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Call Centre Philippines: How To Avoid Outsourcing Pitfalls

The promise of 60-70% cost savings when migrating your front or back-office operation to a BPO or call centre in the Philippines is an attractive proposition. Are these levels of savings possible, or will your company make too many sacrifices in customer service quality for the sake of saving a few dollars?

Companies that don't continually search for new and innovative ways to reduce expenses won't remain competitive for very long. It's a continual learning process, and careful consideration is required before adopting new cost-saving measures as part of a business strategy.

Call centres in the Philippines have been making waves due to the industry's exceptional growth over the last two decades. While there are more quality providers than just a decade or two ago, businesses still need to be cautious when selecting a contact centre outsourcing provider in the Philippines to take care of their valuable customers.

The industry has improved dramatically, and it is possible to create significant savings by shifting your call centre overseas. However, not all call centres in the Philippines are created equal and strive for a high level of quality. There is a balance that needs to be made between savings and the quality of customer support you can expect to receive.

The industry is still littered with organisations that focus primarily on attracting new business through their extreme low-cost offers and operations. However, educated consumers demand a quality experience at every customer touch point with your company.

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If you fail to deliver a satisfactory customer experience, your savings will soon be absorbed by a mass migration of customers to the competition. Fortunately, it's easier than it used to be to save money on call centre outsourcing to the Philippines while still providing an exemplary experience.

The Philippine BPO industry has seen rapid advances, and call centres that are in tune with the western market understand what it takes to attract the largest companies into their fold. Call centre services can be tailored to a particular industry. Microsoft, Facebook, and Google inject millions of dollars into the Philippine economy to deliver highly specialised customer and technical support to their customers. Keeping these services onshore would come at a significantly higher cost due to the challenges of working with local employees.

Contact centre staff in New Zealand typically require holiday pay, sick pay, office floor space, and technical infrastructure. Couple that with high staff turnover and continual training expenses, and it is easy to see the appeal of partnering with a call centre in the Philippines to take care of your customers.

As the world becomes more digitised and online commerce takes more market share, the appeal of the Philippine call centre outsourcing industry will continue to grow. So, it's good that the nation is committed to the industry's continued development.

Philippine BPO companies contribute 8% to the small island nation's GDP and employ around 1.3 million Filipinos. Educational institutions and universities have jumped on the opportunity to provide a continuous stream of highly educated, technically proficient Filipinos to staff these operations. However, just because the industry is improving overall does not mean you can be lax in your selection or use price as your primary motivator.

Ralf Ellsperman, CEO of PITON-Global, an award-winning call centre in the Philippines, understands that focusing on price alone is a recipe for disaster when selecting a contact centre in the Philippines. "When quality service is critical to the success of your organisation, you need to adjust the expectations of how much you will be saving," says Ellspermann.

Still, the possibility of reducing your cost for customer support by 40-50% is achievable without disappointing your customers or sacrificing the customer experience. Industry-leading BPOs and call centres in the Philippines can create these savings for you while delivering the same level of service you would expect from an onshore outsourcing provider in New Zealand.

By targeting cost savings of around 40-50%, your focus remains on people, technology, and process-focused providers. These enterprises can attract the most highly qualified staff with advanced English proficiency, university education, and cultural familiarity to help develop a positive rapport. These roles are highly sought after and provide a decent living wage that all but eliminates the challenges of high staff turnover.

In short, says Ellspermann, 70% cost savings is a pipe dream, and if you follow that route, you are setting your company up for failure. When you add call centre outsourcing to the Philippines to your business model, protect your company by partnering with a premium contact centre that understands how critical quality customer service is to a business's long-term success.

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