With 788 BPO companies existing in the Philippines as of 2022, there’s no question why the country is one of the most preferred call center outsourcing destinations.

Cost efficiency, cultural compatibility, and time zone advantages are just some of the benefits that come with outsourcing your call center to the Philippines. However, is it really the right choice for your business? This article will help you navigate the pros and cons you need to know.

How Does Call Center Outsourcing Work?

Call center outsourcing is a business practice where a company delegates its customer support functions to an external service provider. Below is an overview of how it works.

Step 1: Needs Assessment

Call center outsourcing starts with the company assessing its needs. The business identifies its customer service requirements by carefully assessing several key factors to ensure optimal support for its customers. These considerations include various aspects, such as call volume, language proficiency, technical expertise, and operational hours.

Step 2: Vendor Selection

When the company looks for an outsourcing provider to handle its customer service needs, it goes through a detailed process of research and evaluation. They carefully examine different aspects of each potential partner, including their track record, capabilities, cost-effectiveness, and cultural fit. Considering these factors will help the company make an informed decision.

Step 3: Service Agreement

Once the company has selected a vendor to outsource its customer service needs to, they will then start the contract negotiations. Each party will provide its own standards and conditions for the outsourcing arrangement. This can involve the rates, length of the contract, grounds for termination, and other things that will help align their goals and expectations.

Step 4: Transition and Training

As soon as a partnership has been established between the business and the outsourcing provider, the former will now have to turn over the necessary information to get the offshore staff started. This involves providing documents and resources that will be used by the outsourcing company to provide comprehensive training to the call center agents.

Step 5: Infrastructure Setup

After the knowledge-sharing process, the outsourcing provider can now start setting up the required infrastructure to ensure smooth and efficient customer interactions. This involves establishing various systems and protocols that facilitate seamless communication and streamlined processes. Certain equipment like desktops, headsets, and CRM tools will also be provided.

Step 6: Service Delivery

The outsourcing provider's team, in accordance with the agreed-upon service levels, handles incoming calls, emails, chats, and other communication channels. They diligently follow the company's guidelines, resolving customer queries, and providing support. 

Through their expertise, attentiveness, and commitment to customer satisfaction, the outsourcing provider's team contributes to positive interactions, solidifying the company's reputation and building strong customer relationships.

Step 7: Quality Assurance

To ensure the delivery of exceptional customer service, regular monitoring and evaluation of customer interactions are conducted by the company and the outsourcing provider. This ongoing process is crucial for assessing adherence to performance standards, identifying areas for improvement, and maintaining high service quality.

Step 8: Ongoing Communication

To foster a collaborative and effective partnership, the company and the outsourcing provider establish open communication channels that facilitate feedback, reporting, and the addressing of any concerns or changes in requirements.

Step 9: Performance Review

Key performance indicators (KPIs) serve as vital metrics for assessing the effectiveness of the outsourcing arrangement between the company and the outsourcing provider. Analyzing these KPIs allows both parties to gain valuable insights into the performance of the customer service operations and make informed decisions regarding adjustments or optimizations.

What Are the Pros That Come With Call Center Outsourcing in the Philippines?

As per the latest reports from Outsourcing Accelerator, about 68% of companies in the US outsource at least one service to developing countries like the Philippines. Below are some of the main reasons why.

Proactive Customer Engagement

Filipino call center agents are renowned for their proactive approach to customer engagement. This is characterized by their dedication to building rapport, actively listening to customer needs, and offering relevant solutions or suggestions. 

This proactive mindset also enhances the overall customer experience. As the agents bring a unique and highly regarded approach to customer engagement, customers get access to personalized interactions. It also helps the business establish a strong rapport with customers. 

Technological Advancements

Contrary to common misconception, the Philippines has made significant strides in adopting technological advancements in the call center outsourcing industry. That said, you can freely rely on outsourcing providers in the country to provide you with state-of-the-art infrastructure and systems. 

More specifically, call centers in the Philippines prioritize the implementation of robust telecommunications networks, high-speed internet connections, and reliable power supply systems. These ensure uninterrupted connectivity and empowers call center agents to engage with customers seamlessly, regardless of geographical distances.

Business Continuity

The Philippines has taken proactive measures to establish robust business continuity and disaster recovery plans within its call center industry. These plans are designed to ensure uninterrupted call center operations, even in the face of unforeseen events such as natural disasters or other disruptions.

The comprehensive strategies implemented by call centers in the Philippines contribute to the resilience and dependability of outsourcing services, reinforcing the country's position as a trusted and reliable destination for customer support.

Industry Expertise

The Philippines has developed deep expertise in the call center outsourcing industry. Outsourcing providers in the country possess extensive domain knowledge, best practices, and insights gained from years of experience and continuous improvement. 

This expertise enables them to deliver exceptional customer support by providing specialized services, leveraging industry insights, implementing best practices, and keeping up with emerging trends. The advantage also sets the stage for businesses to benefit from high-quality and customer-centric support.

Flexibility in Scaling

The outsourcing industry in the Philippines offers a high level of flexibility in scaling operations based on business needs. Call center outsourcing providers possess the agility to ramp up operations during peak seasons and scale down during slower periods. 

This scalability allows businesses to efficiently allocate resources, maintain optimal customer support levels, and effectively meet customer demands. 

What Are the Cons to Expect From Call Center Outsourcing in the Philippines?

The call center outsourcing industry in the Philippines is not picture-perfect. Because of the differences in location, timezone, and culture, there are also cons associated with the strategy. Here are some of the disadvantages you need to know.

Time Zone Difference

The time zone difference between the Philippines and Western countries can be a factor that businesses need to consider when outsourcing their operations. Depending on the specific disparities, it may pose challenges for real-time collaboration and immediate access to outsourced teams.

Because of this disadvantage, Immediate access to the outsourced team may not always be possible, as their working hours may differ significantly from the business hours in the Western country.

Language and Accent Variations

The Philippines has gained a reputation for its strong English language proficiency, which has contributed to its success as an outsourcing destination. However, businesses should still know that there may still be subtle language or accent variations. 

These variations can occasionally affect the quality of customer interactions, especially when dealing with customers who have strong regional accents or dialects. To address this challenge, outsourcing providers in the Philippines prioritize comprehensive training programs for their customer service representatives. 

Data Security Concerns

Outsourcing call center functions to the Philippines and any other country can bring up data security and privacy concerns. Because the industry deals with a lot of sensitive information, both from the business and the customers, it’s just right that you work with an outsourcing company that can give you top-level data protection. 

Fortunately, call center providers in the country prioritize data protection by implementing advanced security technologies, adhering to relevant regulations, and maintaining physical and network security measures. All you need to do is to assess the technologies that you’ll be provided with, and go from there.

Distance and Travel Costs

Physical distance can present challenges in outsourcing arrangements, particularly when it comes to on-site visits, team collaboration, or addressing urgent matters that may require face-to-face interactions. These challenges may include the costs and logistics associated with travel, as well as navigating time differences and scheduling constraints. 

Leveraging technology, setting clear expectations, and maintaining regular communication channels can help mitigate these challenges and ensure effective collaboration in spite of the physical distance.

Cultural and Communication Differences

While there may be a cultural affinity between the outsourcing team in the Philippines and the business's home country, it’s important to recognize that cultural and communication differences can still arise. These differences can include variations in communication styles, business practices, and approaches to problem-solving, among others. 

To ensure effective collaboration and bridge any potential gaps, companies should invest in cross-cultural training and establish clear communication channels.

Maximize Your Business Potential by Choosing a Trusted Call Center Outsourcing Provider in the Philippines

To ensure that your outsourcing strategy will help maximize your business potential, the most important thing to do is to find a reliable and trusted call center outsourcing provider that can meet your needs and help you scale your operations. 

At ManilaPros, we offer five-star customer care services tailored especially to provide retailers like you with the call center coverage you need.

Book a call with us today to learn more about our customer care services.