It’s Friday. Marjorie is driving home from work.

Her cell phone rings once.

She ignores it. But right away, it rings a second time. 

Thinking it might be an urgent call from her boyfriend or someone in her family, she pulls over at the next fast food restaurant and calls the number back. A young man with a thick accent answers the phone.

“Yes, ma’am is this Miss Marjorie ?”

“Yes it is, Who’s this?”

“Hi, my name is Cody, and I’m calling from Farm Reserve Financial. Our records show that you are indebted to our organization for $50. Would you like to make that payment now, Miss Marjorie?”

“I’ve never heard of your company. Who is this?”

“Okay. I understand, Ma’am but what that means is that we will have to call the authorities for you, Miss Marjorie, in order to recover our funds.”


“A police detective will be there in the morning, Ma’am to question you. However, if you pay the balance of your debt, we will not have to move forward with this.”

“What debt. What are you saying I owe you for?”

“Products purchased in March 2011, ma’am.”

“What products?”

“We don’t have those records, ma’am. I’m sorry. Would you like me to send the police officer to your home on Lily Garden Drive, or would you like to pay that balance with me now on the phone ma’am?”

Luckily, Marjorie chose at this point to hang up on the caller and call her local police non-emergency line.

The officer informed Marjorie that this was a common scam and that she should not send money.

However, for many Americans, a call like this is terrifying; and the last thing they’re going to do is actually call the cops to verify that what this jerk is saying is true.

Though this is an extreme experience with a foreign caller and the caller called Marjorie, (not the other way around), international scammers target millions of Americans every day. In addition, many of these same Americans regularly experience exceptionally poor — even ridiculous — customer service, when they call familiar US businesses that have decided to outsource.

Though there is nothing wrong with giving international workers an opportunity to make money; when it comes to customer service, many Americans want to scream, “This has to stop!”

Because of all the Nigerian and Indian scams pervading the Internet and our home phone lines, trust is at an all-time low for international customer service agents. If business owners knew how much the average American cringes every time he or she has to give his social security or credit card number to an international agent, they would fire the foreign call center within 10 minutes. In fact, if you have international phone agents and a competitor chooses not to, the harsh reality is that all they have to do is advertise that they don’t and you might lose a significant number of customers immediately.

This is not to say all Canadian or American workers are more trustworthy or professional than international customer service reps, (you have to do your due diligence for anyone that handles sensitive information for your firm). However, it’s just saying that customer service is a huge percentage of your business, and many business owners are completely throwing away lifetime customers, in order to pay someone from another country less than $3 an hour to answer their phones badly.

Though international workers are typically cheaper, how much are you really saving? Most marketing experts will tell you that nothing is more valuable than a repeat customer. New customers are great and all, but simply not as valuable.

Cheap Ways to Get Better for Business Customer Service Agents

Outsource to Home Workers.

There are many people in the US and Canada that want to work from home. Most people have smartphones and computers or tablets nowadays. Many of them will work at exceptionally affordable, even cheap rates because you’re allowing them to work from home. In addition, software to manage a remote call center team like this is typically very affordable, easy to use and accessible.

Think About Chat

Having 24/7 chat customer service might be enough for your business. If you want to use foreign workers, sticking with chat customer service only is the best way to hide your workers’ country of origin. You will need to have a business phone number or a way for consumers to request a call back at least, especially for older customers. And for those calls, you should have at least one US or Canadian based customer service person on staff to return these phone calls. If you can’t afford that, do the callbacks yourself.

Contact us today to truly start offering better customer service to your clients right away.


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Dan Sincavage

Dan Sincavage

Dan is a Co-Founder of Tenfold and currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer. Dan oversees the Tenfold sales organization, manages strategic partner relationships and works with key enterprise accounts to ensure their success with the Tenfold platform.

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