Call center outsourcing in the Philippines: 3 red flags

Over the past twenty years, the Philippines has grown to be the largest and most important call center outsourcing destination in the world. Today, more than 800 outsourcing providers operate in the country.

However, it is important to know and understand that all call centers in the Philippines are set up to provide high quality services. Let’s take a look at ways to identify call centers that might not be the best partners for your business.

A call center with more than 100 customers? Course!

There is no shortage of call centers in the Philippines claiming to have over a hundred customers. Some even proudly mention numbers like this on their website. Trust us, dealing with a small to mid-size contact center that has over a hundred client programs to manage is a nightmare. Seriously, who wants to be the # 137 customer of any call center in the Philippines? What kind of program management can you expect from a business trying to service more than 100 accounts at the same time? The world’s largest and largest third-party outsourcing providers typically have fewer than sixty accounts globally. So any call center in the Philippines that boasts of having over a hundred customers should be avoided like the plague. Look for a business with a limited number of clients, ideally less than forty. This will allow them to focus on your particular outsourcing needs and do a good job. You want to be more than just a number on the production floor.

Suppose you are an SME with an outsourcing need of five to twenty seats or agents. In this case, a call center that operates over 1,000 seats would not be right for you. Finding the right size provider is critical to the success of your program. A call center that operates over 1,000 seats or employs over 1,000 agents would be far too large for your outsourcing needs. You better partner with a smaller one contact center in the Philippines which operates between 100 and 300 seats and employs less than 500 agents. Ideally, your program should represent between 3 and 10% of the total seating capacity of the call center. Only then will your program be considered an important account. Keep that in mind!

In for money.

You also want to stay away from low cost call centers that offer their services in the £ 4-6 / hour range or advertise 70% savings. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that these companies compete on price, not quality. Successful outsourcing of a call center to the Philippines requires a good deal of common sense. If you’ve booked yourself a two-star hotel room, you probably wouldn’t expect the Ritz Carlton’s levels of accommodation and service. The same logic applies to outsourcing call centers in the Philippines. In for money. Let’s see what this bottom line includes.

In the Philippines, a highly skilled agent with impeccable English and three to five years of professional experience can easily earn £ 480 to 640 per month with a leading global outsourcing provider or captive operator. This equates to an agent’s hourly salary of £ 3-4.

A call center that charges £ 4-6 an hour or offers 70% savings on UK services simply cannot afford to hire the top-performing, English-fluent agents who make programs work and achieve high levels of customer satisfaction. There are, of course, other operating costs that must be covered by the hourly service rate. These include the 30% supplier margin, management costs (operations manager, program manager, team leader, trainer, workforce manager), support staff (HR , finance and accounting, IT, administrative, legal), facilities, infrastructure, technologies, utilities and security. After covering the overhead it becomes clear that the low cost contact center or BPO cannot afford to pay agents more than £ 1.5-2 per hour which is half the rate as others at the country’s main outsourcing provider or captive operators. win. It is also important to understand that these relatively well paid industry giants generate 70% of all jobs in the Philippine BPO industry. So why would anyone want to work for less than they could earn? You guessed it, they only do it when they don’t have the skills to do better. Red flags don’t get bigger than that. If you shop at the bottom of the barrel, don’t expect miracles.

Beware of valets of all trades and masters of none.

Most of the low cost call centers in the Philippines offer as many services as possible. Just visit their websites and click on the “Services” section. If you see more than eight services, you know what type of provider you are dealing with. They seem to be experts in the field in all industries. If you talk to them, you will quickly find out that there is nothing they can do or haven’t done yet. This is another huge red flag. Avoid these jack-of-all-trades, masters of nothing at all costs.

On the other hand, the premium contact centers in the Philippines generally specialize in a limited number of services and industries. There is no shortage of call centers specializing in financial services, e-commerce, logistics or healthcare, for example. The key to success is finding and partnering with one of these highly specialized outsourcing providers. But beware, they don’t offer their services in the £ 4-6 range or 70% savings. These premium contact centers and BPOs compete not on price but on people, processes and technology. In short, they compete on quality, not price.

If you were in need of bypass surgery, you would look for a cardiologist who specializes in open heart surgery and has an excellent reputation and reputation. You probably wouldn’t let a GP do the procedure, would you? It’s the same with call centers in the Philippines. You want to find and partner with experts in your industry, which will greatly increase the chances of a successful and long-term outsourcing partnership. If you are going abroad, go for the premium. An hourly rate of £ 8-11 will always generate at least 50% savings compared to onshore providers. Saving another 20% is not worth it. Always remember that there is a cost to providing and / or obtaining high quality service. Outsourcing offshore call centers to the Philippines works and can offer exceptional quality, but take the right approach and heed the red flags.

Ralf Ellspermann is the CEO of PITON-Global, a mid-sized contact center and back-office outsourcing provider in the Philippines. Ralf has over 20 years of award winning outsourcing experience in the Philippines. He has worked on both the supplier and customer side of the business, giving him an unrivaled understanding of the Philippine contact center outsourcing industry, its supplier landscape and service capabilities. . An internationally recognized expert on business processes and call center outsourcing in the Philippines, Ralf has been a keynote speaker and expert speaker at some of Asia’s largest and most important Outsourcing Conferences and Summits.

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