Top 5 Outsourcing Best Practices: Get the Best Out of BPOs in the Philippines

Published: August 25, 2023
Three SuperStaff agents discuss top outsourcing best practices.

Following workplace trends such as The Great Resignation and subsequently The Great Reshuffle, millions of job vacancies are still yet to be filled. While this may seem like bad news for some companies, it can also present new opportunities for many. The shift allows them to meet new multigenerational workforce through outsourcing.

Already, the future of outsourcing looks bright. In 2022, 90% of startups planned to delegate business tasks to third-party vendors. And by 2027, the global BPO market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5%.

So, if you’re interested in working with a BPO company, specifically in the Philippines, let this article serve as a guideline for outsourcing best practices, aids, and strategies.

Best Practices for Outsourcing Call Center Services in the Philippines

A man ticks boxes corresponding to outsourcing best practices.

While outsourcing can save you so much on operational costs, you want to ensure that you hire the best possible BPO provider for your needs.

Here, we list five best practices in outsourcing to guide you in choosing the ideal Philippine call center company:

Examine your pain points and create a detailed project plan.

Let’s say the goal of a call center is to boost customer satisfaction and happiness. The task seems simple from a bird’s-eye view – but when we break that down, it constitutes several small yet crucial tasks: responding to reviews, providing proactive solutions to customer concerns, and asking for feedback, just to name a few.

Similarly with your business projects, starting with a comprehensive project plan is one of the best strategies when beginning your outsourcing journey. That way, you have a clear roadmap when outsourcing a remote team, setting the stage for your entire team to navigate this process. 

Doing this can facilitate effective communication among project participants and help them get on the same page when developing an outsourcing strategy. Moreso, research shows that companies tend to perform better with strong collaboration, with 87% of workers saying that collaborative enterprises with clear goals are better prepared to meet customer expectations

Here’s a head’s up: a project proposal should thoroughly describe how you will accomplish your goals. These are some of the components that constitute a robust project plan:

  • Tasks: Activities delegated to different members according to their role, expertise, and skill set
  • Milestones: Represent the progress of a deliverable or project in outsourcing a team
  • People: A list of all the participants working on the outsourcing process
  • Documentation: A draft that defines the project and outlines your business goals, possible risks, and expenditure
  • Time: Estimates the deadline of the project

With this planning template, you can keep everything in perspective, ensuring outsourced processes are completed as scheduled, within the planned budget, and to the required quality. Simultaneously, it keeps every member concentrated on a mutual goal – to comply with outsourcing best practice guidelines and hire a third-party vendor that fits the company’s values, vision, and mission.

Conquering the planning phase of this project, along with great teamwork, is a stepping stone in outsourcing exceptional teams. After all, excellent project planning leads to project success.

Shop around for a call center that can meet your needs.

Most customers (66%)  use their phones to address their concerns with a company – followed by email (49%), online forms (28%), and messaging (28%). Considering the prevalence of customer service providers, businesses must observe due diligence and conduct in-depth research before outsourcing to a call center in the Philippines.

While the Philippines is globally recognized as the “BPO Capital of the World,” not all BPO partners can meet your business demands. To ensure successful collaboration, identify your needs and wants, first. Afterward, perform a comparative analysis to determine which of these outsourcing vendors will best cater to you. A pro tip is to weigh up at least four to five options. 

On top of that, you want customer reps who can provide a professional touch to your brand and elevate your customers’ positive experiences. To nurture these aspects, businesses must hire patient, knowledgeable, flexible, and proactive agents to deal with consumers. Otherwise, they stand to lose enormous revenue. A study echoes this, highlighting that $1.86 billion of sales is at stake among U.S. firms that fail to offer good customer experiences

With these questions, companies can assess the capabilities of each vendor and make an informed decision on which call center to outsource:

  • Can they work flexible hours?
  • Have they had prior experience in customer service?
  • Do they know proper customer service etiquette?
  • Are they able to resolve customer complaints quickly?
  • Can they effectively escalate calls to other agents or departments?

If the answer to all the above questions is “yes,” you’ll have a good chance of recruiting a qualified team of agents.

To take your search to the next level, check out several customer reviews of people who have employed their services. Review each comment and determine whether the call center will fit your brand well. Or, at the very least, visit their websites to catch a glimpse of their brand identity, services, competitive advantage, and target market.

Decide on the specific tasks you want your call center to take on.

The desire for instant gratification among consumers has become an expectation due to the advancement and accessibility of the internet. Therefore, your customer service department can’t afford to delay or defer their customer assistance. Anything that disrupts immediacy can lead to customer dissatisfaction.

Take a look at the stats from a recent survey:

  • 90% of consumers want instantaneous responses from customer support.
  • 60% define an “immediate” response as 10 minutes or less.
  • 19% find slow response time the most upsetting aspect of customer service.

To put it in a formula: Speed + Convenience = Customer Satisfaction 

As we march toward speedy customer service, call centers are developing a unified communication system to respond promptly to buyers. This is why, when you outsource customer service to the Philippines, agents won’t just handle complaints over the phone; they leverage multiple communication channels – including social media, email, and live chat – when offering their assistance.

If you’re a U.S.-based company looking to outsource to a call center, the Philippines is a great place to start. Known for their friendly and hospitable characteristics, Filipino  agents can deliver a seamless customer experience without breaking the bank. 

Here are just a few of the tasks Philippine call centers can take on to upgrade your firm’s customer service:

An infographic shows a list of SuperStaff services , making part of Philippines' outsourcing best practices.

Customer Support

No matter how revolutionary your products and services are, your competitors can easily knock you down if your brand doesn’t offer better value. To create value and  gain a competitive advantage, delivering superior customer experiences is critical– and that all starts with providing top-notch customer support.

Ultimately, customer support provides practical and immediate assistance to consumers having trouble with a company’s product or service. This interaction entails listening to customers, managing their emotions, and appreciating their opinions – whether over the phone, email, messaging apps, or social media.

With excellent customer support, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, increase sales, and develop a loyal following. Just take a look at these stats:

  • Companies prioritizing customer experiences can drive sales revenue by 2-7% and profitability by 1-2%.
  • 78% of consumers are willing to continue business with a company after a mistake as long as they provide exceptional customer service.
  • 92% will repeat orders because of a positive customer service experience.

Technical Support and Help Desk

Although customer support and help desk services take a customer-centric approach to dealing with complaints, they fulfill different goals. Customer support focuses on improving the customer experience. Meanwhile, the help desk strives to troubleshoot simple tech issues such as changing passwords, updating applications, or unblocking accounts. 

But when technical matters become too complex and require high-level expertise, help desk agents will escalate them to the technical support department.

For instance, if a customer’s internet router isn’t working, a help desk agent may advise them to reposition or restart the equipment. But if the issues persist and call for reinstallation, their ticket will go up the chain of command and reach the tech support team.

Multilingual Support

Global expansion is a thrilling possibility for many businesses – but it can be daunting for others, especially if they can’t speak their customer’s language.

There’s a deep-rooted belief that international buyers are comfortable using English when purchasing an item online. However, a study reveals otherwise, inferring that: 

  • 76% of shoppers prefer purchasing from websites accessible in their mother tongue.
  • 40% won’t complete their transaction with brands without support in their native language.

What’s the logic behind these findings?

Feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction usually arise when things don’t go our way – and the same also applies to customers. These emotions can become more overwhelming when there’s a communication barrier between the customer and a CX agent. 

When you speak in your customer’s language (such as Spanish or Portuguese), they can express their concerns better without repeating themselves multiple times. As a result, none of the critical bits of information will get lost in translation.

At the same time, customers can value your brand more if you try to speak their native tongue. They will see that you care about their feelings and understand their concerns in a more personalized way, potentially starting a lasting customer relationship. 

Most business leaders (77%) agree that personalized communication drives up revenue, and 66% of consumers say that negative interactions with a brand can ruin their day and make them less likely to shop there again..

Back Office Support

Although back office support teams work behind the scenes, it doesn’t mean they take a back seat in business. In reality, back-office reps are the hidden gems of a company, ensuring that the front-line operations receive administrative and bureaucratic support that streamlines business operations, leading to quick resolution of customer complaints. 

A call center back office support team carries out various roles and processes crucial to any firm’s smooth running. All these functions join forces towards a common end – delivering high-quality, cost-efficient services to customers. Let’s break them down one by one:

  • IT Support Services: Prevent data loss by tightening cybersecurity and developing data backups. 
  • Data Entry: Log, transfer, organize, and segregate customer data.
  • Payroll Support Services: Ensure tax compliance and timely paychecks processing.
  • HR Support: Manage job applicants’ recruitment, screening, and onboarding processes.
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping: Collect and record the company’s financial data.

Call centers adopt the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to optimize functions, simplify end-to-end processes, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. Let’s delve deeper into its benefits:

  • Lessen fixed costs by at least 20-30%.
  • Drive an additional 3-5% of revenue.
  • Expedite delivery to promise by 20%.
  • Boost customer satisfaction by 5-10%.

AI Development Support Team

With record-high inflation and a tight labor market gobbling company resources, businesses are exploring new ways to cut costs, streamline workflows, and reduce workload. Many organizations have considered integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into their systems to bolster this effort. 

AI is taking the world by storm, making it a valuable asset across all professional sectors. Research also found that the AI software development market, comprising machine learning (ML), computer vision, and natural language processing (NLP), is poised to grow 54% yearly. As this market continues to evolve, consumers and business owners are harboring vast expectations for AI due to its rewarding potential.

Fortunately, an AI development support team in the Philippines can develop AI software, such as marketing chatbots and social media monitoring, to automate repetitive tasks, helping businesses save time and focus on their core competencies. By harnessing these AI capabilities, in-house employees can prioritize higher-level operations that generate revenue growth.

Take a look at some of the other primary functions of an AI support team to further empower your business:

  • Extracting valuable and relevant information from massive datasets
  • Ensuring data accuracy
  • Accelerating recruitment processes

Telesales and Telemarketing

Marketing and sales calls are still standard in advocating for brands and increasing sales. And as of 2022, “voice” communication is the dominant channel for brand interactions, including resolving customer issues and complaints (41%), scheduling appointments (35%), and closing deals (29%).

Even with the rise of e-commerce and digitized media, telecommunications – such as telemarketing and telesales – will remain a permanent aspect of customer acquisition. 

So, what are the differences between telemarketing and telesales? Let’s find out:

  • Telemarketing: Agents provide customers with details about a company’s products and services to generate interest, raise awareness, and create business opportunities. Also, they’ll assist the telesales team in qualifying promising sales leads.
  • Telesales: Using the leads garnered by the telemarketers, the telesales team will persuade and convince these prospective customers to purchase the company’s products and services.

Usually, these forms of marketing are done via cold-calling, a type of sales solicitation from businesses to consumers. While cold callers only receive a 2% success rate on average, recent data shows that over-the-phone communication is still one of the most effective outreach methods:

  • 82% of buyers will agree to meet with sellers who reach out to them.
  • 71% of the meeting attendees prefer hearing from sellers at the earliest part of the purchasing stage.

This proves that cold-calling is well and alive despite the emergence of social media and other digital communication. But being a breeding ground for spam calls, many started questioning the legality of this marketing and sales strategy. Luckily, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) still allows cold-calling so long as business owners observe its stringent requirements, such as:

  • Only calling between the 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. timeframe
  • Refraining from dialing landlines in the “do not call” national database
  • Not misrepresenting their companies
  • Stating their purpose in calling

Omnichannel Support

Imagine this: A customer wants to buy an electrical appliance from your store online. Before purchasing, they hope to call your store and learn more about the product specifications. During non-working hours, they might continue the interaction via live chat. 

However, you can only accommodate these inquiries if they visit your physical store from 9 to 5. What do you think will happen next? 

The customer will, instead, purchase from another store that offers 24/7 online support.

This is why designing a seamless shopping experience for your customers is imperative. 

Be where your customers are by scattering touchpoints across multiple platforms – in-person, over the phone, via SMS, social media, or any other combination that makes sense. Take a look at why an effective omnichannel solution can easily cater to your customer’s preference and generate greater profitability:

  • Over 50% of customers interact using three to five communication channels when making purchasing decisions or settling a complaint.
  • Businesses with more than three platforms reach out to more customers, allowing them to rake in a 494% higher order rate than those employing only one platform.

Thanks to these omnichannel capabilities, the reps become aware of their customers’ intentions, enabling a faster resolution time. Moreover, your customers will be happy if you can support them using any of their preferred channels.

Negotiate the terms of your outsourcing agreement to ensure it meets your needs.

Indeed, relinquishing control over lower-value tasks, such as customer care, payroll, or accounting and bookkeeping, can boost efficiency, improve business flexibility and scalability,  and accelerate revenue growth. However, it’s not without risks. Let’s illustrate this using a case study:

An outsourcing company was hired to redesign a website and mobile apps. While the workers understood their business plans and outlined goals, they could not meet client expectations. The company argued that the BPO provider did not test the product using their set standards and metrics.

The situation ended with multiple missed deadlines, product launch delays, insecure data, and unresponsive web designs. Because of these issues, a $32 million lawsuit was filed against the company.

What should be your key takeaway from this scenario?

There needs to be a clearly defined agreement between you and your vendor detailing the tasks to be completed, how they should be executed, the liabilities for breach or noncompliance, and your expectations. For both parties to negotiate in good faith, each contract stipulation should be worded plainly and thoroughly to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.

By establishing a degree of clarity and predictability  through a contract, businesses can assign accountability to participants and document all required responsibilities. Without these, companies can stand to lose millions due to disputes and, eventually, lawsuits. 

Finally, all parties must duly sign each contract page to seal the deal properly. 

Important Negotiating Points for Your Outsourcing Contract

An outsourcing agreement should be synonymous with a win-win partnership. To guarantee this, there are significant considerations you should include, such as:

  • Service Level Agreement (SLA): An SLA is a document that records all the terms and conditions agreed upon between parties. It underscores the duties, responsibilities, and expectations of the client and outsourced team to each other.
  • Pricing and Payment Terms: Outsourcing contracts must include a fixed pricing structure agreed between the business and supplier.
  • Data Privacy and Security: Being one of the most crucial components of any contract, parties must ensure that the contract adheres to the industry’s highest standards, like ISO 27001 and ISO 27002, to protect you from possible cyber attacks and breaches.
  • Termination Clauses: The contract must also clearly state the prescribed conditions under which the participants can set aside the agreement.

Set relevant KPIs for your call center team.

Gauging your team’s performance can be a tough nut to crack due to these two moving parts – complex technologies and distinct human personalities. By utilizing the correct set of key performance indicators (KPI) for your employees, you can measure whether they truly deliver on your expectations, provide meaningful services to your consumers, and maximize operational efficiency.

In the same way, businesses should use KPIs to set clear standards for their outsourcing partners, assessing whether they align with the company’s objectives, values, mission, vision, and business model. From there, you can track your outsourced agents’ success rates and productivity levels to determine whether they meet your specific goals and expectations.

Here are some metrics that companies can use to evaluate the quality of their customer experience:

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Asks respondents to rate the likelihood of them recommending a brand to their friends or colleagues using a scale of 0-10
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): Incorporates a list of questions that assess whether a customer is satisfied with the support they received
  • Customer Effort Score (CES): Determines whether the customer uses their purchased product with ease

By leveraging the customer data from these metrics, you can design effective short- or long-term tactics that nurture overall customer satisfaction and experience. BPO providers in the Philippines also use the following metrics to test strategy efficacy and maintain excellent support quality:

  • Average Response Time: The time taken to answer inbound customer calls
  • First Call Resolution: Percentage of tickets resolved on the first call
  • Average Handling Time: Records how long an agent spends for each call on average
  • Transfer Rate: Number of inbound calls that get escalated to another caller or department
  • Call Abandonment Rate: The percentage of callers who hang up while on hold

Partner With Call Center Agencies in the Philippines

While outsourcing can be a strategic move for organizations to evolve, major players should hire a remote agency that observes outsourcing best practices. Otherwise, companies can aggravate customer churn, lose profit, and stunt potential success.

At SuperStaff, we will equip you with the best strategies, tips, and tools to propel your business forward. As one of the Philippines’ most reliable offshoring companies, our competent and dedicated call center team can serve as an extension of your firm, allowing your in-house teams to focus on their core business competencies and improve their bottom line.

Reach out today, and we will happily provide you with all your outsourcing wants and needs.

Posted by
SuperStaff Editorial Board
This article is a product of the SuperStaff editorial team’s collaborative effort and extensive research. Composed of content strategists, editors, writers, and subject matter experts, the team is responsible for creating informative and insightful opinion pieces that reflect their wealth of knowledge and expertise in the BPO field and compelling market trends.

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