It’s still not as cheap as outsourcing to India or the Philippines, but US companies are increasingly choosing homegrown telephone operators to handle their customer service needs. The trend is fueled by the advent of “phonesourcing” or “homesourcing,” which uses linkups to allow trained operators to work from home, instead of at your traditional brick-and-mortar call center. It costs less—about $20 an hour to the client, instead of $30.
Of course, Time reports, that’s not as cheap as India, at around $12, or the Philippines, at $16, but businesses seem to value some local knowledge if they don’t have to shell out call center premiums. Projections show that the US home-based calling industry will grow 20% a year 2009 and 2012, far outstripping call center growth in those two countries, at 4% and 9% respectively. “In seven years, there will be no reason for employees to drive into a brick-and-mortar cell center,” says an exec.