RP Sanjiv Goenka Group

You will Never Guess Which Country Provides the Customer Service

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Location, location, location: You’ll never guess which country is leading customer service

You’re a business with a large consumer base of “always-on” customers. They expect high-quality service at every hour of the day to take care of their needs. They travel and work in the gig economy, or work long hours that make the 9-5 irrelevant. But now, you need to collect on those customer’s debts– and ensure your relationship with them stays positive. That probably means adding another shift to your customer service team to cover the late nights or weekend hours when your customers are ready to engage– it might be costly, but you’re ready to dive in.

Unfortunately, it’s 2024, and the labor market is tight. Unemployment rates are low, so hiring isn’t easy. Our research shows that 79% of companies agree that hiring today is much harder than it was 2 years ago. And it’s becoming increasingly harder to hire front-facing service agents, especially for tension-packed verticals like debt collection. The next generation of workers prioritizes flexibility and cites stress as a major factor in job-hopping– meaning they’re less likely to seek out high-stress, high-visibility roles like customer-facing debt collection.

Now, your company still needs to make a shift in customer experience service to improve debt collection returns. Hiring locally isn’t an option and the current cost to collect is too high, so something has to change. It’s time to consider nearshore and offshore capabilities to augment your debt collection operation.

A solution that works

Leveraging Firstsource’s geographically diverse delivery footprint, led by an experienced staff, one company found a 70% reduction in cost to collect and a 20% improvement in debt collections performance.

This client turned to Firstsource to deliver on solutions to those common pain points: hiring, shift coverage, and cost increases. They recognized that what’s important in collections isn’t just where your agent works from: it’s making sure that each agent has the time, energy, and knowledge to connect with each customer. It’s ensuring that data-driven personalization runs throughout the debt collections process. It’s bringing empathy into every touchpoint, to empower a customer to take control of their debt.

So why don’t more companies embrace this model?

Thinking bigger: a partnership that recovered millions in debt, without sacrificing customers

There are a number of objections I hear when it comes to the idea of outsourcing debt collections.

One is that external agents won’t have the nuanced approach to customer relationships that your company prioritizes during the debt collection process. Time and again, we’ve proven that objection wrong. Take one of our clients, a luxury automobile manufacturer with high-profile clients whose loyalty was extremely valuable to the brand. Many of the customers had complex situations, requiring lots of coordination and delicate conversations, but the company was facing down a wall of debt and knew that something needed to change. Firstsource brought in a dedicated and experienced team prepared to provide empathetic, solution-oriented, and exceptional service– and that’s exactly what they did. Supported by data-driven customer-journey mapping, Firstsource’s agents recovered $4M in auto lease debt in one year, and most notably, customers with resolved debt still came back to lease new vehicles.

Numbers don’t lie: 35% reduction in collection expenses from a debt-collection partnership

Another frequent objection to outsourcing is that in-house teams can handle the challenges just as well. On a small scale, this can be true, but in many cases the cost of maintaining an in-house team (and the cost of collecting those debts) is unsustainable. Scalable solutions like Firstsources prepare your company to not just recover current outstanding debt, but to grow your collections capabilities to fit future needs in a cost-effective way. Not only are specialized outsourced capabilities more scalable, but Firstsource has the debt collections expertise to train our agents (and yours) to find better results, every time. Take one client, who approached us to supplement their agents and found a 35% reduction in collection expenses from their new, flexible onshore/offshore model. Or another whose offshore team delivers 15% higher collection yields and 15% higher retention than their onshore team.

De-risk your business

The final objection that I’ve heard a number of times is about compliance. The regulatory landscape in the collection’s space in the US is complex, and many companies are concerned about navigating compliance with an outsourced workforce. Compliance runs through every conversation at Firstsource. We de-risk your processes and regularly reduce customer complaints by an average of 85%. Our compliance experts have deep experience in creating audit-ready processes. The bottom line: we tackle thorny issues and complex landscapes without a hitch.

Key outsourcing needs: location (and more locations)

Outsourcing can take you anywhere, but right now, Mexico has the edge on nearshore staffing. Sharing borders and time zones with the U.S. offers a huge advantage, making collaboration and training easier. Proximity and history with the US bring a unique informal language familiarity that takes customer service to the next level. Not to mention that over 13% of the U.S. population speaks Spanish, making bi-lingual Spanish-English speaking agents a highly-sought after demographic. And with a significantly lower cost of living, companies can find a highly capable workforce at a much lower cost.

Firstsource has seen all of these benefits in our nearshore workforces based in Mexico– but we don’t depend on just one location. As a provider with outsourcing capabilities in multiple locations, we can provide the reliability, redundancy, and continuity across time zones that your organization needs.

Staring down a solution

Major companies are already digitizing and outsourcing components of their debt collections process. Other companies staring down a tough economy and tightening labor market, all while consumer debt is rising, will be left behind if they don’t do the same. The equation is simple: a cost-effective solution that delivers higher customer satisfaction and better collections returns. Stay nearshore or go offshore. Supplement your team or add a new one. Whatever the path, it’s clear that outsourcing can provide the results you need– and Firstsource makes collections happen. Reach out to our team today to learn more.


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