Call Centers in the Philippines: The Crowned King of Offshore Customer Representatives

Published: September 11, 2020
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These days, more companies based in the US, the UK, and Australia are choosing to work with offshore call center services. The benefits are far greater than choosing to manage an in-house call center, or even working with a nearshore call center in another city or state. At present, there are various call centers in the Philippines, India, Pakistan, and China. India used to hold most of the market share, but since the last decade, the Philippines has gained significant growth to quickly become the world’s call center capital.

Why Offshore Call Centers Provide the Best Solutions

Before the rise of external call center agencies, companies had to create a customer service department to handle all customer calls. This included sales, follow-ups, and even complaints. Though there are benefits to this, not all companies have the capacity to hire, train, and manage an in-house team. Furthermore, not all enterprises have the technology and infrastructure to facilitate the multitude of daily calls from various locations.

To provide solutions for this, nearshore call centers began to spring up in the mid-1990s, when the internet was first becoming more commonplace in businesses. Suddenly, companies no longer had to train and manage teams with the sole function of responding to customer calls. These call center agencies were usually located in another city or state. In the case of the US, some call centers also began to emerge from nearby countries, such as those from Latin America and the Caribbean.

As the Internet grew stronger and began to connect the whole world, call centers from developing Asian countries also began to surface. India and Pakistan, countries known for having a good mastery of English, began to train their agents into adopting American, British, and Australian accents. Companies then began to shift from nearshore call center companies to offshore ones, as the lower standard of living from developing countries in Asia also meant lower wages for the workers. For many years, India held the top spot in terms of market share in the call center industry, until the Philippines began to emerge as the crowned king of customer service within the last decade.

The Philippines as the Leader in the Call Center Market

At present, the Philippines currently holds the largest market share in offshore customer service and has retained this spot since 2013. The latest data gathered from the last three years show that:

  • 1.3 million Filipinos work in offshore customer service;
  • From 2018-2019, Philippine call centers have contributed to more than 60% of total economic growth in the country; and
  • The industry currently generates more than 22 billion USD in yearly revenue, but this is expected to reach 38 billion by 2022, as there is close to a 10% annual growth.

Due to this, many global companies currently rely on Filipino call center agents to provide offshore customer service. Some of these are:

  • AT&T, a multinational company based in the US that provides internet and TV services, outsources its customer and technical support to the Philippines;
  • Google, though based in California, also relies on Filipino customer representatives to handle weekly calls that reach almost 10,000; and
  • Citi, a leading global bank that outsources its technical and customer service support to the Philippines.

Most Filipinos already have a good grasp of English, thanks to decades of American influence. However, call centers in the country take their training processes very seriously. Filipino agents undergo months of accent training not just to sound similar to those with who they’ll be speaking, but also to ensure that they’ll be prepared to listen to people from various backgrounds. Accents may vary not only depending on geographic location, but also on the rate of immigration in a certain city. For this reason, customer service representatives familiarize themselves not only with accents from the US, UK, and Australia, but also those from India, Latin America, and even countries in Africa. Part of this training also includes learning about a country’s history, trends, and other idiosyncrasies, to ensure that the agents would not be strangers to the culture.

Furthermore, Forbes Magazine has published that the Philippines ranks as one of the friendliest countries in the world, particularly for being able to quickly adapt to those from foreign cultures. This has been further delved into by an article published in Asia Society, explaining that Filipinos tend to be very hospitable to foreigners, regardless of which country they’re from. For this reason, Filipinos became the best choice for many companies to take care of their customer service. Filipino agents are able to handle complex calls and irate customers with patience, kindness, and a smile on the other end of the line.

As the Philippines continues to grow in the offshore outsourcing industry, the Philippine government strengthened its laws to protect the international companies that trust the country’s outsourcing services. Some of the reasons for these are:

  • Data privacy laws have been strengthened in order to meet international standards. 
  • Government-led training centers have been founded to provide free call center training for the citizens
  • The Contact Center Association of the Philippines has also been established in order to strengthen the country’s Information Technology and Business Process Management sector’s roadmap for 2022, which aims to accelerate the growth of the outsourcing industry even further.

Choosing the Best Offshore Partner for Your Business

It is vital to choose the right offshore outsourcing partner for your company. Though there are many who seem to offer similar services, not everyone is able to provide the best quality and maximum efficiency despite the low cost.

A company’s website is the first step to gathering information about its services. Its portfolio, history, and site content should be up to par with international standards. Furthermore, the company has to have the right technological infrastructure to be able to support outsourced processes. Employees must also be well-trained, with low attrition rates to ensure the quality of work output.

Security must also be taken into careful consideration. In an age wherein information becomes a highly valuable possession, businesses must make sure that company and client information must always be secure. There have been reports of data leaks and security breaches in other offshore companies, which led to a massive threat for the businesses they work with.

SuperStaff Provides Solutions to Present-day Challenges

Here at SuperStaff, we offer some of the best offshore business processes, ensuring quality, efficiency, and protection of information. With over a decade of experience in various industries, we hold a record that remains unmatched by many other offshore companies around the globe. Our program architects are trained to evaluate a company’s needs and challenges, and will collaborate to provide effective solutions to provide further opportunities for growth.

There’s no more need to look for the right offshore partner, as we at SuperStaff will provide programs, systems, technology, and talent, at the fraction of the cost. We will ensure that customer calls are attended to by our friendly and adept agents, that back-end processes are dealt with the highest standards, and that data is protected from threats of security breaches.

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