BPO Philippines: Beyond call centres


Over the last 20 years, the Philippines has emerged as one of the world’s leading business process outsourcing (BPO) destinations.

Today, many of the world’s most innovative and disruptive companies are outsourcing their call centre and back-office requirements to BPO providers such as PITON-Global in the Philippines.

Outsourcing to the Philippines has become common practice for many multinational organisations due to the extensive resources and world-class BPO capabilities the Philippines has to offer. Filipinos possess a high level of English proficiency and the nation has a close cultural affinity with the West, so there will be minimal miscommunication and a quick adjustment to the work culture of UK companies when it comes to assigning projects. Additionally, customers will not be forced to decipher what is being communicated through heavy accents that are commonly associated with outsourcing.

Business process outsourcing to the Philippines can also bring great cost savings. The country has a large pool of highly qualified and BPO-experienced agents who will work for 60% less than the average UK employee.

“Our clients typically save 50% on costs when compared to standard UK vendor rates,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global in Manila.

The Philippines took note of the western outsourcing model and built a world-class transportation, telecommunication and utility infrastructure that has yet to be rivalled. Their superior infrastructure, coupled with over 20 years of BPO experience separates the Philippines from other offshore outsourcing destinations.

“Companies prefer to outsource to the Philippines because of the favourable outsourcing environment. It’s the kind, friendly and warmhearted Filipinos that make this country so special. Filipinos are extremely well liked, respected and appreciated all over the world. They are smart, speak impeccable English, have an excellent work ethics, and easily adjust to new work environments,” says Ellspermann, who has been working in the Philippine BPO industry since 2001.

When people think of BPO to the Philippines, they think of call centres. While the majority (70%) of the work that is being outsourced to the Philippines is call centre-related, a number of other services are being provided. Aside from the obvious customer support functions, there are many back office-related tasks handled that most people are very likely unaware of. These services include those you might predict, like claims and order processing or fraud prevention, but the range of outsourcing has increased enormously. You are just as likely to see a BPO vendor providing content moderation, data and image annotation, design work or analytics alongside the more traditional customer services.’

There’s also an increasing demand for 24/7 and multilingual support for both voice and non-voice processes.

“In the early days, most of the outsourced work was just call centre and ITES-related. Today there’s hardly any business process that is not being outsourced to the Philippines. If you can think it, we can do it,” says Ellspermann.

20 years ago, only large multinational organizations such as Microsoft, DELL, American Express and HSBC were migrating their front and back-office support requirements to third-party outsourcing providers in the Philippines.  The success of Fortune 500 corporations such as Facebook and Amazon in the country has not only gone unnoticed but also paved the way for SMEs to outsource their call centre and back-office services to the Southeast Asian BPO powerhouse.

“The BPO industry has grown exponentially over the last 20 years. What started out with just a handful of BPO providers has quickly grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. Today, the Philippines ranks as the world’s second largest BPO and largest contact centre outsourcing destination”, says Ellspermann.

BPO programs outsourced to the Philippines can range from a single seat to several thousand seats per client. About 60% of all BPO services are being provided for companies in the service sector where high-quality customer interactions are crucial to business success. Pandemic or not, BPO to the Philippines will continue and is here to stay.

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BPO Philippines: Beyond call centres

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