information.

Explore BPO Services That Support Clients Worldwide

As your business grows, your technology and agents define your level of service. Build consistency into every interaction by partnering with a CCaaS provider that supports domestic and international contact center activities. Learn how to scale your services by signing up for a UJET demo today.