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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Sallie Mae to move 2000 IT and call centre jobs back to US

Student loan company Sallie Mae says it will shift its overseas operations back to the US, creating around 2000 domestic IT, call centre and operational support jobs.

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Sallie Mae - Customer service or protectionism?

An interesting story on Finextra that Sallie Mae is looking to bring back onshore around 2,000 jobs.  It's a trend that so far in Europe has been primarily associated with customer service.  I've covered some other business that have brought work back onshore in previous posts (see "Despite the credit crunch, still call centre growth at Barclays" or "HSBC creates 250 UK call centre jobs & offshore in decline"),  and in the UK this trend for onshoring has also been the case for non-financial services companies like Orange.  The main reason up to know for taking previously offshored work back onshore has been problems with customer service. This hasn't necessarily been a language competence issue (though sometimes it has been) but has been primarily about how agents' accents, soft-skills and cultural awareness have not always tied into the image a brand has wanted to project. It's also been the case that a broken customer service processes don't get fixed just by moving country. There is also little point for a firm to spend a great deal on marketing if the media regularly cite them as an example of poor customer service.  Sallie Mae, though, seems to be the first example of what might be a new trend. Their CEO is quite explicit that this drive back onshore has nothing to do with customer service, and is quoted in the Finextra article as saying: "The current economic environment has caused our communities to struggle with job losses. They need jobs, and we will put 2000 of them into US facilities as soon as we possibly can,"  Sallie Mae does need to be attractive to politicians in the market it serves, but that need is not just confined to US financial institutions at the moment. It will be interesting to see if this drive back onshore to win favour with national politicians becomes a trend. Often it is some of the European countries who are most associated with protectionism, but my view is that this will only work for the countries that do it if it also gives customers better service.


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