At the turn of the century, in the nascent stages of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines, the overwhelming focus centered on cost reduction and the ability to scale. While these factors still play a large role, they are no longer the principal considerations. “Companies, as varied as start-ups to multinational organizations, have learned that to remain relevant in a hyper-competitive, global marketplace, the customer must be the focus. To that extent, delivering a superior customer experience (CX) is now one of the primary drivers of the offshore outsourcing industry,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of
, a leading mid-sized BPO in the Philippines.
Of course, delivering world-class CX is quite difficult to achieve at a reasonable rate onshore. That’s why companies of all sizes and industries have looked offshore to the Philippines. There are a multitude of reasons that have contributed to this: superior labor, excellent BPO management, industry and service specialization, and access to excellent technology to name just a few important factors.
Well-educated and highly skilled labor, coupled with a high rate of English proficiency is one of the most attractive features of the Philippines for offshore outsourcing. University programs pump out highly trained graduates with expertise in areas as varied as IT, CX, and AI. In addition, the BPO industry in the Philippines is one of the most desirable employment options in the country, so competition for the best jobs with premium BPO vendors is fierce. Another benefit: Filipinos are known for their patience, which is an invaluable skill when implementing quality CX programs.
In addition to a skilled workforce, BPO companies in the Philippines boast management teams with deep industry experience and competencies. With two decades of growth and experience, many of these BPO management teams are highly skilled in both BPO practices and customer service best practices. These providers themselves have had to demonstrate exemplary CX for clients onshore, so they understand the importance of CX first-hand. Industry leaders have thrived in the Philippines for this reason.
“BPO providers specializing in CX services also offer an unparalleled level of domain knowledge and expertise. Outsourcing to BPOs with detailed industry-specific practices is highly recommended as they can more easily tailor solutions to their clients’ needs. Industry experts can be leveraged to create solutions that are highly targeted, thus creating the best possible value for BPO clients,” says Ellspermann.
Access to technology is another important BPO advantage in the Philippines. The country’s top BPO’s invest heavily into industry-leading technology and infrastructure. They work with the latest artificial intelligence such as robotic process automation (RPA) and natural language processing (NLP). Premium vendors that specialize in CX are often the most progressive BPOs, adopting AI, RPA, and NLP early in their life cycles. Those that don’t adapt to technologies as quickly as providers specializing in emerging technologies often find themselves left behind.
“Of course, cost-containment and the ability to scale have been and will always be appealing features of BPO services in the Philippines. In fact, cost savings are a direct result of many factors when offshoring to the Philippines; as much as 50% savings on labor than onshore, increased efficiency using cutting-edge technologies, and the ability to quickly scale because of efficient programs and processes,” explains Ellspermann.
Twenty years ago, the primary benefit of utilizing offshore outsourcing was to take advantage of lower costs and easy scalability. Today, the world’s most successful organizations, such as Amazon, Google, and AT&T, understand that the recipe for long-term success is providing world-class CX. Brand loyalty is fleeting at best if organizations are not delivering a great customer experience to each client, every time, across every touchpoint. Now, these companies view cost savings more as a welcome byproduct of a well-planned and executed offshore outsourcing strategy, than the ultimate end goal. “BPO to the Philippines works, but the approach has to be right,” concludes Ellspermann.
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