Despite numerous technological advances, offshoring still has negative connotations. Some consumers see offshoring as being provided low level services. This often depends on the country offering these services and its reliability in maintaining quality services. Some service providers still use traditional strategies as well. They are more focused on reaching required metrics rather than focusing on the quality of their services.
Considering today’s global situation, these are all legitimate concerns. It’s understandable for people to criticise companies that offshore their business operations. However, most need to recognise that businesses face unseen challenges they may not be aware of or fully understand.
When boiled down to its core, there are four primary reasons why companies choose to offshore. Let’s take a look at them.
Businesses are constantly seeking ways to maintain a stable source of revenue. At the same time, they have to sustain their daily operations to stay competitive. However, as we’ve seen this year, there are unpredictable fluctuations in the economy to consider. To that end, most companies cannot just maintain local costs for certain roles.
That is when offshoring becomes an enticing option for them. Consider for a moment the cost of hiring a local customer service representative. In Australia, their annual salary costs an average of $50,000 a year. Compared to an offshored CSR in the Philippines, their salaries are almost a quarter of this price. This also does not translate into a lowered quality of work. Businesses, therefore, can redirect their resources by reducing some overhead costs. Their local workforce can then focus more on their core competencies, increase productivity, and prioritise revenue-generating tasks.
Earlier, we mentioned the need for businesses to stay competitive. For that to happen, they need to increase efficiency, enhance operations and innovate on delivering quality service. Offshoring allows companies to offer high value services such as 24/7 customer support and provide effective service level tasks with flexible work schedules.
In our interconnected world, businesses of all sizes are competing on a global stage. This means that innovation is becoming a major factor in determining success. The constant demand for efficient, personalised customer service for instance makes it more challenging to stay relevant.
It cannot be argued how alarming unemployment is today. The declining number of available opportunities globally is often why most people disagree with offshoring. However, despite this situation, several industries are struggling with how to overcome the skill shortages.
Through offshoring, companies discovered that they could hire a team of highly qualified staff in countries like the Philippines. They discovered valuable, motivated team members ready to take on functions like back-office tasks often overlooked by local employees.
Companies must innovate on how to have an efficient process flow within their business. It allows them to enhance the quality of their products and services offered. Through modern technology, they now have full control over their offshore team, enabling them to ensure quality standards are reached.
As noted earlier, offshoring back-office tasks is valuable to any company. Keep in mind however the quality of offshored services may vary from each country. Depending on the goals your business aims to achieve, it is best to look at which country can provide you the best team. China, for instance, is king when it comes to production and manufacturing. On the other hand,, offshoring customer service representatives to the Philippines continues to be ideal. The talent and skill that the global workforce offers are irreplaceable. They can be effectively harnessed by companies to reach their long-term goals.
Offshoring, like any other strategy, is not a perfect approach. If not paired with the right partner, it can be prone to abuse and used just for cutting costs. Most of all, offshoring should not be seen as a replacement for your current, local staff. Instead, it should be used to augment your current team for the further growth of your business. That is why this strategy needs to be carefully customised and tailor-fit with the company’s needs without disrupting ongoing operations.
For more than 25 years, the BPO industry has become synonymous with the Philippine economy. What started out as a business venture in the 1990s grew into a multi-faceted, multi-billion dollar industry. Just 10 years ago, the industry was already generating revenue of over $9 billion and by 2020, it is predicted that revenue will reach $55 billion. Within that same decade, outsourcing in the Philippines has consistently ranked as one of the best countries for offshoring, occasionally being cited as the number one outsourcing destination. In terms of providing talent, skill and quality, outsourcing in Manila is considered among the best providers in the world and continues to be the leader in customer service and business management.
To understand this further, it’s best to look at the BPO industry as a whole and how Manila remains the country’s most definitive location for anyone looking to offshore.
It’s widely accepted that outsourcing “started” in the Philippines in 1992 with the establishment of Accenture as the first-ever contact centre. Three years later, the Philippine Congress passed a bill providing tax incentives for foreign investors called the Special Economic Zone Act, enticing them to invest in the Philippines. Since then, numerous BPO companies have made their mark in the Philippines, with a few becoming close to household names. By 2005, The Philippines had a 3% share of the Global BPO market. In 2017, it was reported that the market share had risen to 10-15%.
According to the most recent Tholons report, the Philippines saw plenty of changes in its status as an offshoring destination. Despite a few cities dropping out of the Top 100 destinations, the country still remained within the top five destinations globally. More importantly, Manila is still considered to be the second-best supercity in the world when it comes to providing quality BPO services.
Companies that have adopted offshoring will tell you that the talent pool of the Philippines is one of the best to work with. In most cases, this means working with a team based out of Manila. As the capital city of the Philippines, Manila has first access to all the latest technologies, strong infrastructure and some of the best people that make up different teams. These are several reasons why companies choose to offshore to the Philippines, but more specifically to Manila.
When you think of the reasons why companies offshore, cost reduction is always the most common one. Indeed, working with a team in Manila means that local, operational and labour costs are decreased, as well as overhead. Working with a quality offshoring provider means they will ensure your team is provided with an exceptional workspace with all the needed amenities, equipment infrastructure. At the same time, the output quality of work from teams in Manila remains consistently high. Companies get more “bang for their buck” when they see their teams deliver on their objectives at a fraction of their local cost.
For many Filipinos, English can be considered their second language and are naturally adept at it. Many Filipinos also profess their love for many English songs and also have a habit of watching American TV shows. Many of the country’s top universities found within Manila have English in their curriculum as well. This influence has had an impact on the country as a whole. The Philippines is considered one of the most proficient English speaking countries in the world.
According to the latest data from the EF English Proficiency Index, the Philippines is the second most English proficient country in Asia, just behind Singapore. Globally, it remains one of the Top 15 countries with high English proficiency. This command of the English language makes establishing professional rapport easier and the completion of processes much smoother.
Much of what has been discussed can be boiled down to how Filipinos approach their professional lives. Being hardworking, patient, resourceful, and good-natured are just some of the “distinctly Filipino” traits that make up their work ethic. The close bonds they create in the office helps shape an ideal working environment where everyone feels at home.
Unlike work culture that is focused on individualism, Filipino work culture is all about getting things done as a group and working together to get the results needed. It’s almost no wonder why many offshore teams are efficient when collaborating with local teams in achieving either short or long term business objectives.
The Philippines continues to find growth and success through the BPO Industry, with Manila leading the way. As more destinations around the Philippines open up to the industry –thus greatly benefiting the whole country – Manila remains the first choice for many companies that want to consider offshoring. Having a team in Manila means working with a dedicated multi-talented team that has access to all the latest technologies and infrastructure you need.
By now, companies should know why customer service is important. Years ago, it used to be that people were likely to only share their negative experiences with companies online. Today, however, consumers are also just as eager to share positive experiences with them. One of the factors to this is the customer experience they get and their interaction with brands.
Many companies recognize this and not only aspire to provide a quality customer experience, but they also do so in a way that is distinctly theirs. Their branded customer experience is what allows them to stand out in a competitive, often crowded industry that potential customers will remember.
To quickly define it, the customer experience refers to the impression your brand leaves on people. Different companies offer different experiences that customers can immediately recognize as unique. Often a branded customer experience is about functionality, with a few strums at emotional chords. The service offered defines any business regardless of industry and customers’ expectations are met.
Because it is something uniquely tied to a company, customers will keep coming back while also expecting the same level of unique, consistent service.
The customer experience is vital to business growth, especially in 2019. Your customer service teams should consistently provide positive experiences that help build brand loyalty. The old saying goes “the customer is always right” can evolve into saying that “the customer has the power.” The ease in which people can interact with brands online and share their experiences on a global reach.
This can seem like a big change and it certainly is. However, it’s a change that’s for the best in the long run. Through a branded customer experience, you are able to tap into real-time brand awareness from customers which you can ensure remains positive.
There are many reasons companies today look to the branded customer experience. They can be summed up into three key reasons.
Most will say that the key to good customer experience is knowing their expectations and surpassing them. Brands have to be accurate, and reliable in providing the service they guaranteed. The opportunity lies in the ability to deliver what you promised and surprise your customer with extra care and support.
As stated earlier, people today are more likely to share their positive experiences with a company online than before. According to a study in 2018, 49% of customers say they would share their positive online experiences on their favoured social media platforms. The study also said that customers would be willing to pay more for products and services if it meant getting a better customer experience.
Based on this, good customer experiences have to be consistent across all their needs, and their standards should be exceeded. By amplifying the entire customer journey, it ensures more positive experiences on top of superior services that you may offer.
A strong branded customer experience is one that is memorable and often impresses people. It’s why many are seeing it as a valued asset for their business and why they want to have something unique. Ensuring consistent, positive customer service also means developing customer loyalty through how your team responds to them.
It is often said that a business’ customer service team are who make – or even break – a company. As the first point of contact, they impact a company’s reputation through how they respond to questions or concerns. How these issues are resolved will determine what people will say afterwards, positive or negative.
While it would be so great to have nothing but positive feedback, the reality is that negative comments from customers will happen. However, what’s important is how these issues are handled and what the best course of action taken will be. The customer is king and allowing yourself to build trust with them sends positive messages that they are vital to your business and creates loyalty.
Being different and unique is always going to be one of the biggest challenges for any business. Being able to differentiate yourself from others who are producing great content is getting harder within the online landscape. Not only do people compare products, services and pricing, but they also consider the user experience and the ease of communicating with them.
Customer feedback, therefore, has become an invaluable source for success that make companies more competitive. Providing a strong and memorable customer experience is one of the ways businesses can stand out.
Earlier we talked about a study that showed how people were likely to share more positive brand experiences online. In the same study, 70% of customers also said they still prefer to talk to an actual person for their concerns instead of dealing with automated chatbots. This is why quality customer service teams are still important. While automation is meant to co-exist with people to help with efficiency and productivity, it should not replace teams outright. Customers still look for that authentic experience of interacting with another person on the line. When companies provide this, they should also consider making the interaction something that is significantly theirs through the customer experience.
The Philippines has been a major location for offshoring and outsourcing for a very long time. As one of the biggest contributors to the country’s GDP, it is wholly supported by the Philippine government. They’ve even gone to the lengths of setting up particular economic zones in different cities for businesses to receive tax incentives and assistance; Simply put, it’s a great place for businesses to have an offshore program.
Yes, countries like India and Malaysia are just as invested in offshoring and outsourcing as the Philippines is. And sure, they heavily position themselves as the best offshore location for your offshore program but, if you take the time to look at the elements that form a good offshore program, you’ll realise that the Philippines, more specifically, Metro Manila, is the best choice for your business.
Let’s take a closer look at the elements that make it such a great strategic location for your offshore team.
As a result of American colonization in the early 20th century, the Philippines has been heavily influenced by western culture. This influence means they are more easily assimilated into your business as they are very westernised. Consider that India and other countries have significant cultural differences which can impact on the success of your offshore program.
Because of the above cultural influences, many Filipinos are well-spoken when it comes to the English language. In fact, the Philippines has one of the highest English literacy rates in Asia at 94%. They are easily understood, meaning they will interact with your local team members and customers easily, reducing the chance of a negative experience.
Getting the location right is vital. With a short, two-hour time difference between The Philippines and Australia, you offshore team will be working at essentially the same time as your local team members. Rosters can be designed to fit with your local team members and customers, making their experience a seamless one. With the breakdown in geographical barriers via advanced digital communication technology, communicating with your offshore team has never been so easy! And, with the reliable and well-developed infrastructure in Metro Manila, you can rest assured that your offshore team will be able to deliver when it counts.
Getting the location right is also important when it comes to accessing the vast talent pool The Philippines has to offer. Choosing well-established metro areas like Makati City or BGC gives your business access to a highly-skilled and engaged workforce. Other countries simply do not have access to the well-educated and highly English literate workforce the Philippines has.
Many companies that have adopted offshoring often say the same thing about their Filipino staff: that they are some of the most personable, engaging and hardworking staff members available. This is because of cultural influences that are uniquely Filipino which are not as obvious in other countries. When dealing with your staff in the Philippines, you will more than likely see their strong commitment to their families. Values of respect, hard work and loyalty are heavily influenced by their personal relationships with their families and these carry over to their professional lives.
Diversify has been fully on board with the Philippines as the most ideal location for your offshoring team. We believe in the country’s ability to provide clients with the quality services and functions that they look for in an offshoring team. We also strive to cultivate an engaging and highly communicative environment so that you not only get the most out of your staff members, but also the best people for the job. If you’re ready to make offshoring part of your business strategy, contact us today.