Outsource, Offshore, or Automate?

Outsource, Offshore, or Automate?

All companies need to provide customer service. If your business is large enough you probably do that through a contact centre. To get the best value for money, or return on investment (ROI) on your contact centre it needs to run efficiently and deliver a number of important things for your customers.

A combination of factors including the tight job market, difficult economic conditions, and advances in communications and AI technologies, is leading lots of companies to reassess their customer service operations.

The end result of that process usually comes down to a decision as to whether to outsource, offshore, or automate all or some elements of customer service.


Balancing the cost – benefit equation

ROI, of course, depends on both your revenue and your costs. If you’re a high-end luxury brand, for example, you can spend quite a bit more on customer service as you receive a lot more from each sale.

It’s the difference between the service and experience you get at Aldi versus Harris Farm Markets.

One of the most critical choices you’ll make is whether to outsource some or parts of your contact centre onshore, send some work offshore, or integrate automation technologies like chatbots, agent self-service, and RPA into your operation.

This guide will help you assess the pros and cons of outsourcing, offshoring, or automating part of your customer service.

Onshore vs Offshore Outsourcing: The Great Location Debate

Many businesses have caught the outsourcing bug, lured by cost savings, global reach, and increased revenue. Research from Deloitte shows that 70% of companies outsource to cut costs, while 40% do so to boost flexibility. But with so many options in the BPO world, how can you pick the perfect outsourcing partner for your Australian business? Let’s unravel the mystery.


Onshore Outsourcing: Keeping It Local

Onshore outsourcing involves partnering with a contact centre located in Australia, offering the advantages of shared language, culture, and time zones. This often results in seamless communication and better alignment with your brand’s values. Choosing a reputable onshore partner like CDM Direct ensures quality customer service that aligns with Australian standards and regulations.


  • Enhanced communication and cultural understanding
  • Compliance with local regulations
  • Easier collaboration and coordination


  • Potentially higher costs compared to offshore outsourcing


Offshore Outsourcing: Exploring New Horizons

Offshore outsourcing entails partnering with a contact centre in another country, such as Fiji, the Philippines, or South Africa. The primary advantage of offshore outsourcing is cost savings due to lower labour costs in these locations. However, this option may present challenges in communication, cultural understanding, and quality control.


  • Significant cost savings
  • Access to a larger talent pool
  • 24/7 support capabilities


  • Communication and cultural barriers
  • Quality control concerns
  • Adherence to local regulations and data privacy laws


Embracing Automation: AI Chatbots, Agent Assist AI, and RPA

Investments in customer contact technology are exploding as vendors bring online cloud platforms and software with new functionality enabled by advances in AI, machine learning, and Big Data. Chatbots are now capable of allowing customers to serve themselves, and they’re only growing more sophisticated daily, as we’ve seen with the recent release of Chat GPT and Google’s Bard.


AI Chatbots: Instant Customer Service, 24/7

AI-powered chatbots are revolutionising customer service by providing instant support at any time. They can handle a high volume of simple queries, freeing up your human agents to focus on more complex issues. Chatbots can be a cost-effective solution that enhances customer experience and reduces response times.


  • 24/7 customer service availability
  • Cost savings through automation
  • Faster response times


  • Limited capabilities for complex issues
  • Potential negative impact on customer experience if not properly implemented


Agent Assist AI: Empowering Your Human Workforce

Agent assist AI combines the power of artificial intelligence with human expertise, providing real-time support and guidance to contact centre agents during customer interactions. This technology can help agents quickly access relevant information, making customer service more efficient, accurate, and personalised.


  • Enhanced efficiency and productivity
  • Improved accuracy and personalisation
  • Better decision-making support for agents


  • Integration challenges with existing systems
  • Costs of implementation and maintenance


Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Streamlining Your Contact Centre Operations

RPA automates repetitive, rule-based tasks, allowing your contact centre staff to focus on more valuable activities. By automating processes like data entry and validation, RPA can significantly improve operational efficiency, reduce errors, and cut costs.


  • Improved efficiency and productivity
  • Reduced human error
  • Cost savings through automation


  • Upfront investment in RPA implementation
  • Limited applicability for tasks requiring human judgement

Making the Right Choice: Weighing Your Options

To decide on the best approach for your business, consider the following factors:

  1. Budget: Assess the financial implications of each option, including implementation, maintenance, and potential cost savings. Onshore outsourcing may have higher initial costs, while offshore outsourcing and automation can offer substantial savings in the long run.
  2. Quality Control: Maintaining high-quality customer service is essential. Onshore outsourcing and automation can provide better quality control, while offshore outsourcing may require more oversight and management to ensure consistency.
  3. Communication: Seamless communication between your company and the contact centre is crucial. Onshore outsourcing provides a shared language and culture, making communication more effortless. Offshore outsourcing may present language barriers, while automation may require additional collaboration between human agents and AI systems.
  4. Scalability: Consider your business’s growth trajectory and whether your chosen solution can scale to meet your needs. Offshore outsourcing and automation can offer flexibility to scale up or down as needed, while onshore outsourcing may have limitations in terms of capacity and cost.
  5. Compliance: Ensure that your outsourcing partner or automation solution complies with local regulations, industry standards, and data privacy laws. Onshore outsourcing providers like CDM Direct are more likely to be familiar with Australian requirements, while offshore partners may require additional guidance.
  6. Integration: Evaluate the ease of integrating your chosen solution with your existing systems, processes, and workflows. Automation solutions may require significant upfront investment in integration, while outsourcing options may have more straightforward implementation.


The Verdict: Finding the Perfect Balance

Ultimately, the right choice for your business will depend on your unique needs and priorities. A hybrid approach, combining onshore outsourcing, offshore outsourcing, and automation, may offer the best of all worlds. By carefully considering the pros and cons of each option and aligning them with your business goals, you can make a well-informed decision that will positively impact your customer experience, operational efficiency, and bottom line.

As a leading Australian contact centre BPO, CDM Direct is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service solutions that cater to the diverse needs of medium to large brands in various industries. With a team of experienced professionals and a comprehensive suite of services, we can help you navigate the complex world of contact centre outsourcing and automation.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our offerings and find the perfect solution for your business.