I was always intrigued with the fact that I could be talking to someone in an Indian call center when I needed some type of customer service with practically anything I owned. I had lived and worked in northern Mysore State (now Karnataka), of which Bangalore is the capital city. Thanks to the technology of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, this was now all possible. When I worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in India in the mid-sixties, international telephone connections were not what they are today. But with the advent of the Internet and world-wide connectivity, we are now able to “reach out” to someone anytime anywhere.
India offered a highly educated English-speaking workforce who were proficient in communicating in English, but unfortunately still faced a barrier when in came to American English nuance and even pronunciation. There were economic advantages, of course, to contracting offshore for customer service for American companies in those early days. Now with the ubiquity of technology and connectivity at bargain rates across the States and in other English-speaking parts of the world, American companies can now begin to capitalize on the use of native American English speakers catering to the an almost exclusive American clientele. The reality is that most Americans are frankly much more comfortable speaking with “one of their own,” especially when you are talking about making a business transaction. But maybe I’m wrong?
Roughly three million Americans work as customer service representatives in call centers and home offices across the United States. I am sure that there is also a huge economic benefit to these American companies. Home sweet home!