As an increasing number of companies seek to outsource their customer care, support and outbound sales, the big question that arises is “where?” For years, India was the location of choice due to its extensive, high-skill, low-cost workforce. More recently, the Philippines overtook India in business process outsourcing (BPO). The Contact Center Association reported that the Philippines’ voice revenue doubled over recent years and now exceeds India by more than $200 million.
Why the Philippines? There is a strong affinity between the United States and the Philippines. There is also alignment in governments, and the regulatory environment is conducive to growth. The Philippines is an ideal location from an economic perspective. Low labor costs provide an opportunity for organizations to provide customer-facing services at very attractive rates.
But it’s not all about cost. The Philippines is one of the largest English-speaking countries in the world. Many analysts observe that the Philippines is the most westernized of the Asian markets, with the official languages Filipino (Tagalog) and English. The top three daily newspapers, magazines and a number of television shows are in English.
The Philippines workforce has a unique edge over most major worldwide markets in terms of labor quality. Many are college educated, with degrees in IT, communications, business and sciences. This enables companies to outsource everything from customer care to skilled technical services, such as engineering, architecture and software development.
Success in the Philippines is no accident. India was first to market as a viable offshore alternative, and early-adopter companies went into India from higher cost markets (the biggest adoption following Y2K). Business leaders in the Philippines learned from the BPOs in India and followed the tactics that proved successful for India, as well as the land mines to avoid. The Philippines government also provided a great deal of support, devoting resources to developing training methodologies and making sure each one of the BPO providers is training coaches.
Now that offshoring has proven its value, more businesses are outsourcing, and the Philippines has become the location of choice. However, a number of industries have yet to tap into the opportunities in the Philippines. Companies in the insurance, banking, healthcare, legal and knowledge management spaces are just now discovering the cost savings and quality of service the Philippines has to offer.
The key to success in the Philippines is training. In addition to training agents, it’s important to provide an extensive management development program to groom future leaders. Running a successful management program begins by teaching hands-on skills and training frontline managers to drive continuous improvement using variation-based management.
The Philippines is one of the most dynamic markets in the global economy. It’s growing at a phenomenal rate for services ranging from inbound sales, customer care and technical support to back office operations and collections. Take your business to the Philippines to improve customer care and your bottom line.