Written by Allie Delos Santos
Some companies want to cut back on expenses, scale effectively, and leverage cost-effective talent but do not know where to start. If this sounds like you, look no further. Top offshoring providers in the Philippines can help.
Business process outsourcing (BPO) in the Philippines might have started small. But it has grown into a billion-dollar industry with government support and a flourishing economy. Today, hundreds of Philippine service providers offer back-office solutions, call center services, web development, and more.
This article discusses the services you can outsource to the Philippines, the steps you must take, and the factors to consider.
Seven Services You Can Outsource to the Philippines
Subcontracting non-critical tasks lets organizations and business leaders focus on core business functions. This way, they can devote their undivided attention to more important projects or activities.
The Philippine BPO industry provides various services such as accounting, data entry, customer service, and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO). But let us further explore the functions you can outsource to the Philippines.
1. Data Management
Tasks with strict requirements and deadlines can stifle productivity, especially when the workload is heavy. Outsourcing non-core activities can help with this. It lets you meet deadlines and complete projects quickly.
Look for a service provider with a long history of delivering cost-effective and efficient data entry services to various companies across the globe.
A third-party service provider’s data management experts improve your database’s storage system and performance. They help you minimize downtime and respond quickly when your database encounters unexpected downtime.
A BPO company can help you with the following activities:
- Data entry
- Data mining
- Data processing
- Data conversion
- Data cleaning
- Lead generation
2. Data Annotation
Delegate data annotation tasks to Filipino experts. When you outsource to the Philippines, you access complete, timely, and safe annotation services. Skilled labelers accomplish data annotation tasks and submit output according to your needs.
With a reliable provider, your artificial intelligence (AI) models can use prime data labeling for computer vision that meets your machine learning needs. The data annotation services you can farm out include:
- Image annotation. This is the primary step to machine learning. It helps systems detect objects for deep learning in AI. Human-handled labeling improves the method. To help your AI models think better, partner with a trained labeler that can manage your image annotation workloads.
- Audio annotation. This is crucial in developing virtual assistants (VAs), chatbots, and natural language processing (NLP) tools. Chatbots and VA tools learn sounds and speech through audio tagging. Thus, you need keen annotators who can create deep tools that boost and mirror human communication.
- Video annotation. Video labeling is a taxing activity. If you need cost-effective and smart video labeling for machine learning, work with annotation service providers in the Philippines. They are trained to mark objects that teach AI models in gaming, transport, and healthcare.
3. Contact Center
Customer satisfaction is vital for business expansion. With contact center as a service (CCaaS), companies can expect a better customer experience, increased operational economies, and faster digital transformation.
Philippine BPO companies provide flexible contact center solutions for businesses of all sizes. CCaaS provides customers with a great experience and makes business-to-client communication more effective.
In addition, BPO companies offer great support for enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This allows businesses to build a good reputation, improve customer profiles, and increase sales.
Besides handling your tickets and streamlining them into the system, contact centers also manage the following:
- Customer service
- Technical support
- Live chat support
- Medical answering service
4. Website Management
When a business outsources technical solutions, it works with experts to oversee tasks ranging from smart customization of pre-built platforms to full-cycle custom solutions. Companies worldwide partner with Philippine providers to access experienced software engineers with specialized skills, ranging from user experience design to implementation.
Outsourcing allows businesses to produce high-quality solutions at low costs. Moreover, software and website development solutions help organizations boost web traffic, convert leads, and establish an online presence.
The following are the website and software solutions you can outsource to the Philippines:
- Web Development
- Web Design
- Web Maintenance
5. Creative Design
Brand recognition is critical. Many companies spend billions of dollars perfecting campaign details to engage the right audience.
Thus, creative solutions are one of the driving aspects behind company success and growth. Through effective design, organizations can promote their brand, products, and services in a creative way that attracts and converts leads.
Create a passionate and optimal creative team to complete tasks faster. In addition to web content graphics and logo design, you can outsource the following creative services:
- Video production
- Logo design
- Graphic design
- Newsletter design
- Brochure design
- PowerPoint design
6. Back Office
Do you need help managing administrative duties but have no clue where or how to start? Back-office outsourcing lets you delegate labor-intensive administrative work, which allows you to focus less on support functions and more on business strategies.
Instead of overworking yourself by trying to accomplish multiple urgent, non-core tasks, outsource them to a Philippine BPO provider such as Unity Communications.
Back-office outsourcing has three main benefits:
- Improved flexibility
- Access to competent workers
- Freedom from rising operating expenses
The front desk generates sales and profit, but they need help. Hence, the back office is crucial to a company’s success.
Here are some services you can outsource to the Philippines:
- Accounting and bookkeeping
- Email management
- Personal and executive assistance
7. Digital Marketing
This is something to focus on if you want your business to succeed. But building an in-house digital marketing team or using local services can be costly and take a long time to fully meet your needs.
A cost-saving and effective solution is to outsource digital marketing to the Philippines. A good BPO provider helps you find remote digital marketers to join your team.
With their fresh perspective, the third-party team can understand your business needs and offer good results. For an affordable price, an offshore team can handle your daily digital marketing tasks and allow you to grow your business. This team can oversee the following activities:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Marketing automation
- Social media management
- Content management
Steps in Outsourcing to the Philippines
The BPO industry is taking the world by storm. In the Philippines, it has grown exponentially over the past decade and will continue to thrive.
The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) says that the sector wants a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% over the next six years, making $59 billion annually by 2028.
Due to its steady and fast growth, the Philippines was named the top offshore BPO destination in 2016. The upward trend attracted many foreign companies to outsource to the country.
Take advantage of this trend by partnering with a Philippine BPO company. Follow the steps below to outsource to the Philippines successfully.
1. Identify Business Functions To Outsource
Before deciding to outsource, identify which business functions you can delegate. When deciding, ask yourself whether a function is a core competency. If it is not, outsource it.
The goal of outsourcing is to farm out non-core activities so that you can concentrate on critical tasks. For instance, if your clients know you for your customer service, keep it in-house. You can instead opt for data entry or technical support outsourcing if you lack experience with these functions.
Also, consider how comfortable you are sharing a process with a third-party service provider. Outsourcing means letting go of some control. If a job is critical to your business and requires close supervision, it might be best to do it in-house.
Outsource to the Philippines if:
- You do not have the time to strategize. Strategizing is a luxury for overstretched businesses. Outsourcing might be for you if you do not have the time to devise a business plan.
- Your business is growing. Successful companies grow. But as you take your organization to the next level, it might be difficult to manage certain tasks in-house.
- A business function is not your specialty. An easy way to find an outsourceable business function is to determine its relevance to your field. Some activities require specialization. For example, most businesses need an IT specialist. Unless you are a technology company, you can easily fill the role with contractors or third-party teams.
2. Research Philippine BPO Companies Specializing in Your Sector
Outsourcing to the Philippines can easily overwhelm you. The nation has hundreds of service providers that cater to various requirements. Getting things done can be challenging if you do not know the Filipino outsourcing culture.
Hence, the first thing you should do is research the industry. Discover information such as:
- The best service providers for specific solutions in your niche
- The possible risks involved and what you can do to reduce them
- The way your competitors are using BPO to their advantage
Consider reading the outsourcing roadmaps published by IBPAP to better understand the sector. This gives you basic knowledge about the ins and outs of the industry before you outsource to the Philippines.
Also, make sure to do the following when choosing a service provider:
- Screen vendors like you would employees
- Ask for referrals from industry colleagues
- Check reviews and testimonials from the service provider’s clients
- Prioritize an exceptional track record that balances expertise and cost
- Note that a high net promoter score (NPS) means better customer satisfaction
- Ensure the potential provider has a robust transition plan to prevent service gaps
- Prioritize companies committed to automation right off the bat
- Adopt an “extension of your team” mindset
- Take the chance to enhance control and visibility
- Do not forget the importance of talent and change management
- Remember that high-touch services matter for first-time clients
3. Brief Your Service Provider
Once you find an official offshore provider, you can begin your initial planning. Prepare the following when meeting with your external service provider:
- Questions. Draft a list of questions about prices and strategies you want to clarify with your vendor. You can also touch on other important details such as the contractor’s market reputation, workforce, expertise, and technology.
- Requirements. State the requirements that your provider needs to fulfill during the engagement. Keep your requirements clear and attainable. Also, discuss why each requirement is necessary and how they can be achieved to prevent misunderstandings and confusion.
- Policies. You should clarify and discuss your policies ahead of time. Establish the rules and regulations that both parties must follow based on your operational capabilities.
- Statements of work. These are documents stating the work your BPO partner must fulfill. They include information about work locations, project deliverables, and timelines. They can also include payment terms and conditions.
- Contract proposals. Your contract should be drafted based on your needs and budget. Prepare a proposal for your potential provider. This will narrow down your options.
4. Use The Right Tools
The problem with offshore outsourcing is that monitoring performance and tracking project status is hard. Since your remote team is miles away, monitoring their activity and ensuring the project is on track can be challenging.
Thus, most BPO clients use smart applications to communicate with the remote team, track work progress, and monitor employees during office hours.
Here are some tools you can use when offshoring:
1. Project Management Tools
When your offshore team manages your tasks from miles away, you need a tool to plan the work, store all relevant documents, and track project status. A project management system does exactly that, providing you with a centralized space to plan, manage, and run outsourced work. Good software should have the following features:
- Priorities to help staff work on urgent tasks
- Multiple views for different workflow styles
- Gantt charts to get a high-level view of tasks
- Integrations to access other applications
2. Performance Tracking Tools
Verifying your service provider’s claims is almost impossible unless you have a tool that monitors their performance. Performance tracking software can help you:
- Monitor the productivity of your remote team
- Verify whether a project is accomplished on time
- See whether the idle time is passed as work hours
- Inspect whether they are focused on work during billable hours
3. Communication Tools
Communication is crucial to keeping everyone on the same page. Teams must discuss project deadlines, status, updates, and recommendations for smooth collaboration. Hence, you need a messaging and videoconferencing tool to:
- Connect with your project management software
- Talk about progress updates and project data
- Create channels for topic-specific conversations
- Conduct weekly or regular team meetings
- Share your screen for more thorough planning
Qualities To Look for When Choosing a Philippine BPO Partner
There are hundreds of Philippine business process outsourcing companies, making it difficult to pick the right service provider. How do you choose the best vendor for you?
Consider the following before you outsource to the Philippines:
- Call statistics. These are crucial if you plan to outsource customer service. Check the average number of rings before a call is answered. What is the average hold time? How many calls are lost or dropped because no agent answers? Nothing frustrates a customer more than being put on hold forever or dropped.
- Experience. A service provider’s experience helps you determine whether they can efficiently perform your tasks. It lets you know whether a provider has the industry knowledge and expertise to respond to unexpected events and address growing challenges.
- Technology and infrastructure. Ensure that your potential outsourcing partner has advanced systems, including high-speed internet, robotic process automation, and cloud computing. You are outsourcing to streamline cumbersome processes while reducing expenses. Choose a service provider that offers advanced technology at an affordable, fixed cost.
- Project turnaround time. This is how long it takes to complete a task. Always choose an outsourcing partner with a proven track record in meeting project deadlines. Ensure that it can accomplish your projects in the stipulated time, helping you move forward and attain your business milestones.
- Workforce. Skilled contractors are crucial to efficiently completing tasks. Ensure that your BPO provider hires skilled workers capable of finishing their assignments accurately. Examine how they manage the workforce. Check whether the team undergoes training, receives enough compensation, and works reasonable hours.
- Quality assurance. This assesses whether a product or service meets customer demands and industry expectations. Reports show that 75% of companies that improved data quality surpassed their annual objectives. Achieve similar results by choosing an outsourcing partner that follows strict quality assurance.
- English proficiency. Companies perform tasks in-house to work with fluent English speakers. When planning to outsource to the Philippines, ensure your potential provider accommodates your language needs.
- Transparency. When you outsource to the Philippines, seek a service provider that freely shares information necessary to your work arrangement. Choose one that communicates details crucial to your decision-making process. More importantly, find a provider that gives suggestions for improving your business.
- Security. This is critical in business. If you want to save money while keeping your data private, work with a trusted BPO provider. Hire a vendor with strict data, privacy, and system protection protocols. Additionally, analyze the external party’s security platforms and agreements to ensure safety while sharing sensitive information.
- Customer service. If the service provider oversees customer-facing tasks, you want them to offer exceptional customer service. The best provider delivers accurate information about your products and responds promptly.
- Professionalism. BPO providers are often tasked with conflict resolution, customer service, and appointment setting. Your provider should be able to manage conflicts gracefully with professionalism and courtesy. Listening to customers and responding in an empathetic, helpful tone resolves frustrations.
- Cost-effectiveness. Every company aims to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity while keeping costs low. Hence, you want a provider with cost-effective solutions. When looking for a vendor, weigh the possible outcome with the potential costs. Plan how you can achieve your desired outsourcing results.
- Scalability. Your needs change as your company expands. So an outsourcing partner should scale with you. If you encounter sudden spikes or drops in business, outsourced solutions should be able to balance your workload.
- Flexibility. The right service provider should be flexible enough to understand your brand, products, and services. It should be willing to receive training and use scripts to handle specific calls.
- References and testimonials. Hiring a BPO company is akin to hiring an employee. You do not hire a candidate without checking their background or references. A well-established service provider has clients who can attest to their work quality. Do your due diligence before you outsource to the Philippines.
What To Consider When Outsourcing to the Philippines
Companies should understand all aspects when planning to outsource to the Philippines. Here are some factors to consider:
- Preparation. BPO clients must assemble a core team to debate, deliberate, and discuss decisions. They also need a business continuity plan (BCP), a backup plan, a risk assessment team, and a way to predict and prepare for possible problems.
- English proficiency. BPO clients worry about a possible language barrier. Fortunately, the Filipino workforce outperforms other outsourcing destinations in this area. Most Filipinos speak English fluently. Moreover, the nation has a large population of English speakers. So BPO clients should have no trouble outsourcing to the country.
- Cultural differences. As much as Filipino workers are acclimatized to Western culture, expect a bit of a shock in how contractors do business. Awareness and sensitivity toward cultural differences cannot be learned in one day. It takes time, so you should be cautious of possible missteps.
- Time zone difference. Most companies worry about the time difference when outsourcing. But most Filipino contractors work on a schedule that suits their clients. They often work the night shift. So time zone difference is not an issue for the most part.
The Bottom Line
The Philippines offers many outsourced back-office services and administrative duties, from data entry and accounting to contact center, creative design, and digital marketing. Companies outsourcing to the Philippines can expect many benefits beyond possible cost savings. They can access top talent, quality solutions, and a competitive industry.
When outsourcing to the country, organizations should assess their internal needs to understand the support they should get.
For more information on BPO services in the Philippines, contact Unity Communications.