BPO Philippines: Doubling Down

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for businesses. When many were still feeling the effects of stunted economic growth after the 2008 financial crash, the pandemic has wrought havoc on business plans.

The traditional pressures that businesses were facing prior to COVID-19—shareholders demanding profits and customers demanding low prices—have remained and even intensified as both groups have felt their own pandemic effects. It is no exaggeration to say that this is the most difficult business climate of modern times.

“The pain is felt most acutely by those businesses facing increased customer demands. The trend of ever higher customer expectations has accelerated during the pandemic. With traditional, face-to-face ways of doing business unavailable or less desirable to customers, companies have had to find new ways of keeping their customers satisfied and loyal while also attracting new customers to their brand, service, or product,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, a leading mid-sized BPO provider in Manila, Philippines.

Customer service is likely to be the key to a business making it through the pandemic. Digital delivery is increasingly the norm, and there are plenty of competitors that started up before COVID-19 with an ideal business model for no-contact pandemic times. Existing companies are, therefore, faced with the challenge of adapting their business to the pandemic while competing with companies that have always worked that way. The key is providing services—both customer-facing and in the back office—that adhere to high standards while keeping costs low.

Outsourcing has been a traditional response to the challenge of reducing costs while maintaining quality. By using BPOs in the Philippines, companies can make significant savings while ensuring quality.

“The benefits of using BPO companies in the Philippines remain as valid today as they were before COVID-19 spread across the globe. Outsourcing offers considerable savings, enabling businesses to minimise costs, but more importantly, they can enhance service quality, as long as the business has got their outsourcing requirements and BPO partner organisation right,” says Ellspermann.

The mission for any business is to understand and deliver on their core service or product while minimising the expenditure of time, resources, and money on non-core parts of their enterprise. This becomes even more important when times are difficult. By using BPOs in the Philippines to handle non-core functions like enterprise data management, and customer support, businesses can focus their leadership capacity on their success.

It does take time to get the BPO requirements right. Once done, though, it means that those parts of the business can be entrusted to a specialist provider that will be able to meet, or even exceed, a business’s current standards, thanks to the vendor’s domain expertise and relentless focus on quality.

The Philippines, despite facing its own pandemic challenges, has been seeing renewed interest from Australian companies with outsourcing requirements they need fulfilled. The Southeast Asian country is a world-leader in the BPO and offers significant advantages over alternative destinations.

The Philippines has a high level of English fluency combined with close cultural links with the West. Many Filipinos speak English with little or no accent. This is not just of benefit to those considering call center outsourcing to the Philippines—the high standard of English also benefits back office-related processes.

BPO providers in the Philippines also offer significant savings for Australian businesses. Like any outsourcing solution, they achieve savings by offering specialised services in which the overhead costs, like recruitment, training, and management, are shared. The nation’s lower labour costs increase the savings. Using BPOs in the country will typically be half the cost of in-house or onshore outsourced services.

While the instinct to take control of customer services and processes in difficult times is understandable, it could prove a costly mistake. Focusing instead on making sure your BPO requirements are right, then using specialists to deliver them is likely to be much more beneficial. Using the BPO industry in the Philippines has long been a sensible decision, enabling to businesses to save money, enhance quality, and focus on their core strategy. It makes even more business sense during a challenging pandemic. If ever there was a best time to double down on BPO to the Philippines, it is NOW.

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