3 Things to Consider Before Outsourcing to a Call Centre in the Philippines
At the heart of every successful business is a special connection with the customers, and the outsourcing call centre has been a go-to strategy in achieving this.
When customers want to interact with a brand for its product or service, the customer service team becomes the face of a business to the customers.
In most instances, small companies lack the time, resources, and expertise to build an in-house customer support team. This is especially true when small businesses begin to scale, and customer demands begin to increase.
From strategy, recruitment, training, retention, and engagement programs, to offices, security, and technology solutions, outsourcing providers offer a complete package of services that takes the weight off the shoulders of a company especially with the current massive talent shortage in some countries.
Companies have found outsourcing as a cost-effective solution to set up an efficient customer service team. Talent in top outsourcing countries like the Philippines has a relatively lower cost of living, resulting in reduced labour costs.
Apart from cost reduction, the workforce in the Philippines is highly regarded for their English proficiency and customer-centric demeanour, making them the perfect fit for customer service roles.
Around 1.3 million people make up the country’s outsourcing industry, a strong driver of the economy that continues to grow up to this day, despite all the limitations brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read More: The good, the bad, the odd: 17 things I learnt about life in the Philippines during my 8-year stay
While outsourcing customer service promises a lot of success, it is not a cure-all solution for businesses. It requires a lot of planning, research, and strategising. Before diving into the call centre industry in the Philippines, here are some useful information to guide you in your decision-making process.
3 Points to Keep in Mind Before Outsourcing a Call Centre in the Philippines
1. List down your long-term targets and short-term goals
Like in every business, everything starts with the question “why” as it always leads to the answers you need.
Why outsource? Do you need additional people for overflowing calls? Do you want to increase customer satisfaction ratings? Do you need a 24/7 customer service team?
Be specific with the people you want to hire. List down the soft and hard skills that you think would make a candidate a good match for your business’ culture.
Most small companies offshore the customer service aspect of the business completely so they can focus on the more important in-house tasks, like brand positioning and strategising. Some businesses, however, already have their own support teams, building a hybrid of onshore and offshore call centre teams to meet the increasing volume of customer queries.
Once you have crafted your goals, create some metrics to measure your success. This will guide you in many crucial decision points, especially when you’re just starting to build your team.
Many outsourcing providers in the Philippines offer free consultations. Do not hesitate to reach out to them and compare notes. Ask about their talent and services, their company metrics, their technology, and any other concerns, which will help you decide if they are the right partner for you.
2. Look for flexibility and transparency
Your call centre abroad will surely help you hit your targets, but what if you have reached your goals and the need to expand emerges? This is where it is important to have an outsourcing partner that can match your evolving needs.
Look for a partner that offers flexible terms, allowing you to expand or contract a team.
There is also the matter of flexibility when it comes to your technological needs. Your outsourcing partner should have the means to provide tailor-fit IT and security solutions for your call centre team, especially during this period where most teams work remotely.
Most, if not all, outsourcing firms in the Philippines have proper business continuity plans (BCP) to avoid outages and disruptions that will certainly hurt customer satisfaction. Make sure to ask your provider about the details of their BCP.
Do not hesitate to ask the outsourcing provider for a full breakdown of its service fees for transparency. If you can, seek the help of your internal finance experts to weigh in on the charges, making sure it is fair and within the industry standard.
3. Connect with your team: Establish a good relationship
How your support team embraces your brand and culture will determine their approach to your customers — which is crucial to customer experience. For this to happen, you need to establish a close working relationship with your offshore team.
Contrary to common thinking, offshore teams need not be detached from your core business group. Many outsourcing partners in the Philippines offer collaborative workflows that can allow you to work more closely with your support team. The structure is in place and it’s up to you to make it work.
Teams in the Philippines are highly adaptable and are willing to integrate into your business and culture. But learning more about your team, their values and aspirations, will help you establish a lasting relationship with them, which always translates to results.
Communicate regularly with your team. Share the story of your brand.
Mount engagement programs that let your local and offshore teams collaborate. Involve your managers offshore in your plans. Celebrate with them. Make them feel that they are a valuable part of your business.
There are many ways to connect with your team abroad, but the initiative should always start with you. The more your team feels integrated with your business, the more they will look after your brand when facing your customers.
Read More: Bridging Cultures: Best Practices for Successful Onshore & Offshore Team Integration
By outsourcing call centres, businesses have leveraged global talent to meet their goals. Looking beyond the borders for talent solutions will break you free from the limitations imposed in your region, allowing you to realise the full potential of your business.
Emapta, a Philippine-based offshore outsourcing firm, has connected businesses of all sizes to world-class customer service talent for over a decade.