Discussion with Tim Searcy of the American Teleservices Association



Blake Landau
05/11/2009

Offshore jobs and tightened operations budgets for call centers have created a perfect storm in the U.S. call center industry. Offshoring vs. onshoring is an ongoing debate in this country. Tim Searcy, CEO of the American Teleservices Association, aims to work with policy markers to balance the interests of consumers and business. Searcy calls himself the "spokesman for the teleservices industry" for the ATA, which was founded in 1983. The ATA represents more than 4,000 call centers that account for over 1.8 million professionals worldwide.

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There is a multitude of ways that the new administration can impact offshore calling centers that would make their use less desirable than a domestic center.

One of Searcy’s predictions is that the Obama administration will create tax incentives and tax penalties to force firms to bring jobs back to the United States. It has been suggested that companies could be paid to bring jobs that are identifiably occurring overseas back to the United States.

However, Searcy believes it is impossible to overcome the substantial benefits firms receive when they move labor costs into less expensive markets. In this podcast, Searcy identifies the difficulties he sees in incentivizing onshoring.

With a smorgasbord of state and federal regulations, it is nearly impossible for companies to keep up with (what Searcy sees to be) complicated and contradictory rules governing the business. Searcy speaks with Customer Management IQ’s Blake Landau about pressing call center issues and the implications of new regulation.

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