It has been an eventful 2018 for us at Diversify. And it was not just for us as a company. We also saw some significant happenings within the offshoring landscape. As we pride ourselves in being at the forefront of offshoring in the Philippines, we experienced many of these events – and at times challenges – first hand.
Towards the end of 2017, we made a few offshoring predictions that we believed how the industry would be affected. We discussed our industry and how new processes – from automation to cloud computing – would play a role in the future. As the year comes to a close, we thought we would take a look back at what we predicted and how the year played out.
Stronger Industry Resilience
Prediction: The start of 2018 will once again be full of careful optimism, but offshoring – and the BPO industry as a whole – will look to carry its momentum of growth and expansion as well.
“Resilient” is indeed one of the best ways to describe the entire BPO industry. For the past few years, it has consistently adapted and overcome changes in the business landscape. Thanks to innovations, new technologies and rising competition, several new trends began to emerge in the industry in 2018. As more companies acknowledge its potential, processes like offshoring are being called “the new normal” due to its global reach.
Despite some setbacks amidst a changing geopolitical climate, the momentum of industry growth will not be slowing down anytime soon. As it stands, the global BPO market is projected to reach $262.2 billion by 2022.
A Different Conversation About Data Security
Prediction: Because of consistent major data breach cases, security is going to take center stage when considering business strategies for 2018.
Data security and handling was one of the biggest stories of 2018. Despite less breaches in the first half of 2018, security continued to be a persisting problem, not just in the tech industry.
One thing we did not anticipate was the shifting of the conversation on how data is handled. While data security will always be important, access and privacy should also be considered. One of the biggest stories of the year involved Facebook and consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, where 87 million personal accounts were compromised and used in different extents without permission. This and other incidents in 2018 were met with fierce backlash and showed the need for stricter, more rigid security protocols.
Another big story in 2018 was the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). While not initially part of our offshoring predictions, its implementation had a global effect we are still feeling today.
GDPR at Glance
While GDPR was signed into law back in 2016, it was implemented just May of this year. GDPR was written with the intent to protect the privacy rights of European citizens. But as most companies that collect private information operate globally, the law forced companies to change its policies worldwide.
We’ll be first to admit that we fell a little short with our prediction that companies would prioritize data security. The Cambridge Analytica bombshell, implementation of GDPR, and a slew of other data breaches this year show that. However, we also believe these incidents brought a new level of awareness to consumers on how they should protect their personal information.
Certainly no principle is perfect in execution and despite the best intentions, data security has its own challenges. However, the extent in which action is taken affects how businesses are perceived.
Watch The Ever Growing Cloud
Prediction: Businesses will look for more value in the cloud to drive transformation.
Cloud technology continued to make big strides in 2018. It’s continued usage gave a glimpse of what the business landscape will be like in the coming years. No longer seen as a fad, the use of cloud technology will be considered a new reality for businesses that want to stay competitive. By 2020, early adoption functions will range from 90-97%, while also being in the 85% range for back office functions.
Additionally, countries like India are also aiming for one million cloud computing jobs by 2022. As companies continued to spend more on cloud services in 2018, the number of services also began to rise. In particular, “Platform as a Service” is being tapped to grow the most in 2019.
Call Centers Continue to Decline
Prediction: With more automation and hiring of virtual assistants in the coming years, the call center as we know it is in decline.
According to the 2018 Call Center Industry Report, over 750 customer service professionals admitted that they are struggling to stay at pace with current customer needs. The report cites that providers felt they were behind the curve when it came to evolving from their traditional call center setup. The need for a shift towards a more flexible model and better quality talented were cited as well.
This should come as no surprise. As we have seen in our industry, having a full call center solely focused on customer service is becoming less and less viable. With more demand for specialized roles to be undertaken, it’s imperative that businesses broaden their horizons and consider offshoring higher level roles. This helps them save on cost while also staying competitive.
All About Automation
Prediction: As offshoring prides itself as being in the forefront of trends, it must also embrace the use of automation. At the same time, it must also find the perfect balance of optimizing both its AI and human capabilities.
Based on our offshoring predictions, more companies in 2018 saw the viability of automation. In particular, they saw how it would especially affect low-skilled jobs. This sense of urgency was acknowledged by many providers in countries like the Philippines. There, government organizations urged the BPO industry had to “prepare” for wider automation usage. Countries like India also acknowledged that the Philippines is getting ahead of the automation curve.
As offshoring prides itself as being in the forefront of trends, it must also embrace the use of automation. This means finding the perfect balance of optimizing both its AI and human capabilities.
What We Learned from our Offshoring Predictions
The global business environment is a rapidly changing one and it is often hard to keep up. While it is clear where some practices are heading, others are a bit more unpredictable. Some of our other predictions showed no significant changes, which may need more long term observation.
The year was certainly not without its challenges. With the issues surrounding data privacy and security, you can bet that consumers will be more careful and hesitant with what they share online. Those who also refused to evolve past traditional methods will most certainly find themselves struggling in the coming year.
Despite all we saw from our offshoring predictions, it was clear the industry as a whole had a good 2018. People will continue to do business globally and competition will be more exiting than ever. With call centers on the decline and automation on the rise, the need for more specialized talent will be more important than ever. As resilient as the BPO industry is, it has lasted this long because of the talented workforce that make it up. We believe that as more companies look towards offshoring, we will see a much more in-depth and diverse talent pool. This can only be beneficial for both companies that want to stay ahead and the talented workforce that will comprise offshore teams.
There is no better time to consider offshoring to the Philippines. This is especially true for the booming retail industry that is consistently in the forefront of new business innovations. The upcoming holiday shopping season is a busy time, but it’s never a slow day in the retail industry.
As the industry becomes more global and accessible, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it. Both the global scale and consistent demand from consumers can be challenging to take on. This is why retailers – of all sizes – are offshoring to the Philippines. They see the value of offshoring to the Philippines and why working with Filipinos is vital to their success.
A Brief History of Offshoring in the Philippines
The BPO industry plays a significant part in the Philippine economy. It is the second biggest contributor to the country’s GDP and is poised to become the biggest in the next few years. The Philippine government recognizes this and continues to be supportive of the industry. They set up economic zones to aid businesses in developing and prospering around the country. In 2017, a Tholons report said that, when it came to talent, skill and quality, the Philippines was the best destination to get all of these.
Part of the reason the BPO industry remains strong in the Philippines is rooted in its history. The industry first gained traction in 1992 when Accenture established itself in the country. Since then, different companies call the Philippines their outsourcing and offshoring destination of choice. There are now also a wider range of industries that are now offshoring and outsourcing ever since it started. These range from your typical industries – from finance to IT – to surprising ones that were unheard of only a few years ago, such as construction and healthcare.
In turn, both the BPO industry and the country evolved alongside each other and stayed at the forefront of changing trends. These trends include offshoring to the Philippines. In the same Tholons report, the Philippines was called the “undisputed leader” in customer service due to its positive business climate.
The Power of a Filipino Workforce
So how does the BPO industry continue to thrive in the Philippines? Apart from consistent government support and exceptional infrastructure, it’s what the Filipino workforce consistently delivers. The Philippines has a deep talent pool that specializes in both particular skills and a wide range of them. More global companies are seeing what they can do and tap into this talent pool as well. Indeed, this versatility is what makes the Filipino workforce unique, but that’s not all they are known for.
As one of the largest English-speaking nations in the world, education in the Philippines helped shape its talent pool. The neutral accent that many Filipinos have makes it easier for them to communicate with international clients. An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 graduates each year earn degrees across many specialized industries that have helped businesses prosper globally.
When asked to describe their workforce in the Philippines, clients often describe them as “dedicated,” “hard working” and “personable.” These traits are rooted in both traditional and modern Philippine culture that is only unique to the country. A strong commitment to loyalty, respect, family and faith are also traits that can be considered uniquely Filipino. They practice these in their personal lives and often carry it over professionally.
Why Consider Offshoring to the Philippines
Before deciding if you should offshore to the Philippines, remember that outsourcing and offshoring are two different approaches. Though mostly similar, offshoring requires more regular engagement with your team in the Philippines as they are extensions of your own local workforce. While outsourcing a team means letting your provider have free rein over them, the same cannot be said for offshoring. Offshoring also means being able to prioritize core activities while working with a flexible staff that can adapt quickly when your business needs to scale.
If retailers decide to offshore, it has to be seen in the long-term. One of the great things about offshoring is that it helps cultivate a team that becomes invested in your company. Through daily management, your offshore team can be shaped to be a high-performing, productive one. They can quickly align with the goals you have set for yourself and produce more than exceptional results. This close collaboration is achieved through access to the latest technology and robust infrastructure. By offshoring to the Philippines, retailers will have access to these benefits, all at a lowered cost compared locally.
Shaping Future Business Trends
Indeed, what started out as an industry of customer service call centres is now one that can take on back-office roles and more mid to high-level tasks. Offshoring as a whole is continuing to evolve, and offshoring to the Philippines is seen as a smart business move by many. Whatever functions that retailers choose to assign, working with a dedicated offshore team means staying ahead of the competition and seeing firsthand how the future is being shaped.
Yes, compared to outsourcing, implementing an offshoring strategy requires more legwork and a strong commitment. However, finding the right offshoring partner to collaborate with can make this transition seamless and easy. As 2018 comes to a close, you may think that the best time to begin considering your offshoring strategy is when the New Year comes along. However, as mentioned earlier, there is no better time to consider it than now. With the competition looking at what offshoring to the Philippines can do for them, there’s no reason to be left behind.
As the year comes to a close, the time for holiday shopping is finally upon us. With days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday falling in that period, some say it’s the busiest time for anyone in the retail industry. While shoppers look for good deals on their favourite products, retailers scramble to meet the consist demand. For shoppers, they look for the shops that will provide them what them the quality products they want without needing to break the bank.
Does this sound familiar? It’s because from the outset, there a few parallels between working with an offshore team and getting your holiday shopping done. If you’ve been thinking about how you can benefit from offshoring, you can look at it from a different perspective as you do your yearly holiday shopping.
Holiday Shopping Savings
When you think about holiday shopping, it often relates to all sorts of bargains and sales. It’s not uncommon to see merchants touting upcoming sales for shoppers with very enticing deals. Products you could normally buy in the year have now just become easier to get while still retaining their quality.
Think about how that relates to what makes offshoring an attractive business model for many. Successful companies that have offshored say the cost savings they incur is pivotal. By working closely with an offshore team, they see the quality of work does not diminish despite costing less than it would to hire locally.
The Name of the Game is Deals
You see those comfortable socks? How about that brand new laptop? Or even that shiny set of cooking knives? The deals and sales during holiday shopping season are plentiful and diverse. We often think that typically expensive items – like electronics and major appliances – are what companies put on sale. However, if you know where to look, you can find just about anything that’s on sale for reasonable, lower price. Even things you wouldn’t expect will be on sale during the holiday season!
Just like these sales, the roles and functions that companies can offshore are also plentiful and diverse. Though once limited to voice and support roles, current technologies have allowed for more flexibility with offshored roles. We’re seeing more companies today explore the different functions they can send to an offshore team. Graphic artists, accountants, even full marketing teams are just some of these roles that companies have sent offshore.
The Online Advantage
Holiday shopping is often associated with being a tumultuous, often chaotic time. In movies, television or newspaper photos, we often see shoppers waiting to bust down doors, ready to run towards their favourite stores. They run past other shoppers so they can buy what they’re after at a lowered price before they run out of stock. While still a common occurrence during this season, it’s much less prevalent now thanks to online shopping. The convenience and ease that online shopping brings not only shows a shift in preference among consumers but allows for more companies to also participate in sales.
Indeed, companies are finding a much larger audience when they take their business online. Not just listed companies, but even mid-sized businesses are finding success. They’re able to do this through leveraging an offshore team that helps alleviate some low or mid-level functions they may have. This, in turn, allows them to put more emphasis on local efforts that bring about growth and more opportunities.
Taking Advantage of the Season
With all that people hear about holiday shopping, there are those that choose to sit it out. The reason being that the effort to shop is often not worth the lines or disappointment. For those that engage in it, however, notice their fellow shoppers taking advantage of deals that will ease their holiday shopping. It often feels like if they’re not taking advantage of these deals, then it’s likely someone else will.
Choosing to adopt an offshoring is just like that. It’s understandable that people feel hesitant and unsure about it, which prevents them from strongly considering it. Those that are on the fence about it however often need to be encouraged how it can benefit them. After all, if they haven’t adapted or even considered offshoring, there’s a chance their competitors already have.
‘Tis The Season
At their cores, both offshoring and holiday shopping are about savings without reducing the quality of the product. Their biggest difference however is, while the holiday shopping season happens towards the end of the year, the window to start offshoring is much bigger.
As an approach that helps shapes business trends, saying that companies can (and should) offshore “now” might be an understatement. Companies that want to start their offshoring journey today need not look any further than Diversify. We remained committed to hiring the best and brightest for your offshoring team, while not needing to spend as much as you would locally. If you’re ready to do a little holiday shopping yourself to prepare for the New Year, reach out to us today to get started.
The impact of artificial intelligence’s role in the retail industry is a hot-button topic that continues to be a divided issue. Some champion the use of automation while others question its effect on local employment. With the rapid advances in technology, it is understandable to feel anxious over its influence in the retail industry.
In order to progress and stay competitive, companies must not be resistant to change and adapt to new technologies. However, going to the other extreme of fully automating every aspect of your processes may not be wise either. The need for human interaction is still critical, often welcomed, especially in the retail industry. At the same time, meeting the challenges of daily demands can be augmented through automation.
The Benefits of Automation
It’s undeniable that automation can help increase productivity in any industry. Through self-learning algorithms, AI-based services can assist customers in providing a better online shopping experience. With its capability to process large amounts of data, AI can become tailor fit to every customer.
From this description alone, it’s easy to see how powerful AI and machine learning is for the retail industry. It allows companies to predict customer preferences through analysis of browsing and purchase patterns. With the breakneck speed information is processed online, utilising automation to keep up with consumer demands has become more necessary.
Concerns with Current Technology
On the other hand, a fully automated retail industry is a serious concern for many. While automation can spark an increase in productivity, it risks the employment and livelihood of some. In a 2016 Forrester report, experts predict that 6% of current jobs will have been turned over to automation by 2021, while another report predicts that in 10 years, over 7 million jobs in retail could be vulnerable to automation.
More than that, AI in its current state is still susceptible to errors that can easily be avoided by human intervention. In a previous article, we also discussed how AI’s biggest flaw is how it interprets context and content. More recently, IBM’s famous AI learning program Watson came under fire for giving unsafe recommendations for the treatment of cancer patients.
How the Retail Industry is Affected
In the case of retail, machine learning helps customers with other shopping recommendations by using their browsing habits and purchase history—providing customers with a more personal and targeted online shopping experience. While this sounds good on paper, it’s easy to overlook other factors that make AI successful. A lot of AI solutions require massive amounts of data. And the technology itself has not evolved enough to understand the nuances in human behaviour. To complicate things further, data breaches and other security concerns have pushed consumers to be more protective of their personal information.
Predictions for the Future
There’s no denying that automation will become more pervasive in the retail industry in the next few years. We already see companies use the technology for mundane, administrative tasks like chatbot support. What’s important, however, is how people adapt enough to the changes while not neglecting the real impact of human interaction. When all is said and done, customers still prefer talking to other people for assistance over a machine learning bot.
For retailers, embracing this new technology may be a challenge, but it can also be a welcome one. Amidst the bleak predictions mentioned earlier, new reports state that automation is set to create 58 million new jobs by 2022 across all industries, retail included. For them, AI and machine learning are tools and not a replacement of their workforce. The need for human input and interaction remains vital, especially in an industry where personal preferences and nuances vary from person to person.
For some people, Diversify’s Halloween parties are often their favourite time of the year. Aside from getting to dress up for one day, we get to see the creative side of everyone that works here. No matter the theme given each year, you can bet that Diversify is ready to give it their all for one memorable afternoon.
As is the case this year, all of Diversify’s major events have a much bigger feel to them. With the official opening of Twenty-Five Seven, there were more reasons to celebrate and have fun. For this spooky time of the year, it meant bigger productions and shows of creativity. As a major huddle for October, our very special guests for the day were the children of our employees who also dressed up for the occasion.
Heroes and Villains
The theme this year was Disney Villains. This meant having to dig deep through Disney’s rich history and choose some of the most memorable villains to be represented. Not only that, but the decorating of workspaces also had to follow their chosen theme, with everyone pulling out all the stops.
For weeks, each office in Diversify put forward their best ideas and what they could each do as a team. You could even see bits of works in progress in each station as the event drew nearer. On the day itself, you could almost swear that Diversify transformed their workspaces into their own version of Disneyland!
Putting In The Spooky Work
Just by looking at the work put in by Diversify, it already promised to be a day full of fun and surprises. From fully decked out work spaces, the abundance of candy and catering for all our guests, it was a good reminder that Diversify always takes Halloween seriously.
At Twenty-Five Seven’s party, attendees got to see a near life-sized reproduction of the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin, or could set sail with Davey Jones himself from Pirates of the Caribbean. Over at Twenty-Four Seven, movies like Toy Story, Tangled and Alice in Wonderland were well represented. Not to be outdone, RSC showed off their best rendition of 101 Dalmatians, Snow White and Aladdin in their entire decor.
A themed scavenger hunt was also the activity for the day across all our offices. Players were tasked to “save the princess” by gathering clues about her and obtaining various items. There were also full performances of memorable scenes from the Disney movies represented, courtesy of each team. In Twenty-Five Seven, the Cave of Wonders was not just for decoration as it hosted small games for everyone to enjoy. Some (un)lucky guests were challenged to put their hands inside a mystery box and to guess what they were touching.
Getting That Halloween Look
Of course, it would not be a Halloween party without the costumes. Diversify employees pulled all the stops and dressed up as an entire rogues gallery from Disney movies that came to life.
Even if you were not present at the event, you can already see how committed everyone was into making Halloween special this year. Detailed costumes, full makeup and co-workers helping fill out the supporting cast gave each office an authentic, Halloween feel. Diversify has always been known to give it their all with major celebrations, and Halloween lets them shine.
Continuing Diversify Tradition
Major huddles like Halloween show how important office culture and collaboration is in Diversify. Regardless of which party you attended, everyone’s time and effort into ensuring it was a memorable Friday cannot be denied.
It’s always wonderful to see staff working together towards a fun, common goal of bringing out the best in each other during events like these. With our year-end party just on the horizon, you can expect the same levels – maybe even more- of excitement and creativity from everyone at Diversify.
The annual Diversify Sportsfest gets bigger and bigger each year. At the rate the company is growing, this should not be surprising. October is a busy month for everyone at Diversify, and special events like the Sportsfest are fun and meaningful affairs that let everyone see a different, more casual side of the people they see every day.
The 2018 Diversify Sportsfest is a celebration of competition and the chance to establish stronger camaraderie with each other. It serves as a high point for later in the year and a chance to also show off athletic prowess.
A Three Way Contest
For the third straight year, Diversify’s Sportsfest was held once again at the British School Manila. It’s always great to be in familiar territory while welcoming new people to Diversify’s favourite sporting venue. Much like last year, basketball, badminton and volleyball were the three events the Sportsfest centred around. Similarly, the day started with an Oath of Sportsmanship that all the athletes participated in, followed by a lively Zumba session that put everyone in an active mood.
Of course, there was a higher level of anticipation in this year’s Sportsfest than in previous years. There were more participants and teams for each of the games this year due in part to the company’s expansion in 2018. If last year’s highlight was the “Makati vs. BGC” rivalry, this year upped the stakes with teams from the newly opened Twenty-Five Seven site. No longer just a contest between two offices, this year’s Sportsfest now meant three talented offices with more teams to get involved.
Introducing the Diversify Cup
The Twenty-Five Seven teams were not the only additions to the Sportsfest. During the opening ceremony, Diversify’s management team introduced the Diversify Cup. Not only was this going to be a symbol of bragging rights for the winner, it was also the start of a brand new tradition for all of Diversify’s sportsfests.
As explained by COO Jez Batulan, each site will play for the right to take home the Diversify Cup and display it in their respective office. It will remain with the winners until the next Sportsfest for their chance to defend it.
Upping The Sportsfest Competition
In previous years, RSC teams often dominated all the events. The teams of Twenty-Four Seven were determined to avenge last year’s loss— eager to show their rivals how much they have improved. Meanwhile, the rookie teams of Twenty-Five Seven were intent on making their mark in their first ever Sportsfest.
In the badminton events, the action was fast-paced with no team wanting to let up. With three divisions happening this year – men’s, women’s and mixed doubles – it was anyone’s game. To the surprise of many, Twenty-Four Seven defeated RSC in the Men’s and Women’s divisions while RSC won in mixed doubles.
As the badminton games were happening, loud and lively cheers echoed from the basketball court of British School Manila. Not to be outshined by their neighbours, Twenty-Five Seven brought a new level of intensity to Diversify basketball. The rookies trounced RSC’s and Twenty-Four Seven teams and finished the tournament undefeated.
Later in the afternoon, the indoor arena was converted to a volleyball court for the final matches of the day. RSC’s volleyball team, keen to prove their long-standing dominance, skillfully won all their games— showing everyone why they were the best.
Crowning The First Diversify Cup Winners
Crowning the champion of the 2018 Sportsfest was not as easy as it was in previous years. The friendly rivalry between RSC and Twenty-Four Seven took an unexpected turn. After tallying the results of each event, RSC and Twenty-Four Seven tied for first place. Faced with an unprecedented situation, the game officials had to review the score of each team in every event to break the tie. In the end, RSC’s experience and grit once again proved to be unmatched as they were named the first winners of the Diversify Cup.
By the end of the day, everyone was all smiles amidst the exhaustion from all the games. The competitive spirit was alive in Diversify and helped many of us feel closer to each other. New rivalries were born and are proving to keep friendly competition alive while forming bonds with new and old teammates. More than anything, forging stronger relationships have always been an underlying theme of every Sportsfest.
Competition often shapes our best selves and allows us to show our full potential. Whether it’s professionally, personally or athletically; this will always ring true. As this year’s Sportsfest draws to a close, our teams earned a much-needed breather, but you can bet that teams are already preparing for next year’s games.
Social media makes it easier for people to interact with their favourite brands. Because of it’s accessibility, it provides to retail companies adds a layer of transparency that today’s consumers prefer. They connect on personal levels with brands that often makes them loyal to particular brands or retailers. This interactivity is mostly due from the work social media managers do.
More retail companies recognize the benefits of having social media managers and what they can do for their business. While platforms like Facebook and Twitter are seen as extensions of customer service, social media management requires a specialized skill set apart from the usual customer service representative. Their tasks are often misconstrued as simple when the truth is that their role is a lot more nuanced. Forward-thinking retailers already leverage social media managers to augment their customer service efforts.
Evolving Your Customer Service Team
It can be said that social media managers are the busiest people of any retail company. Because of social media’s reach and real-time interactions, social media teams need to be highly responsive and available 24/7.
As part of customer service, they interact with customers on a daily basis on various platforms. They establish a certain rapport that can lead to potential brand loyalty among consumers in the process. Retailers who successfully integrate their social media and their customer service will see more value added to the customer experience.
A Specialized Role
A common misconception for social media managers — and by extension customer service teams – is that they have an “easy” job that anyone can do. This often leads to the wrong assumption they can be replaced just as easily. Social media managers require analytical, strategic, creative, communications and other skills that set them apart from anyone who has an active presence on Twitter. As a top influencer puts it, “[it] involves being creative like an artist but also learning to be the ‘data scientist’.” In addition, many social media managers today have specialized knowledge in retail and other industries that can help when interacting with customers. This knowledge can help upsell your company’s products and services. When properly integrated to your company culture, they become fully invested in your vision and how you aim to reach more customers.
Shaping Your Online Reputation
In the age of social media, your customer service team is responsible for how your company is perceived. As a Forbes article puts it, customer service is called the “human face – or voice – of your brand”. Social media has made it easier for people to share their personal experiences with companies, whether positive or negative.
In a recent survey by Sprout Solutions, 81% of people said that social media has helped increase accountability among businesses, saying it helps encourage transparency and amplifies issues. Additionally, 45% of consumers said they use social media to share their positive experiences with a brand. With a good, well-trained customer service team, they will be able to provide quality service and support that customers will rave about.
Finding the best Social Media Managers
Quality customer service is essential for medium, large or listed companies. While resources may be available locally, it can be a very costly endeavour. Smart companies today acknowledge the value of an offshore customer service team that operates on a 24/7 basis. Most of all, they provide excellent service and value to a company at a lowered cost.
The traditional outsourcing model of hiring solely call centre agents is becoming an outdated practice. As demand for more specialized, competent customer service steadily increases, companies should no longer consider it a minor role. Because of this, the role of social media managers should not immediately be dismissed as easily replaced. Their back office support keeps loyal customers satisfied while also attracting new ones due to their professional approach.
Whether in retail or other industries, social media now plays a critical role in letting a business flourish. By working together with a customer service team, they positively shape online reputations that attract a wider audience and making them loyal customers.
Adapting an offshoring strategy is a major business decision that needs to be carefully considered. Most companies that look at offshoring see it primarily as a good cost-saving measure and taking advantage of these cost savings require proper implementation and time.
Many established providers know the challenges that come with an offshore strategy and how to properly service their clients. Through customized strategies and consistent support, businesses and offshore service providers work together towards mutual success.
Diversify has seen first-hand how offshoring can transform businesses. Whether you’re in the retail, finance or even construction industry, there’s an offshoring strategy tailor-made just for you. It’s important, however, that businesses first understand what it means to have an offshore team in the Philippines.
Offshoring At A Glance
Let’s get this out of the way: offshoring and outsourcing have fundamentally different concepts. If your business is looking for more immediate, short-term solution without extra management, then offshoring may not be for you. While traditional outsourcing means engaging a provider to manage your team, offshoring is about working with and managing your own workforce in a full serviced workplace. With offshoring, businesses retain full control over the people who make up their team and their specific roles.
This means there is greater transparency in offshoring since you manage your team members directly. While outsourcing focuses on processes and getting them done, offshoring has a more people-oriented approach. Though implementation takes much longer than an outsourcing strategy would, offshoring becomes more affordable in the long-term.
Having a more hands-on approach is what makes offshoring unique. Businesses have a much larger say in what goes on with their team instead of letting their provider do all the work. This also means training and developing their offshore team. When properly implemented, a team’s output is optimized and they become valuable members of their business.
Your Offshore Team in the Philippines
So where can you find team members to fill these roles? We at Diversify have always called the Philippines the best location for an offshore team. The country is host to a very deep talent pool full of potential team members with specialised skills. With about 400,000 graduates a year, many Filipinos are experienced in a wide range of roles, from accounting, communications and administration. It’s also easy to communicate with a workforce in the Philippines thanks largely in part to their 95% English literacy rate. The BPO industry is a major contributor to the country’s GDP and is poised to become its biggest one within the next few years. The government has long recognized what offshoring – and the BPO Industry – has done for the Philippines and they have taken steps to cultivate it.
Perhaps the biggest reason companies choose to offshore to the Philippines is the people themselves. In a 2017 report by Tholons, the Philippines ranked the top offshoring destination when it came to talent, skill and quality. The report also called the Philippines the “undisputed leader” in customer service, citing a positive business climate, supportive government regulations and its place as one of the world’s largest English speaking nations.
Companies that found success with an offshore team in the Philippines cite their strong working relationship with Filipinos. Clients often call Filipinos hardworking, dedicated, engaging and very personable team members they are happy to have. Some would say this is due to uniquely Filipino cultural traits that other countries don’t have. For one, values of loyalty, discipline and respect are part of the Filipino psyche and they carry these with them to their personal and professional lives.
Offshoring Challenges and A Best Practice
No matter how good any business strategy is, they are not always perfect and can encounter some problems. Offshoring is certainly no exception to this and there are a few challenges that often arise. Because local teams work closely with a team outside their region, cultural miscommunication and challenges may occur. For instance, Canadians or Australians may approach particular situations in a way that Filipinos may not be used to. If companies ignore these cultural nuances or don’t try to find a middle ground, there are likely to be issues. To get around this, consistent interactions with your offshore team in the Philippines can give both sides better insight of each other’s work cultures. Doing this ensures smoother communication and issue resolutions with minimal or no incident.
You’ll hear it a lot from companies that have a successful offshoring strategy in place, but engagement is key. As part of your local team, your offshore team should be treated as such. Forward-thinking companies often check in with their teams to monitor their daily output, routines and overall satisfaction. Being more familiar and engaged with your offshore team helps develop a stronger rapport understanding of their greatest assets and areas for improvement. This close association with your offshore team is something you are unable to do with a traditional outsourced team.
The Long Term Effect
Finding success through offshoring is not something that happens overnight. It requires consistent engagement and development of your team as you establish their roles in the company. But working with the right provider can ensure that your offshoring experience is a smooth one.
It’s through this engagement that they become motivated, dedicated and loyal to your company. By showing how everyone’s roles fit into the overall vision of your company, the more driven they become. This is particularly true when you work with a team based in the Philippines. By expanding your reach, your offshore team becomes an essential asset to your global success. The best part of it all? You can reach new levels of success locally and globally at a fraction of the cost.
Diversify’s experience with the Philippines has made us one of the leading offshore service providers in the country. If you wish to begin your offshore journey with us, feel free to contact us today.