Onshore Vs. Nearshore Vs. Offshore Call Center Outsourcing

A headset laying on the table in a call center office.

Deciding to outsource your call center is a big one. You need to weigh all of your options and make the best decision for your business.

So, what are the differences between onshore, nearshore, and offshore outsourcing? And which option is right for you? Keep reading to find out.

What Is A Call Center?

A call center agent busy on a call.

A call center is the division of a company where customers or technical support representatives work. Call centers are often associated with large organizations that receive a high volume of calls, but small businesses can also benefit from having a call center.

However, call centers can be challenging to set up and often cost quite a bit to maintain. That’s why more and more businesses are starting to outsource this division of their company.

What Is Call Center Outsourcing?

A sign that says hiring with a cross over it, and outsourcing underlined below it.

Outsourcing is when you contract with a third party to handle all or part of a company’s business functions. Therefore, call center outsourcing is when a company employs a third-party provider to manage its customer service or technical support operations.

There are many reasons to outsource a call center. However, perhaps the most common reason is to save money. Outsourcing can be a cost-effective way to staff a call center because it allows a company to avoid the expense of managing, training, and recruiting employees.

A person holding up a smiling emoji to symbolize a happy customer.

Another reason to outsource a call center is to improve customer service. When done correctly, outsourcing can lead to more satisfied customers and higher customer retention rates. In addition, a company that outsources its call center can tap into the expertise of the third-party provider to improve its customer service operations.

After all, customers are the bread and butter of any company, so it’s essential to look after them. Or, in the words of Jim Rohn:

“One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” 

Jim Rohn

Finally, a company might outsource its call center to free up internal resources. By outsourcing the call center, a company can redirect its employees to other tasks and projects.

The Three Different Types Of Call Center Outsourcing

There are three primary types of call center outsourcing: onshore, nearshore, and offshore. Each one has its own distinct benefits and drawbacks that you must consider before making a decision.

Onshore Call Center Outsourcing

A sign that says "your country needs you" with pieces of the american flag.

Onshore call center outsourcing is when a company contracts with a call center in the same country. It’s often seen as the most reliable and highest quality option, as onshore call centers follow the same laws and regulations as the rest of the business. Therefore, it can be an excellent option for companies looking for higher customer service and willing to pay a bit more.


  • Reliable and high-quality customer service.
  • The onshore call center is subject to the same laws and regulations.
  • There aren’t any concerns about language or cultural barriers.
  • Customers can often relate to agents better, which enhances the customer experience.
  • Your company can travel to the call center for training more efficiently.
  • It’s easier to communicate as there isn’t a time difference.
  • Your data is more secure.


  • Onshore call centers can be more expensive than offshore or nearshore options.
  • They may not be able to provide 24/7 coverage. However, this depends entirely on the call center.

Offshore Call Center Outsourcing

An American and Philippines flag with a vs sign in between to show a offshore call center.

Offshore call center outsourcing is when a company contracts with a call center located in a different country. It can be an excellent option for companies looking to save money on their call center services. However, there are some potential drawbacks to consider before going this route.


  • They can be less expensive than onshore or nearshore options.
  • Offshore call centers can provide 24/7 coverage.
  • More competitive call center market.
  • Large-scale operations will have a plentiful labor supply.
  • It is advantageous for overnight shifts in the United States.
  • The government supports it as it brings jobs to their country.
  • The agents are often multilingual.


  • They may not be subject to the same laws and regulations as the rest of the business.
  • Offshore call centers might not be as reliable or high-quality as onshore options.
  • Customers may be frustrated or unhappy due to cultural barriers.
  • Communication difficulties, or inability to communicate in English, may lead to unsympathetic service.
  • There may be data privacy concerns.
  • You have less control. Therefore, more trust is required.
  • There is less transparency into the analytics and center itself.

Nearshore Call Center Outsourcing

A picture of an American flag next to a Mexican flag, to represent nearshore.

Nearshore call center outsourcing is when a company contracts with a call center that is in a nearby country. It can be a good middle ground between onshore and offshore options, as nearshore call centers can often provide high-quality service at a lower cost than onshore options.


  • Nearshore call centers can be less expensive than onshore options, often up to 50%.
  • They can often provide higher-quality service than offshore call centers.
  • There shouldn’t be any communication issues as they are in a nearby time zone.
  • Agents are often bilingual.
  • Agents should be fluent in the same language and are typically familiar with the culture of the business.
  • It’s easier to travel to the call center than for offshore options.


  • They may not be subject to the same laws and regulations as the rest of the business.
  • Nearshore call centers may not be able to provide 24/7 coverage.
  • They are often more expensive than offshore.

Which Call Center Outsourcing Type Should You Choose?

A call center outsourcing representative showing a thumbs up.

The call center outsourcing you choose should be based on your specific needs and budget.

If cost is your primary concern, then an offshore call center may be your best option. However, an onshore call center may be better if you’re looking for high-quality customer service. A nearshore call center may be the best option if you’re somewhere in the middle.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of call center outsourcing is best for your business. Consider your budget, needs, and the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.

Final Word

At the end of the day, it’s essential to weigh all your options and decide what will work best for your business. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the different types of call center outsourcing and given you a little more information to make an informed decision.

If you’re searching for a professional call center to help keep your customers happy, request a quote from iCall Services today. We are based in the United States and want to help your business reach its full potential.

Furthermore, be sure to look at the rest of our blog. We have a great selection of articles to help you scale your call center and business.

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