Why Businesses Choose Philippines for Customer Support Services
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All customer-facing services are critical for your business because satisfied customers spend more and choose you again, and again.
But standing out from the competition with positive customer service while meeting the demands of customers can be costly, which is why companies of all sizes outsource to more than 700 outsourcing agencies in the Philippines.
According to the World Trade Organization, the Philippines is globally recognized as the ‘call center capital of the world’. Fortune 500 companies choose the Philippines for outsourcing their customer service.
Advantages of outsourcing customer support services to the Philippines
The Philippines call center industry overtook its competitors from India, Poland, Ukraine, and Southeast Asia countries in terms of expansion and revenues.
It is true that when you outsource to the Philippines, you can reduce up to 60-70% of costs. But service providers like USource provide more than cost-cutting. Below are the advantages when outsourcing customer support services to the Philippines.
English proficiency with neutral accents
The Philippines ranked 22nd out of 111 countries in the 2022 English proficiency ranking with ‘high proficiency’ in the world and Asia.
As one of its official languages, English has been widely used in the country for communication among locals and tourists alike.
24/7 availability and flexibility
Filipinos live in the opposite time zones to their western counterparts making it easy to support customers while your in-house business can’t. Filipino workers are also well-compensated when they take on night shift hours, which is why service providers can offer 24/7 availability on their packages.
Filipinos are naturally accommodating. The World Youth Alliance also supported that hospitality is the trademark of the Philippines. Filipino customer service representatives remain friendly when answering queries, complaints, and irate customers.
The BPO industry is one of the major economic drivers of the Philippines with over 11% contribution to the national GDP. As one of the larger contributors of the nation’s budget, the government supports BPO firms in the country. The Special Economic Zone Act helps in ensuring the real estate quality for foreign and local investors especially the BPO industry.
Advanced skills and expertise
BPO companies look for agents who are capable of speaking, listening, and understanding English. While other necessary characteristics were ingrained to the employees during the customer service training process. And they have different specializations available 24/7 including:
- Non-voice customer support: Technical support over emails, tickets or live chats.
- Online order processing: Includes pre and post purchase support to aid customers when making a purchase. They also help in editing or canceling a sale made per customer request.
- Billing, invoice, and account management: Typically over phone calls, CSR reps who security checks customer accounts, provide bills and invoice.
- Ticket Management: Zendesk and Freshdesk are one of the two ticket management tools used. They provide customer communication over omni-channel support tools.
Challenges of Outsourcing Customer Support and How to Manage Them
There are potential drawbacks when it comes to offshoring critical tasks involving customers. With some businesses having negative experience when outsourcing, it is good to be wary when choosing the right service provider.
Even when you outsource to the call center capital of the world, knowing some perceived cons will be helpful to avoid mistakes when outsourcing customer support services in the Philippines.
Customer support voice affects brand image
Accents, tone, enunciation, pronunciation, and choice of words can affect the way people perceive your brand. EOR companies like USource are open about communicating with your chosen employee. Or you can provide your own training manual to follow.
Poor process documentation
Clarify your process with your outsourced team. Anticipate simple and complex processes to help customer support representatives when they receive one.
Communication tools like Slack and email can help you communicate with your outsourced customer support. You can also use video conferencing tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Meet for a virtual face-to-face meeting.
Lack of control
You can retain as much control as you want. Most of our clients outsource to get out of the middle of the process in the first place. You can establish processes and then stop being the one who runs everything.
You can continue with as much involvement as you prefer in talent acquisition, payroll management, and incentive management.
Once aspect of control is retaining oversight for the work of your outsourced employee/s with the tracking tools of your choice.
Here are some of the tracking tools you can use to virtually manage your outsourced employees:
- Hubstaff: A powerful tracking tool which provides screenshots, timesheets, and in-depth reports that can check whether your virtual customer support is doing their duty.
- Insightful: It allows employee monitoring, productivity analytics and automatic time-mapping.
- Teramind: Provides employee monitoring with a feature that can enforce special policies like limiting traffic to unnecessary websites and alerts you of problematic user behavior.
You can study the culture of the Philippines while your customer support studies yours. If you think there can be miscommunication regarding cultural issues in your area from your agents, listing them out will help them avoid these pitfalls.
Veering away from goals
Prioritize clarifying your goals when you outsource any types of task to a service provider. You can also utilize project communication tools like ClickUp, Trello, and Asana to update the status of your customer support. Overcommunication can also help in keeping your agents in line with what you want to achieve.
Overestimating the capabilities of your service provider
Sift through your outsourcing partner carefully. If you have the chance to conduct an interview, catch the fish by its mouth and test their capabilities to see what they can do. Some service providers like USource offer trial tasks- this can help you see if what they’ll offer is up to your standards.
Threats in security
When you extend your business to others you are sharing sensitive information from your customers critical to your business. Always choose service providers like USource which ensures you a non-disclosure agreement, data protection policy, and client security.
The qualities of the Philippines’ customer support representatives
Customer support service is the holy grail of businesses. The more consistently positive experience you give to your customers, the more likely you are to receive a purchase built with loyalty.
In fact, 68% of consumers say that they’ll buy a product or service from a brand which offers good customer service.
You’ll be amazed by how some Filipino customer representatives can turn a complaint call into a purchase. They use phrases that will steer the conversation in a favorable direction, persuading customers to buy your product and services.
Clear speaking voice
Unsatisfactory customer encounters can be attributed to inaudible speaking or confusing language. Filipinos are effective communicators using clear and concise language. They can adjust their accent and tone so your customers can better understand them.
Complaints stem from disappointment. Filipino CSR acknowledges customer’s negative feelings by putting themselves in the shoes of others. Empathy and compassion is one of the characteristics that Filipinos grew up with.
Customers approach support to raise concerns but sometimes they call with anger. Filipino reps remain positive despite customer’s rage, irritation, or dejection. Filipinos have thick skin to maintain their positive tone which eases violent reactions.
Multi-channel customer support
Some calls can be minor queries and concerns but others have unique questions original to them. Filipino responders can be honest when they do not know the answer and won’t lie their way through just to reduce the ticket. But rest assured that their problem-solving skills will save the customer from their concern.
33% of customers consider effective question-answering as the most crucial competency for a customer care representative. Filipino CSR were trained to provide quick answers and assistance based on manual and their own critical thinking.
Some queries can change based on how you interpret them, difficult concerns could actually be simpler when a customer support has active listening skills. DIligence and focus is a FIlipino attribute you can leverage in your customer support services.
Customer support is not only for answering customer questions, you can also use it to gain insights. Outsourcing agencies in the Philippines include typing skills as one of the requirements before hiring a CSR. They are trained to be accurate to perfection so you rest assured that you gain customer data for business growth.
Large companies like Facebook. Google, and American Express are outsourcing customer support services in the Philippines. More than cost-cutting, they are investing in the premium services Filipinos can offer when it comes to customer-facing responsibilities.
Pair your plethora of reasons to outsource customer support services with clear goals and a list of the things you’re looking for in a service provider. USource offers premium services that can guarantee client satisfaction leading to your success.