Why is Jamaica such a desirable nearshore customer service support location? On November 20, HGS hosted a webinar featuring speakers to address just that. Our attendees heard about the benefits of Jamaica nearshoring from three experts: Gloria Henry, President of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica; Roger Williams, National Outsourcing Coordinator for JAMPRO; and Anand Biradar, Head of HGS Jamaica.
We kicked off this educational session with a poll taking the pulse of attendees’ understanding, with “How familiar are you with Jamaica as a consumer support location?” A total 67% of our attendees responded “Moderate,” with 22% considering themselves with an “Expert” perspective and 11% “Nascent.”
Per our Poll Two, “What do you see as the biggest advantage of outsourcing to Jamaica?” 50% of our attendees answered “Cost Savings and Labor Arbitrage” and 25% stated they appreciate the “Ability to Grow Up the Value Chain,” with 17% answering “Access to Skilled Labor,” and 8% responding “Flexibility and Convenience.”
Post the session, our experts shed light on webinar attendees’ most pressing questions:
Q: When delivering service to US-based customers, is dialect a challenge? And are there tools in place to address things like possible language barriers or multi-lingual skill sets?
Gloria: Accent neutralization is a standard part of the training, before going live at the center. And Patois English is taught at school, from the basic level. So that is a formal language of communication in Jamaica. We have not gotten any adverse feedback. However, we are mindful that we have to ensure that our human capital is able to deliver in that area.
Anand: Agree. HGS has more than 2,600 employees, supporting 10 clients. And, if anything, this is the strength. I still don't have a client who has raised a language issue yet, and we handle millions of conversations. In fact, language is the biggest strength Jamaica has over any country in Central America and the Caribbean region. Is there an accent? Maybe there is in some cases, but it's okay. Actually, our clients and customers love it. Our NPS is through the roof. So, personally, at least in terms of HGS as a company, we don't spend much time in acts of neutralization. When we do it's more of a housekeeping item.
Q: Which cities would you recommend for outsourcing in Jamaica?
Roger: I know that HGS is based in the capital of Jamaica, Kingston. But the industry really started out in Montego Bay. Montego Bay is a tourist capital and has a really robust presence of outsourcing. So Kingston and Montego Bay are two dominant areas. But the industry is growing fast and to where the talent is. For example, last week we were at a forum in Mandeville, a town in the middle of the island. So the support is basically wherever you would like it to be. That’s how I would answer that question.