The year 2020 is gone, but its impact on the world’s economy continues to linger. With the pandemic causing a major financial dent in nearly all industries, companies are looking for ways to maximize resources. One proven way to achieve this is through customer service outsourcing.
If you are searching for the ideal country to outsource customer service functions, the contact center capital of the world should be the first on your list. In this article, we will explore why the Philippines is still the top choice for offshore outsourcing in 2021 and beyond.
5 Reasons Why the Philippines Remains Competitive in Customer Service Outsourcing
1. The Growing Confidence of Foreign Investors
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the Philippines to its worst economic contraction since the Second World War. Even so, foreign investors display confidence in the Philippine economy if a recent report from the Philippines’ central bank is to go by.
Accordingly, $961 million worth of foreign direct investments (FDI) entered the country in January. This is a 41.5% jump from last year’s performance of $679 million during the same period.
The central bank credits the surge to the gradual reopening of the country’s economy, following positive developments about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Here are the highlights of the country’s FDI performance in January:
- Debt instrument investments grew by 116% (from $248 million to $535 million)
- Equity capital investments grew modestly by 0.5% (from $350 million to $351 million
- Inflows from new placements increased (from $362 to $374)
- A decrease in withdrawals was reported (from $24 million to $10 million)
2. The Expected Growth of the Country’s BPO Sector
According to the latest data from The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, the BPO sector raked $27.6 billion in revenue in 2020. The industry was able to surpass 2019’s revenue by 1.4%. This percentage, albeit small, is a major achievement considering that it was gained in the year the pandemic was declared.
The ITBPAP continues to see a positive upward trend for the country’s IT-BPM sector over the next two years. In fact, the industry is expected to outperform the Philippine economy, which was forecasted to decline since 2020.
Here are the ITBPAP’s re-calibrated growth projections for the IT-BPM sector until 2022:
- The IT-BPM industry is expected to hire around 1.37 million to 1.43 million full-time employees (2.7–5% increase)
Considering that most economies are still experiencing a major decline, these projections show that outsourcing in the Philippines is a great strategy for businesses that are looking to bounce back.
3. The BPO Sector’s Ability to Serve as the Country’s Economic Pillar
The projected growth of the BPO industry is expected to open up opportunities to the real estate sector. According to an article published by the Philippine News Agency, the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association is optimistic that the BPO industry will continue to catalyze real estate businesses in the country.
APREA’s CEO Sigrid Zialcita said that the BPO sector continues to dominate the demands and tenancy for office spaces in the country. She added that since most of the real estate investment trust (REIT)’s portfolio is the office market, the BPO industry will help enhance investments in REIT.
These positive projections and developments prove that the BPO industry serves as a reliable anchor for the Philippine economy.
4. The Continued Support of the Government to the BPO Sector
The Philippine government recognizes the contribution of the customer service outsourcing sector in the economy. When the lockdown was first imposed in the country in March 2020, the Philippine government considered the BPO industry a vital service. As a result, many call centers continue to operate, with strict measures in place. This helped mitigate operational disruption for client companies based outside the country.
5. The Quality of the Country’s Workforce
One of the major reasons why the Philippines remains the top customer service outsourcing partner of choice is the country’s workforce. With the pandemic making the market competition even more challenging, businesses will greatly benefit from having a reliable offshore outsourcing team.
Here are some of the major strengths of the Philippine workforce:
Highly Educated Population
The Philippines has an impressive literacy rate of 97.95%, the highest in Southeast Asia. Additionally, the country is recognized as one of the largest English-speaking countries in the world, with two-thirds of the population displaying fluency in the language.
Even with the pandemic reshaping the educational system of the country, the Philippines is still expected to produce a new batch of competent graduates.
Close Ties to Western Culture
Compared to that of other call center destinations in Asia, the Philippines’ culture shows more similarities to Western countries. This strong affinity is rooted in the country’s colonial histories with Spain and the United States.
Resilience in the Face of Adversity
The COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly illuminated another clout of the Philippines as an ideal customer service outsourcing destination. During the early onset of the pandemic, the Philippines’ BPO sector demonstrated resilience in responding to a crisis of a global scale.
According to Benedict Hernandez, president of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines, “…In a matter of a couple of weeks, from March 17 lockdown, by April the contact centers were 80% up and running. Hundreds of thousands of people figured out a way to help their clients, doing it at home. Now we are doing it close to 100%. That is quite incredible.”
To date, most of the country’s BPO industry has adjusted to the demands of working in the new normal. Many customer service outsourcing companies have strengthened their technological infrastructure to facilitate seamless service delivery while employing either a full or hybrid remote working setup.
New Sets of Expectations for the Customer Service Outsourcing Sector
While the trajectory of the growth of the BPO sector is pointing upward, this does not mean that opportunities will be available to all customer service outsourcing providers. As Hernandez pointed out, “the clients are looking for something different, and we need to step up to the plate.”
He added that industry players need to provide customers with new solutions to the problems created by the pandemic. In addition to offering cost-saving measures, customer service outsourcing companies must invest in automation and offer services geared toward ’new normal’ readiness.
SuperStaff: Ready to Rise to the Challenge
SuperStaff is no stranger to providing innovative customer service outsourcing solutions. We have been at the forefront of numerous initiatives designed to meet the ever-evolving nature of business.
Additionally, SuperStaff has been at the Philippines’ BPO scene for more than a decade. We have in-depth knowledge and insights into the country’s economic and political landscape. If you are looking for a partner that can help you take advantage of the many benefits of outsourcing in the Philippines, reach out to SuperStaff today.