Partnering with a business process outsourcing (BPO) agency can be one of the best investments you can make. Other than cutting down on your overhead costs, it allows you to focus on your core competencies and ensures business continuity.
If you plan to offshore a critical business function such as customer support, you’ll need to do it with care. Not all companies provide the same level of service, and choosing the wrong partner can do more harm than good.
Out of all the outsourcing destinations in South East Asia, the Philippines has established itself as the leader of the pack. The country boasts over 41 million highly-skilled employees and is the third-largest English speaking nation in the world. Combined with a friendly and hospitable culture, it’s no surprise why companies from all over the world are so keen on collaborating with Philippine-based agencies.
By 2022, it’s estimated that the Philippines will cover 15% of the world’s outsourcing market, indicating that the country’s offshoring industry is getting stronger. You can’t go wrong in seeking the services of a call centre in the Philippines. The guide below will discuss facts that you need to know about outsourcing customer support in the country.
5 Emerging Trends in the Philippine Outsourcing Industry
1. Process automation will pave the way for more offshore jobs
The world is currently in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With emerging tech, companies from various sectors can boost their daily operations in several ways. Thanks to automation software and similar digital tools, they work smarter at a cost-efficient price.
Digital transformation is affecting many fields, and the Philippines’ offshoring industry is no exception. Even though the rise of technology can potentially replace low-skill jobs, integrating the latest tech can still pave the way for new career opportunities, better employees, and value-adding services.
Research estimates that automation will create around 700,000 medium- and high-skill jobs in the Philippines by 2022.
2. Business Process Outsourcing will act as the main driver for the office market
From 2019 to 2022, experts predict that the outsourcing market of the Philippines will yield an annual growth of 7.8%. Due to the rising number of local and international investors, it’s expected that the demand for outsourcing centres will continue to increase in the years to come.
This is a good sign for the office market and real estate companies since the industry’s continuous growth will mean a higher demand for office spaces.
3. The Business Process Outsourcing industry’s revenue will overtake OFW remittances
Remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) remain as one of the biggest contributors to the country’s GDP. However, this trend is about to change due to the recent performance of the outsourcing sector.
In the first quarter of 2019, OFW remittances recorded an annual growth of 4.2%—a lot lower when compared to the outsourcing sector’s annual growth of 9%. By 2022, the country’s outsourcing revenue is expected to reach $38.9 billion.
While the profits generated by the outsourcing industry will overtake OFW remittances in a few years, it’s important to consider the other factors that come into play. The income generated by Filipinos working overseas depends on fluctuating oil prices, the economic condition of other countries, and other influences.
4. Philippine outsourcing agencies will diversify their skillsets
A few years ago, business process outsourcing agencies were relatively synonymous to call centres. While this statement still rings true to a certain degree, this notion does not represent the whole picture anymore. Just like any other industry, the demands within the outsourcing sector change and companies are continually finding ways to adapt.
Due to the widening skills gap, most offshoring companies today go beyond basic tasks. Outsourcing agencies not only can provide multiple or high-skill services, but also fill internal business functions, such as accounting, human resources, digital marketing, and more, apart from customer support or the traditional call centre services.
5. Global politics will continue to shape the outsourcing industry’s future
The United States accounts for 64.7% of outsourcing contracts in the Philippines, followed by the UK, Australia, and France. A change in government, usually due to elections, may affect the performance of the nation’s outsourcing industry because new or updated policies may be implemented.
Leaders from other nations may revise trade regulations, put new tax policies in place, or even require businesses to source talents locally.
Why Should You Outsource Customer Support to the Philippines?
- Costs are relatively low
Acquiring outsourcing services from the Philippines will trim your overhead expenses. The costs of labour and living in the country are 70% lower than developed nations such as Australia, indicating how cost-efficient this outsourcing destination can be.
Once you’ve found the right partner, you also won’t have to worry about monthly salaries, paid leaves, and other expenses that come with an in-house team.
- Warm and hospitable culture fit for customer support
Filipinos are known for their warmth and hospitality. Thanks to their familial culture, Filipino employees are naturally accommodating, making them perfect customer support representatives. Acquire the services of an outsourcing company in the Philippines to keep your clients happy and satisfied with your customer support.
- Improve your quality of service
If customer support isn’t one of your company’s main competencies, then it’s best to let the experts handle it. Not being able to address customer issues effectively can take a toll on your operations and brand image. With an offshore team based in the Philippines, you can rely on your partner agency’s specialists to provide outstanding service around the clock.
- Filipinos are fully accustomed to Western culture
Given the country’s history, the Philippines is one of the most westernized countries in South East Asia. This could prove to be advantageous for your business as 70% of the country’s population is proficient in English. This also makes it easier for you to communicate and collaborate with your partner agency.
- Acquire quick access to top talents
If you need to fill vacancies as soon as possible, building an in-house team may be the first thing that comes to mind. But, with a tight recruitment race, hiring the right people can be an arduous task. Companies are always on the lookout for top talent, so you may end up getting the short end of the stick if you don’t put in the work.
Luckily, getting an offshore team can answer your recruitment woes. It gives you access to a wide pool of competent individuals without having to go through a stringent process. At the same time, you can acquire tailor-fit solutions according to the ever-changing demands of your business.
- Reduce management and operational bottlenecks
Finding a credible agency will lighten your workload. While you may be responsible for task allocation and project management, you won’t have to worry about the operational issues that come along with them. In turn, this will reduce the number of bottlenecks you encounter, allowing you to focus on your core operations.
Tips for Outsourcing Customer Support
1. Hire one that fits your approach
Every customer support outsourcing provider has a niche. Some agencies are great at handling highly repetitive transactions, while others are better in addressing complex customer issues. Keep your company’s demands in mind when determining the right partner that can provide you with the necessary solutions.
2. Know what type of customer service you want to tap
Customer support comes in different forms. For instance, insurance and finance tend to handle customer issues via email, while smaller brands commonly address concerns via live chat or social media. Take some time to reflect on what type of customer support will be best for your business. This will help you narrow your choices to find a partner that is the best on your chosen platform.
3. Establish the brand voice and tone guidelines
Your offshore team may not be fully aware of your brand’s tone or voice in the beginning. You’ll need to train and give them a set of guidelines. Having practice sessions will help you gauge their performance and coach them better. Creating a list of what they can and cannot say will also be helpful.
4. Practice proactive communication
Just because a team is halfway across the globe, doesn’t mean you can’t make them experience your company culture. Treating your offshore team like your in-house staff is one of the keys to a successful partnership.
You need to take a proactive approach to communication. Keeping them in the loop with updates and regularly discussing areas for improvement will allow you to make the most of your investment.
5. Keep track of metrics
The best way to analyze your partner agency’s performance is to keep track of metrics. Taking note of KPIs, such as customer satisfaction scores and average response time, will let you know if you need to make any adjustments. Evaluating your customer support provider’s services will ensure that they stay on the right track.
Experience the Wonders of Filipino Customer Support
Outsourcing customer support can do wonders for your business. If you plan to acquire these services soon, consider partnering with an agency in the Philippines. Apart from cost-friendly prices, you’ll be able to scale your business with ease by working with highly-skilled and English-proficient employees.
Select VoiceCom is Australia’s premier call centre partner in the Philippines. Our services will help you amp up your customer support and drive your business forward. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions.