The Growth Driver, Emerging Markets, Technologies and Management of Offshore Call Center in the Philippines

Large, international companies are continually expanding their presence in their own countries as well in other parts of the world. This has resulted in a huge demand for customer support and call center services, which require a vast labor force of qualified call center professionals.

However, even for big businesses, operating on-site inbound call centers can be very expensive and not as profitable compared to moving them overseas in countries like the Philippines, known to have some of the lowest rates among other offshore outsourcer.

Additionally, managing a call center or a customer service department may divert the resources and attention of the management from its core business processes.

Therefore, in order to focus on the most critical aspects of their business without compromising the quality of their call center operations, which may be a non-core process but extremely important to any business, companies have decided that the best option would be to designate this task under the management of a specialist offshore.

The call center outsourcing trend reached the shores of the Philippines several years back, and looks like it is here to stay. There are more than 100 offshore call center companies in the Philippines in the country today.

Some of these inbound call centers have other capabilities as well, but technically speaking, a call center provider in the Philippines is a company that provides call-handling services to respond to incoming calls customers who may have inquiries regarding products and services or require requests for assistance related to a purchase, subscription or membership, or an application.

Economically developed or first world countries like the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan form the client base of offshore call center providers in the Philippines, and other developing countries that have also emerged as outsourcing service providers.

The United States currently accounts for 90 percent of the market of BPO companies in the Philippines, but industry forecasts indicate Europe will be bringing more business to call center firms in the next couple of years.

Offshore contact center providers in the Philippines is competing strongly with India in the call center sector. An increasing number of multinational companies view contact centers in the Philippines to be an ideal service provider. The main reason these companies cite is the fact that among all other Asian countries, the Filipinos have the highest level of English language skills, which is a huge advantage because the main clients of offshore inbound call center business are companies based in English-speaking nations.

There are two types of offshore call center firms – first, there are the domestic owned companies and then, there are the foreign-based inbound call centers that have expanded their presence and brought their operations to the Philippines.

The work force of a call center provider is multi-layered with each layer consisting of agents performing specific duties. With each level up, the duties become more technical. In this model, general customer concerns are handled in the first level and as issues become more difficult or complex, they are then routed accordingly to the next level until the issue reaches resolution. Usually, majority of calls and issues are resolved in the second level.

Contact center companies invest in the latest technologies in order to function as efficiently as possible. Call center services fall under the sector of IT enabled services, which means that technology drives it and that it would be impossible to perform any outsourced call center task without the right technologies.

The best call center companies invest in technologies that not only enable but also, more importantly, improve the performance of tasks. This means that by utilizing the best technology, agents are able to respond to calls in the most efficient manner.

Some of the typical call center infrastructures are computers, advanced telephony systems with headsets, internet connection, proprietary software, call routing systems, quality auditing systems, etcetera.

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