Let's Put the Obvious Things Aside: an Overview of the Call Center Industry in the Philippines
Call centers began in the Philippines as providers of email response, managing customer response, and managing services. This broadened to industrial capabilities for almost all types of customer relations, ranging from travel services, technical support, education, customer care, financial services, online business-to-customer support, and online business-to-business support. Despite some differences between the western culture and eastern cultures, Filipino agents continue to maximize profit on behalf of their hired businesses. In fact, businesses worldwide and across industries are taking advantage of business process outsourcing (BPO services) to operate more efficiently without sacrificing quality.
The Philippine government has tagged the call center industry as the “Sunshine Industry” because of its massive expansion for the last 10 years. The majority of call centers are located in first-tier cities of Metro Manila and Cebu City. The country has remained as an outsourcing favorite among various countries. More companies in the United States and Europe are coming to the Philippines to take advantage of the low-cost yet high-quality call center and outsourcing services.
The Philippines has become the call-center capital of the world. Philippine call centers cater to clients from the US, Australia, and United Kingdom. Being the third largest English-speaking country in the world, with a high literacy rate, the Philippines is considered one of the most competitive call center destinations in the world. Call centers continue to grow and surpass employment targets every year because of the high demand for offshore business in any part of the world.
What Is a Call Center?
As you can tell, the Philippine call center industry is robust and offers many positives as a call center outsourcing company, but call centers exist everywhere. If you're not familiar with a call center, it is a physical location where an organization handles a high volume of customers and other telephone calls on behalf of another company. Here are some examples of how call center industry business process outsourcing can help your business:
- Answering inquiries from customers;
- Providing technical support and customer care;
- Market research;
Business process outsourcing such as finding a call center to assist with this aspect of business operations is only becoming more popular with time. Usually, call centers provide voice-only inbound, outbound, and self-service customer interactions. Companies throughout the world are taking advantage of the growing call center industry.
There are different types of call centers that offer varying services depending on the unique needs of your organization. Common types of customer call centers include:
- Inbound call center
- Outbound call center
- Customer service center (contact center)
- Multichannel call centers
- Virtual call centers
- Automated call centers
- Blended call center
The call center industry uses numerous metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of a company and the productivity of its personnel. A successful call center is based on how the agents handle their calls and how agents worked as a team either in an inbound setting, outbound, or a contact center. Speaking of contact centers, let's explore how contact center services differ from call centers.
Call Center vs. Contact Center
It's important to determine the type of communications technology support that your company needs before making an investment. The main difference between a call center and a contact center is the channel that each one uses. Generally speaking, traditional call centers as we know them rely on legacy phone systems while contact centers instead leverage various digital channels that customers use today to stay in touch with businesses. For example, call center employees take on different tasks compared to contact center employees. A call center agent might rely on a legacy phone system while those working in a contact center might instead take a more omnichannel approach, interacting with customers on platforms such as apps, email, text, phone, messaging, web, and social media.
Today's customers expect top-notch service from the brands with which they interact across platforms and mediums. They expect to interact with brands in a similar way that they do with their friends, often using mobile devices. However, in the case that the majority of your customers interact with your brand over the phone, it might be more beneficial to opt for call center outsourced services to break down communication barriers with your target audience.
You might be wondering if contact centers are just call centers that have more channels. In the past, inbound call centers were designed to help serve a large volume of customers as quickly as possible through voice calls. On the other hand, contact centers are designed to understand what customers want quickly, giving them a timely response from the channel of their choosing. Despite the additional channels, there are more differences between the two. Contact centers act as the central point for customer contact management, and this requires coordinating and the integration of people, technology, and processes across the business.
Why Companies Outsource Their Services
Companies, regardless of the industry, are constantly seeking solutions that will improve the efficiency of their operations which often means making sure customers are taken care of. With only so much time and resources available, many business owners are expanding outside of their in-house teams and instead investing in diverse employment opportunities for part-time employees.
Here are only some of the services that companies are outsourcing:
- Customer service
- Administrative tasks
- Marketing efforts
- IT management
- Bookkeeping and accounting
- Shipping and logistics
If you're looking into finding your first contact center for outsourcing purposes, there are many benefits that you can expect. We've outlined only a few of them below.
Hit KPIs and Improve Operational Efficiency
Filipino call centers can help you hit your predetermined KPIs. For example, the right team can minimize hold times for your customers and help them have a more positive experience with your company. The lower the hold time, the more likely your customers will be satisfied. Outsourcing companies can also help improve first call resolution, meaning we can help to resolve the inquiry or problem of your customer during the first time that they call instead of having them call back in the future. The more effectively you can get through your call volume, the better your customer experience and the easier you can hit your KPIs.
Increase Productivity & Reduce Costs
You only have so many resources to spread throughout your business yet you need to continue to keep productivity as high as possible. If your in-house staff is constantly trying to keep up with customer inquiries, they won't be able to focus on expanding the business in other ways. Call center technology is designed to get through a large volume of inquiries in a short amount of time, helping to increase your overall productivity. Any repetitive and manual tasks that your team has been taking on can be passed to the call center staff. Customer service costs will also lessen as more processes are automated and improved.
Focus on Core Business Aspects
The business process outsourcing industry continues to grow, allowing more and more companies to have more time to spend on other areas of the business. For example, maybe you need to focus on building out a better sales process or you need to put more time into creating a pleasant onboarding experience. The Philippine PBO industry can significantly reduce the stress on your plate and free up time.
Why Is the Philippines Becoming the Outsourcing Capital of the World?
As far as BPO outsourcing destinations are concerned, the Philippines is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world. Here are some frequently outsourced services in the Philippines:
- Customer service
- Administrative tasks
- IT management
Today, the Philippine BPO industry is considered to be the call center industry's crown jewel of success, and it has employed over 1.7 million people with various skill sets. The total revenue is close to $23 billion in this industry and the current growth rate is 16%, meaning that the call center industry is a large contributor to the overall economic growth. Here are some of the main reasons why the Philippines has become the BPO capital.
Impressive Literacy Rate
With over 450,000 graduates annually and a 95% literacy rate, citizens in the Philippines are highly educated and qualified to provide these services. Access to a large employment pool also means more specialization across industries.
The labor costs in the Philippines are low compared with those in the U.S. The cost-to-skill ratio is also ideal for most companies and the performance of these outsourced call centers speaks for itself.
Call center outsourcing is a much smoother process when your customers don't notice any difference in their experience. It might seem small, but another significant positive to Philippine call centers is that the people have neutral accents. This means they're able to speak with your customers in a natural and familiar manner.
Brief History of the Call Center Industry in the Philippines
The first contact center in the Philippines was built by Frank Holz. At the time, congress saw the potential of the industry and thus passed the Special Economic Zone Act in 1995. This helped pave the path for the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) offered incentives and attracted foreign investments. In the early 2000s, the Philippine BPO industry made up 0.075% of the country's GDP. By 2013, there were 900,000 full-time Filipino employees and the growth continued every since.
Call Center Statistics in the Philippines
To get a better idea of the significance of this industry in the Philippines, here are some noteworthy statistics:
- In 2021, the sector earned $29.49 billion;
- There is an annual compound growth rate of 9.2% from 2016 to 2022 and it will hit $38.9 billion as of this year (2022);
- By 2028, there will be roughly 2.5 million people working in outsourcing;
- As of 2022, approximately 15% of the world's global outsourcing market is served by Philippine outsourcing services.
As you can see, the growth in this market is outstanding.
What Companies Outsource Their Services?
Companies around the world and across industries are relying on outsourced services more and more. For example, there are massive Australian-based companies including Jetstar, Optus, and Telstra that rely on the Philippines for outsourced services. Some examples of American corporations include Aetna, Citibank, Safeway, and Chevron.
If you've been contemplating whether or not to take advantage of outsourced services for your company, now is the time to make the investment! At Hit Rate Solutions, we are a highly regarded call center based in the Philippines and we are happy to help with an array of services for your business. If you're interested in learning more about how we can assist your business, please get in touch with us today!