Why the Philippines Is a Top Destination for Multilingual Omnichannel Customer Support

Published: May 16, 2023
Four SuperStaff agents show placards of different languages they can speak, proving that Philippines Is a Top Destination for Multilingual Omnichannel Customer Support.

In today’s globalized economy, businesses can significantly benefit from expanding their reach into non-English-speaking markets. One effective way to do this is with multilingual customer service (CS). 

The Philippines, renowned for its robust customer services industry and culture of hospitality, has emerged as a top choice for multilingual customer service outsourcing. 

Situated in Southeast Asia, the country is a global leader in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry that boasts a workforce proficient in a multitude of international languages. This quality showcases the transformative power of language proficiency and adaptability in modern business, from front-office to back-office processes. 

Leveraging multilingual omnichannel customer support, Philippine-based BPOs offer comprehensive solutions to companies seeking to enhance customer service, expand into new markets, and drive overall profitability.

Importance of Omnichannel, Multilingual Customer Support Services

Multilingual Omnichannel Customer Support Infographics

In today’s digital business landscape, optimizing the customer experience by consolidating channels and offering multilingual customer support for seamless and efficient customer touchpoints in their preferred languages and platforms is crucial. 

Multilingual support has already been proven to significantly increase client satisfaction, with 71.5% of CS leaders recognizing its positive impact. Moreover, as only 25% of internet users worldwide are English speakers, businesses need to cater to the language preferences of their diverse customer base. Research also indicates that 65% of online consumers prefer content in their native language.

Read More: Numbers Have Spoken: 38 Statistics Proving the Benefits of Multilingual Solutions for Businesses 

Taking an omnichannel approach to customer experience (CX) further enhances business performance, as companies that provide omnichannel support tend to have faster response times and higher customer satisfaction scores. 

Why Choose the Philippines as Your BPO Destination for Omnichannel Multilingual Outsourced Customer Support

People working on BPO office

#1: Filipinos are naturally gifted multilingual even in the context of local dialects.

Having been colonized by several Eastern and Western foreign powers, history plays a massive part in the Philippines’ rich cultural heritage and linguistic diversity. 

During the Spanish colonial period, which lasted for over three centuries from the 16th to the 19th century, Spanish became the language of administration, education, and the Catholic Church. This led to the adoption of Spanish loanwords and influenced the development of the Filipino language.

Meanwhile, the American colonization of the Philippines from 1898 to 1946 introduced English as the medium of instruction in schools and as the language of governance. 

The American influence further strengthened English proficiency among Filipinos. English is therefore considered an official language and is widely used in education, government, business, and the media. 

The country’s geographical and cultural diversity also contributes to the multitude of languages spoken in the country. There were already different indigenous languages and dialects that existed even before the arrival of colonizers. 

On top of the local language, Tagalog or Filipino, and English, Filipinos also learn other regional languages or dialects depending on their origins. Dialects include Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, etc. Bicolano and other regional languages. 

Moreover, due to migration and overseas employment opportunities, many Filipinos have become proficient in languages other than their native ones. For instance, Filipino workers who work in countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and Japan often acquire basic knowledge of Arabic, Mandarin, or Japanese to facilitate communication and integration.

This cultural and linguistic diversity has paved the way for Filipino multilingualism and proficiency in global languages.

#2: Philippine schools and universities often offer foreign language classes.

Apart from the country’s cultural and linguistic diversity, strong education policies also play a role in the country’s multilingual workforce. 

Many Philippine schools and universities offer foreign language classes, including public secondary schools. The Special Program in Foreign Language (SPFL), introduced by the country’s Department of Education (DepEd) in 2017, aims to enhance the language skills of Filipino students in foreign languages.

Today’s Filipino students attend Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and German classes. Such programs intend to develop students’ linguistic abilities, cultural understanding, and global competencies. 

DepEd recognizes the importance of multilingualism in an increasingly interconnected world and its many advantages for the future Filipino workforce in a globalized society.

At the same time, the country’s higher education institutions are also geared towards fostering multilingualism and preparing future Filipino workers to compete internationally. 

For instance, Ateneo de Manila University offers a range of foreign languages that cover various proficiency levels, including essential, intermediate, advanced, and conversational, encompassing both oral and written forms through its Modern Languages department under the School of Humanities. 

Similarly, other colleges and universities across the country provide their selection of foreign languages, particularly those with programs in international relations, foreign service, international studies, tourism, and linguistics/languages. 

Another great example would be Silliman University which offers a rich curriculum of Mandarin, French, German, Greek, Niponggo, Latin, and Spanish through its Department of Filipino and Foreign Languages.

Ultimately, the Philippines’ strong emphasis on language education, including foreign language training programs and the country’s bilingual education system, contributes to the language proficiency of the Filipino workforce in the BPO industry. This commitment to language learning and development further strengthens the Philippines’ position as a preferred destination for multilingual customer support solutions.

Read More: All the Latest Developments in the Philippine Call Center Industry in 2023 

#3: Philippine BPO companies can provide support in over 30 languages.

Philippine BPO companies are known for their ability to provide support in a wide array of languages.

Through educational reforms and sustained industry innovation, Philippine BPOs have developed the capacity to offer customer assistance, technical support, and other services in more than 30 languages, including Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, and other regional languages.

The availability of a multilingual workforce allows Philippine BPO companies to cater to customers from different parts of the world, ensuring a personalized and satisfactory customer experience that addresses the specific needs of diverse markets. 

This competitive advantage has propelled the Philippines to the top of outsourcing destinations for multilingual support. International businesses across different sectors outsource their CS operations to the country to take advantage of its diverse language expertise.

For instance, Amazon set up a thriving BPO operation in the Philippines to offer customer support service for its international clientele. 

Similarly, Lufthansa, the national air carrier of Germany, also operates in the Philippines to assist its customers across Asia, Europe, and America. 

Another example is Shopify. The e-commerce giant builds a customer support team in the Philippines that handles touchpoints in various Asian languages.

Firms of all sizes can join the ranks of these world-class businesses that outsource multichannel support to the Philippines. By working with SuperStaff, a fierce contender in Philippine outsourcing, companies can tap into emerging markets and powerful global economies with quality multilingual customer support services in almost every primary European and Asian language. 

#4: Filipino workers offer a combination of linguistic skills, customer service expertise, and cost-competitiveness.

There’s a reason why the Philippines has long been the go-to offshore call center destination for multilingual BPO customer support.

Filipino workers possess a winning combination of linguistic skills, CS expertise, and cost-competitiveness, making them highly sought after in various industries.

In addition to English, many Filipino workers are multilingual, which opens doors to diverse markets and customer bases, enabling companies to serve a broader range of clients.

Filipino workers are also known for their exceptional CS expertise, particularly their warm, friendly, and hospitable approach when engaging with customers. They also have a substantial cultural value of “hospitality,” which adds to their ability to provide personalized, empathetic, and customer-centric service that has been proven to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The Philippines also boasts an impressive literacy rate of 96.29%, meaning that a significant portion of the Filipino workforce possesses the linguistic skills necessary to deliver exceptional service. When combined with Filipinos’ hard-working nature, natural empathy, and hospitality, businesses can benefit from a winning multilingual call center services combination for a distinct competitive edge.

The Philippine BPO industry also has an impressive track record of delivering high-quality services at competitive rates. Since establishing the first contact center in the Philippines in the early 90s, the country has consistently delivered high-quality services at cost-effective rates. 

As of 2019, analysts estimated that over 1.3 million Filipinos were employed full-time by BPO companies. The Philippines also holds a significant share of approximately 10% to 15% in the global BPO market.

Projections suggest that by 2028, the industry will grow to employ 2.3 million full-time call center employees and generate an additional 600,000 call center jobs and an annual revenue of $32 billion.

#5: Philippine BPO companies also have nearshore centers to increase your agility and flexibility.

Recent global disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine-Russia War, and “The Great Resignation,” have demonstrated how quickly and dramatically the status quo can be upended. In such situations, businesses are faced with either navigating through these changes or risking negative consequences.

Fortunately, there is a solution to strengthen businesses and prepare them for any challenges that may arise: adopting an outsourcing model that combines offshore and nearshore solutions.

Businesses can enhance their resilience and adaptability by leveraging a blend of offshore (partnering with service providers in distant countries) and nearshore outsourcing (partnering with service providers in neighboring countries). 

Hybrid outsourcing services offer several advantages. For one thing, it provides flexibility by diversifying the location of operations. 

When disruptions occur in one region, the other areas can continue to operate, minimizing the impact on overall business performance. It also allows for business continuity planning, ensuring that critical functions can be maintained despite unexpected events.

For instance, SuperStaff is an excellent example of a call center operating in nearshoring and offshoring locations.

Establishing a nearshoring headquarters in Colombia provides SuperStaff access to a different talent pool and allows them to cater to the needs of Spanish-speaking markets, particularly in Latin America. Colombia offers its advantages, including a growing BPO industry, Spanish language proficiency, and cultural familiarity with the target markets in the region.

By operating in the Philippines and Colombia, SuperStaff can serve a diverse range of clients and provide support in multiple languages. The dual headquarters enhance their flexibility and ability to adapt to the specific requirements of different markets. 

This blended outsourcing model offers geographical and operational redundancy. If one location faces disruptions and unforeseen challenges, multilingual customer support teams in the other location can continue to operate seamlessly.

SuperStaff’s strategic decision to establish headquarters in the Philippines and Colombia exemplifies the benefits of combining offshore and nearshore solutions in the outsourcing industry. It also allows BPOs to tap into the strengths of both locations, expand their service offerings, and provide clients with a comprehensive and adaptable outsourcing solution.

Elevate Your Customer Experience With Multilingual Omnichannel Customer Support

In today’s increasingly globalized market, customer support is a significant differentiator that can help businesses expand their reach to a more diverse customer base. You can build stronger connections, improve customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive edge in the global market by offering support in many languages. 

Partner with a reliable outsourcing provider like SuperStaff, equipped with a multilingual support team and the expertise to handle customer inquiries in various languages. 

Contact us today to explore how multilingual channel support can elevate your customer service capabilities and drive business growth.

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