Why the Philippines dominates in the global call center outsourcing industry

Sep 25, 2014SHORE Blog

It was as early as 2011 that the Philippines first became known as the call center outsourcing capital of the world. That was the year the Philippines overtook the global leader, India, in providing offshore call center services or what are also categorized as voice services. Since then, the Philippines has maintained its position at the top of the call center outsourcing market, and seeks to remain there. While India still leads in providing nonvoice outsourcing services, the Philippines has proved its dominance in call center services.

Outsourcing call center services currently comprises 60 percent of the local industry. The industry is leveraging that advantage, and tapping the synergy between the voice and the nonvoice segments to achieve the country’s goal of being the preferred outsourcing hub of the world.

The range of available call center services in the Philippines

Call center services are characterized by agents taking inbound calls, and making outbound calls. These calls have the objectives of promoting the client’s brand, increasing sales revenues, and improving customer relationships

  • Inbound call center services. The outsourcing provider fields agents who respond to end-customers’ calls, messages or email from landlines, mobile phones or the Internet. The bulk of inbound services fall under the following:
    • Customer service. This can be Level 1 or Level 2 of customer relationship management that functions as retention programs to increase the clients’ revenues and profits.
    • Technical support. This can be from Level 1 to Level 3. Technical support agents require a high level of skills and training. Sometimes clients even require certifications to ensure that customers’ problems are resolved, and they receive expert care.
    • Customer upsell and cross-sell. Agents offer other lines of products to customers who call, again with the goal of increasing clients’ revenues.
  • Outbound call center services. Agents call end-customers for many purposes including the following:
    • Business to business (B2B) or business to consumer/customer (B2C) sales and telemarketing. These outbound initiatives are conducted through various channels such as voice, email, chat or the web. This could be first-time sales, cross-selling or upselling through sales verification, direct response marketing, order-taking, and many other means.
    • These are outbound calls to collect on debts, and provide customer counselling to pave the way for the customers to pay what they owe the clients.
    • Data cleansing and validation. Data cleansing or scrubbing and validation is ensuring that database information is correct, updated, complete and consistent.
    • List building and lead generation. This is building a database of possible customers. When leads are qualified, the agents pass them on to the clients’ sales teams.

Philippines’ advantages in offering call center outsourcing services

The Philippines has unique advantages over other countries that keep it doing well in call center outsourcing.

  • The people. The manpower behind the calls is what will make or break a call center. Filipinos are fluent in English, possess a neutral accent, and come across as pleasant and service-oriented. It’s not only how Filipinos communicate, but what they say. Filipino call center agents are backed by topnotch education and training. Then there is the Filipinos’ exposure to both Eastern and Western culture that helps in fostering a good relationship with inbound or outbound customers.
  • The track record. It is not a fluke that the Philippines is number one in call center outsourcing. The industry prides itself in operational excellence, adhering to best practices and quality to deliver contact center services. Employees are motivated to continuously improve, quality assurance and compliance systems are in place, and management and executives collaborate with clients. These factors lead to smooth operations and achieved client objectives.
  • The lower costs. Though clients do not base their decisions on cost alone, the Philippines offers value for money with its lower costs in key areas such as labor, telecommunications, office space, third party providers, etc. Government also provides incentives such as income tax holidays and subsidies.

The Philippine business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is exerting all its efforts to retain its dominance in call center outsourcing. This continued dominance will not only benefit the industry, the workers and their families, but will bolster the country’s economy as well.