Business Telegraph

Offshore contact centre outsourcing to the Philippines

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A proven business strategy to improve operating efficiencies, and enhance customer experience

For many businesses, large and small, outsourcing is an integral part of their strategy to keep revenue high and costs low. It's a proven technique, too, with companies that outsource labour saving more than 60% of their expected costs compared to companies that only use in-house employees. But while many countries and companies all over the world offer business process outsourcing (or BPO for short) services, there is no question that the Philippines is the most worthwhile investment in outsourcing for the modern company.

After three decades of building up the BPO industry, the Philippines is now a booming hub for this sort of work. In fact, the country contributes more than 30 billion USD a year to the world economy just from BPO work, and the sector generates over 100,000 new jobs annually. Outsourcing companies in the Philippines can capitalise on the fact that the nation already has a strong relationship with the US due to its status as a former colony. This means that citizens of the Philippines learn English from early childhood as a second language, and many are fluent by the time they enter the workforce. Additionally, they are extremely familiar with the subtleties of western culture and are experts in communicating with clients from countries like the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. As agents providing support to customers experiencing issues, workers at call centres in the Philippines are taught how to provide friendly conversation to stressed customers and resolve conflicts by de-escalating. This isn't surprising, given the Philippines' huge tourism culture and the emphasis on quality service and respect for the customer.

Improved operating efficiencies are another perk of using outsourcing services in the Philippines. While many companies spend countless hours and lost wages on training days for new software and hire expensive consulting agencies to 'trim the fat' and 'reorganise company structure', the easier solution is to simply contract BPOs in the Philippines. Many BPO workers are incredibly skilled, as many are young college-educated individuals with degrees in BPO work and software development. What's more, contact centres in the Philippines strive to stay up-to-date on the latest business software and often offer continuing education and training to their workers to bring them up to speed. Thus, by outsourcing, foreign companies can gain the benefits of using the latest software and technologies without breaking the bank on training costs.

Finally, we reach the last and perhaps the most important requirement: low costs. The average BPO worker in the Philippines costs about 40 USD a day, compared to 120 USD for a similar worker in the west. What's more, while in-house employees or call centres in the US and UK require benefits packages, the Philippines' deregulated market doesn't make companies foot the bill for these expenses. Still, many companies do offer these perks, along with the 30 USD wage which is still almost four times higher than the minimum wage in the Philippines. Thus, the competitive salary attracts the best of the best to the industry, which is viewed as a lucrative white-collar position by many young graduates. Western companies can then have the best of both worlds: high-quality services for a low-budget price.

For all these reasons and more, by outsourcing to the Philippines, foreign companies can enhance customer experience, improve operating efficiencies, and lower costs dramatically.