Ralf Ellspermann is the CEO of PITON-Global, a multi-awarded call centre outsourcing provider in Manila, Philippines. Ralf has spent the last 2 decades in the Philippine contact centre outsourcing industry.
Over the years, he has assisted a large number of UK-based enterprises to successfully migrate their business processes offshore. Having worked both on the client and vendor side of the business gives Ralf a unique perspective and an excellent understanding of the call centre and back-office outsourcing capabilities of the Philippines.
Below are a few tips on how to choose the ideal call centre outsourcing partner in the Philippines for your business. These tips are not based on Ralf’s personal opinion, but on more than 20 years of hands-on contact centre outsourcing experience.
1. Vendor size
Finding the right-sized vendor is of mission-critical importance. If your outsourcing requirements are only between 10-20 seats, then your program would not be well-placed with a company that operates 1000 seats or more. Your program would most likely not get the attention and resources that are needed to make it succeed. Ideally, you would want to place your business with a call centre that operates a 400 seat facility. If your outsourcing requirements are larger, let’s say between 50-100 seats, then a call centre with 500 to 1000 seats would be a good fit.
2. Domain expertise
Does the call centre have the necessary domain expertise – meaning experience working with clients in your industry? Are they able to provide you with client success stories and case studies? Are they willing to provide you with client references (current and past)? There are close to 800 contact centres operating in the Philippines today. There’s no shortage of providers that specialise in certain industries. Ideally, you would want to find and partner with one of them since it will increase the chances of a successful, long-term outsourcing engagement.
3. Program management
Another aspect that is of importance is the program management. You have to make sure that there’s a single point of contact within the organisation that is dedicated to your account. That person will be there to assist you with all of your needs such as HR, IT, Production, QA, reporting and billing-related concerns. Your program manager should be available to support your needs on a 24/7 basis, if needed.
4. Agent profiles
The agents assigned to your program will act as your brand ambassadors. The English language proficiency level of Filipino agents varies greatly. It can go from “A” all the way down to an “F” level. You want to make sure that you only have A&B-grade agents working on your program to ensure its long-term success. The chosen agents who ultimately represent your brand should be a perfect fit from a demographic and personality standpoint as they will be the voice of your brand.
5. Use of technology
Is the contact centre multi-channel? What channels are supported (i.e. voice, chat, email, IVR)? Do they have onsite programmers or do they outsource programming? Are they able to support any screen, CRM, CTI? Do they have the necessary in-house resources to take care of any IT or connectivity-related issues? The call centre of today is a tech-driven business. You have to make sure that your outsourcing provider of choice uses the latest and most advanced technologies since it will help improve operating efficiencies and reduce costs.
6. Hourly rate
There’s a significant imbalance between the demand and supply of highly experienced and English-proficient agents in the Philippines. An agent with 2-3 years of call centre experience and a high level of English proficiency can easily earn £3.5/hour in salary alone. Low-cost providers that are offering their services at£7/hour simply can’t afford to hire these premium resources that are needed to make programs work and to ensure their long-term success. Clients are well-advised not to choose a service provider based on the hourly rate. A 50% cost-saving vs standard UK “onshore” call centre rates always serves as a good benchmark. Like with almost anything in life, there’s a cost to providing high-quality services. The call centre outsourcing provider needs to make enough money to be able to invest in the best people, processes, technologies and state-of-the-art facilities.
7. Data security
You want to make sure that your data is secure. Is the call centre PCI compliant? In today’s offshore outsourcing environment, PCI compliance is no longer optional; it’s a must-have. Is the call centre operating paperless and is the use of mobile phones on the operations floor prohibited?
Choosing the right call centre outsourcing provider in the Philippines will allow you to focus on your core competencies while your customers are professionally and cost-efficiently managed.
If you are planning to outsource your call centre requirements to the Philippines and are unsure on how to find and select your ideal service provider, then you may contact Ralf via Piton-Global’s website @ https://www.piton-global.com.