Why Global Call Centers Have Moved Toward Philippine Outsourcing

Explore the Philippines as a top choice for call center outsourcing. Learn why companies prioritize exceptional customer service and expanded market reach. Discover the advantages driving the global shift. Read on to learn more.
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Written by Joyce Ann Danieles

Contents

Offshoring providers abound in the Philippines. The call center is perhaps the most popular service companies get from the Philippines when outsourcing. 

Generating more sales and income by providing excellent customer service and building a wider market base is the primary goal of delegating call center processes to third-party experts. 

This article discusses why companies worldwide have moved their call center operations to the Philippines and why they prefer the country over other outsourcing destinations.

Read on to learn more. 

Why Companies Choose a Call Center in the Philippines for Outsourcing

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Below are the reasons to consider call center outsourcing to the Philippines.

Familiarity With Customer Service Best Practices To Enhance Team Output

A local business process outsourcing (BPO) provider uses proven methods to consistently improve its team’s performance and productivity. This enables team members to deliver excellent consumer satisfaction and experience.  

Here are some best practices:

  • Provide personalized customer service. Customers need human connection, particularly in crises. Filipino call center agents are encouraged to offer customer service with a human touch. Empathy and understanding are necessary for building solid consumer relations that lead to increased loyalty and repeat sales.
  • Engage customers via their preferred channels. Communication preferences differ from one consumer to another. The younger generation favors messaging apps, live chat, and social media. The older generation prefers email services and phones. Agents must be ready to contact customers regardless of their group and the platforms used. 
  • Make the best use of customer feedback. Call center agents must gather customer comments, suggestions, and feedback after interactions. They organize and analyze this information to better understand and improve a buyer’s journey. 

Specialized Training To Hone Agents’ Customer Service Skills 

Philippine BPO providers implement the following tried-and-tested training methods to bring the best out of call center specialists: 

  • Avoid saying no. Agents do exercises on summarizing and rephrasing customer statements to help them reply positively in actual conversations. 
  • Training games. Agents play customer service games to promote communication, coordination, and creativity among team members. 
  • Crisis resolution. This entails splitting trainees into smaller groups, each solving an emergency quickly to show leadership skills and the ability to perform under strict time pressure.
  • Sell me this pen.” This approach has agents attempting to convince hard-to-please trainers to buy a pen. It develops presentation, selling, and product knowledge capabilities.
  • Role-playing. This technique emulates real-life situations to improve agents’ skills in addressing the most difficult customer problems or dealing with the toughest customers.
  • Job shadowing. This involves new hires teaming up with experienced agents. The former learn many customer service tips from colleagues, such as smart alternatives, workarounds, and shortcuts. 

Expertise in Building Customer Service Teams To Maximize Efficiency

Acquiring the ideal customer service team is one advantage of call center outsourcing to the Philippines. Service providers form a group of specialists to fit your back-office outsourcing needs. To achieve this, they:  

  • Determine the proper team size. The number of third-party agents you need depends on the size of your customer support operations and the number of calls received daily. 
  • Hire the right agents. A BPO provider recruits experienced and fresh talent. This holistic team comprises knowledgeable, collected, trainable, and enthusiastic agents. 
  • Pick the relevant technologies. A third-party vendor provides the team with the appropriate tools, applications, and software to help them with customer service tasks. 
  • Promote open communication. Team members are permitted to express their work-related ideas and opinions. They are also encouraged to resolve misunderstandings or differing perspectives professionally.
  • Train, re-train, and upskill. The customer service team performs training and upskilling activities to sharpen skills and improve morale. Agents regularly attend coaching sessions to connect with team leaders and learn.

Expertise in Managing Remote Workers for an Organized and Efficient Team

Among the benefits of hiring call centers in the Philippines for outsourcing some support services are having experienced service providers handle remote customer support groups and leveraging contact center as a service (CCaaS) solutions. 

Explore some of the effective strategies they execute for their virtual workforce below: 

  • Empower agents. Work-from-home (WFH) employees can take ownership to increase their confidence, sense of leadership, and motivation to succeed. Team leaders and managers support them along the way. 
  • Form a knowledge base to exchange information. Agents can answer or resolve difficult customer questions and issues by accessing an online resource containing useful information.
  • Conduct regular meetings. WFH agents always communicate with their team leaders and coworkers to ensure smoother and less stressful workflow. 
  • Utilize cloud-based tools. Remote workers get the right information quickly with cloud-powered technologies. This system centralizes communication and data for easy access.
  • Capitalize on communication apps. WFH call center specialists collaborate using free and convenient video and voice calling software (e.g., Skype and Zoom).  

Strict “English-only Policy” To Intensify Communication Skills at Work

One perk of hiring a call center for your Philippine outsourcing is the strict language rules set for agents, team leaders, and other employees on the production floor. They must speak only English in the area where they work and operate to improve their communication skills and stay on top of the game. 

Call center agents are discouraged from speaking their native language (e.g., Tagalog and Cebuano) while talking to customers or colleagues. Anyone caught speaking a non-English language at work or on a recorded customer call receives a verbal or written warning. Some customers complain about hearing agents talking in a foreign language on the other line. 

Imposing the English-only policy in a highly regulated workplace makes call center agents more natural at speaking the language. It allows them to internalize Western culture and expectations while at work. This contributes to providing high-quality service that leads to excellent customer satisfaction.

Supportive Government To Boost Call Center Outsourcing Activities 

The national government’s strong support of the country’s BPO sector is one reason to look for a call center for your Philippine outsourcing. It recognizes the industry’s critical role in providing employment, introducing advanced technologies, and generating tax revenue. 

Two government agencies organize, coordinate, and simplify call center operations:

  • The Board of Investments (BOI) aids investors and service providers in outsourcing activities, including data entry services, customer support, help desks, and other back-office functions. 
  • The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) oversees the country’s special economic zones where more investment- and business-friendly laws are in place. 

These agencies provide tax incentives for qualified businesses. One example is the five- to eight-year corporate income tax exemption. Companies incur merely a 5% gross income tax when it expires.

Additionally, the government provides different accessible initiatives for the local workforce. These programs train interested individuals to develop and sharpen skills for the call center industry, including lessons in computer systems, English, and customer service. Hence, businesses are assured of employing qualified and trained workers. 

Sizable Reserves of Young and Tech-savvy Talent To Fulfill Tasks 

The supply of a fresh and teachable labor force is why call center outsourcing to the Philippines makes business sense. The country’s schools constantly produce new millennial and Generation Z graduates. These tens of thousands of young groups are enthusiastic, dynamic, motivated, and active. 

These two generations cover individuals aged 26 to 42, so they are willing to work anytime as they are in their prime. They are skilled in the latest technologies, including communication apps, computer systems, and mobile phones. Such technical skills are essential for outsourced customer service roles. 

The number of young professionals joining the Philippine workforce rises annually. Based on the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s working-age population, between 15 and 64 years old, is estimated at 75 million in 2021. Of these, nearly 48 million were in the labor force, an increase from four million in 2020. 

The uptick means the Philippine outsourcing industry will likely continue to enjoy a steady supply of competent and young talent in the years to come. 

Healthy Work Attitude Conducive to Productivity and Collaboration

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Call center outsourcing to the Philippines allows companies to benefit from Filipino call center professionals’ distinctive work attributes and skills. 

The following are examples of the qualities that help enhance morale and efficiency: 

  • Quick-witted. Many Filipino call center agents think independently due to their upbringing and economic background. They are dynamic and driven to financially support their loved ones. 
  • Upbeat. Filipino agents are generally confident and cheerful because they look at the bright side of a challenging situation. A positive attitude improves team spirit and customer relationships. 
  • Reliable. Many Filipino professionals can efficiently adapt to changes in workflow and new concepts. Third-party workers can fulfill their duties with minimal supervision as soon as they know the tasks and processes involved.
  • Consumer-oriented. Filipino call center representatives are naturally friendly and accommodating due to their culture and familiarity with foreigners. Service providers prohibit agents from disrespecting customers advising them to end calls as patiently as possible. These traits make for excellent customer service. 

Cost-effective and First-rate Workforce To Maximize Returns 

A highly competent workforce is what companies get with call centers in the Philippines. Filipino workers’ education, technical knowledge, communication skills, and interpersonal abilities are comparable to those of more progressive nations. But what gives it an edge is that businesses can employ professionals with more affordable rates. 

Due to the country’s lower salary costs, BPO providers can offer outsourcing fees that are most acceptable to companies. They charge businesses reasonable service prices for first-class customer service that enhance consumer retention and encourage repeat sales. 

Low cost of living is the primary reason for the country’s affordable wages. A call center agent makes $300 to $500 monthly. These earnings are almost sufficient to pay for necessities such as groceries, electricity, water, rent, and transportation. A local family typically has two or more members working to cover all their needs. 

Minimized Legal and Management Responsibilities To Reduce Costs 

Legal or management duties, including tax payments or staff issue resolution, diminish or vanish when organizations outsource tech solutions, customer service, and other processes to Philippine service providers. 

Call center outsourcing to the Philippines is likely a more viable choice than establishing operations there. With this approach, companies do not need to monitor numerous laws and regulations regarding taxes, labor, compliance, and administration. 

Acquiring the services of an outsourcing firm reduces the client companies’ potential risks. The service partner in the Philippines deals with employment-related concerns, enabling clients to avoid high costs and legal accountabilities. 

Moreover, the BPO provider oversees the outsourced call center team’s attendance, hiring processes, and income taxes. It generates and sends periodic reports to its clients for review and feedback.

Skilled English Speakers for Better Grasp and Interaction

English is the universal language and is heavily used in the BPO industry. Next to Filipino, English is its second language. It is also the country’s primary medium of instruction. Millions of Filipinos use this language from elementary school through college. 

The country consistently places high in international surveys of English-speaking nations. It regularly trails behind Singapore, the top-notcher in the Asia-Pacific region, and lands in the world’s top 30 English-proficient nations. Its English skills and comprehension are on par with more developed European economies such as Hungary and Greece.

Many call center specialists, particularly experienced ones, speak with an accent that resembles that of American customers. They can converse with a neutral accent that English-speaking consumers quickly grasp. Many British, Canadian, American, and Australian callers prefer to talk to and transact with Filipino agents over other ethnicities due to their accents. 

Changing Work Shifts for Continuous Customer Service 

Filipino customer service and technical support outsourcing specialists can report for work anytime. They quickly adjust to working after-hours shifts, weekends, and holidays to attend to clients and end users regardless of location. 

Many Filipino professionals do not mind shift work. Having rotating schedules is a normal and accepted procedure in the industry. This is why many global companies that want continuous customer service transfer their call center operations to the Philippines. 

For instance, a company headquartered in the U.S. can have in-house staff take on customer service tasks during the day. The Philippine call center agents continue the process at night, picking up where their counterparts have left off. This method leads to the following:

  • Quicker customer service and resolution. Round-the-clock availability permits agents to manage ticket queues and consumer issues more effectively. Customers experience reduced wait time because agents are frequently within reach.
  • Round-the-clock service. Fielding agents in different time zones makes companies accessible to local and international customers.

The Bottom Line

Other reasons global call centers have moved toward outsourcing to the Philippines are:

  • Strong cultural similarities with the West (e.g., Americans, Britons, Australia, New Zealand, and Canadians) for quicker customer rapport;
  • Scalable outsourced operations to optimize costs;
  • Improving internet infrastructure for smoother communication;
  • Continued economic growth for high business and investor confidence; and
  • Multichannel capability for uninterrupted customer interaction. 

The advantages listed here make the Philippines the world’s call center capital. 

Are you planning to outsource call center operations to the Philippines? Connect with a local service provider such as Unity Communications to get started.

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