Ultimately, businesses exist to make money. They will seek to maximise the gap between their revenues and expenditures to make as much profit as possible. But the value of intangible assets is increasingly being recognised; the value of a company’s reputation and its customers’ loyalty are vital to its long-term prospects. It is, therefore, essential that quality is not the victim in the drive to cut costs and maximise profits.
This is increasingly difficult in an age where customer expectations only rise. Consumers are in an incredibly powerful position, able to compare businesses instantly, find reviews, and share their experiences with other customers. They can be vocal about their discontent when things go wrong.
Surprisingly, though, rather than using this power to switch, many customers report significant brand loyalty if they feel they are listened to and valued when they contact a business. When outsourcing, it’s important to make sure that in your quest for savings, you don’t lose the quality that helps build and maintain this loyalty.
Over the past two decades, call centres in the Philippines have become the world leaders for outsourcing. The Philippines has numerous advantages. It has a large English-speaking population with a cultural affinity to the West, which helps to prevent the alienation that customers often feel with offshore support centres in other countries. It has the added benefit of significantly lower costs than an onshore centre. But costs should not be the only factor in choosing a partner for call centre outsourcing in the Philippines.
“Companies should take a close look at the vendor size, service capabilities, industry specialisation, English-language proficiency of the agents, processes, data security level, hourly rate, facilities, and the location. Each of these plays an important role,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, an award-winning call centre in the Philippines. He continues, “If the vendor doesn’t have the necessary domain expertise or service capabilities, then clients are just wasting their time and money.”
Contact centres in the Philippines or elsewhere effectively become your company’s public face; they represent you to your customers. The quality of the experience your customer has with them will have a direct impact on their opinion and, potentially, the opinions of others as they share their experience through word of mouth or on social media. It’s important to choose a call centre not because it’s the cheapest but because it offers the best service.
“When outsourcing your call centre to the Philippines, basing your decision on price alone is a recipe for disaster,” explained Ellspermann. “There are huge differences in performance between call centres. It might be possible to find a vendor at£6 per hour, but at that price, they won’t be able to afford skilled, English-proficient agents or to invest in the latest technologies needed to deliver high-quality service.”
Despite the positive reputation that contact centres in the Philippines have developed, it is still important to choose carefully. While low-price options are available, they carry the risk that fluency issues will create friction. The less advanced technology leaves problems unsolved, resulting in dissatisfied customers.
Although it might be marginally more expensive to partner with premium call centres like PITON-Global in the Philippines, they are likely to offer a better return on your investment by offering a significantly higher quality service to your customers. “While your aim may be to minimise costs, it’s important to make sure you do so in a way that keeps the source of your revenue—your customers—happy . Call centre outsourcing to the Philippines works, but the approach has to be right,” says Ellspermann.