Partnering with call centers in the Philippines for greater business efficiency has been a tried-and-true strategy for Fortune 500 companies and SMEs alike for years. The benefits are many: reduced labor costs, increased ROI, and access to a highly skilled workforce, to name a few. “Despite these advantages, 60 percent of call center outsourcing programs still fail to deliver the hoped-for results. Most often this is a result of utilizing the services of a low-cost outsourcing provider,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, a leading call center in the Philippines. Still, developing a successful outsourcing partnership with a contact center in the country can be accomplished by following six rules.
The first rule is to have a very clear understanding of what you want from your call center program. There should be clearly defined requirements and objectives set right from the beginning. An experienced call center outsourcing provider should be able to confirm if a client’s expectations can realistically be met. The clearer you are with what you want a call center to deliver, the better that vendor can meet your requirements and expectations. Once key issues are established, a master service agreement should be put into place to set forth the expected duties and responsibilities of both parties.
An often-overlooked factor of successfully outsourcing to a call center in the Philippines is to partner with the right-sized vendor. You want your business to be considered as an important account by your call center provider and to accomplish this, your program should be between three to 10% of the vendor’s total seat capacity. A large call center may not always be the ideal choice. If a business has fewer agent requirements, a small, boutique-type vendor will very likely be able to provide a much better and more personalized service.
“The global market for call center outsourcing is a staggering US$339.4 billion, and the Philippines is an undisputed worldwide industry leader. This means there is no shortage of companies that provide industry-specific solutions. The key is to work with a call center that offers deep domain expertise in your industry. Whether it’s healthcare, financial services, or retail, there’s no point in outsourcing call center processes to the Philippines, or elsewhere, unless the vendor can deliver better results than you would be able to achieve onshore or in-house,” says Ellspermann. To accomplish this, it’s important to partner with a call center that specializes in your industry.
“A key to outsourcing a successful program with a contact center in the Philippines is to make sure to partner with a provider who has made investments into the latest technologies. Premium vendors understand that tech such as AI enhances efficiency and helps deliver a world-class Customer Experience (CX),” adds Ellspermann.
Speaking of CX, another rule to adhere to when comparing call center service providers is to ensure that customer experience is a priority. Working with a premium call center in the Philippines can deliver savings of 40-50% over onshore rates. In contrast, a low-cost call center may highlight a 70% savings, but what you risk is a 90% program failure rate in the interest of saving a few dollars. “Low-cost call centers simply cannot compete with premium vendors on quality and are unable to invest in resources that will deliver world-class CX. Simply put, a low-cost call center not only jeopardizes the success of your entire program but also can alienate your customer base,” says Ellspermann.
The last rule of working with a call center in the Philippines should go without saying; that is to just use good, common sense. If a vendor makes claims about their service that sound too good to be true, it likely is. In virtually every case, the hourly rate of a call center will be a good barometer of the level of service that you can expect. “A premium call center in the Philippines may charge a few dollars more per hour than a low-cost vendor, but that can be the difference between a successful program, and a failed one,” concludes Ellspermann.