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Contact Centre Philippines: Outsourcing Done Right

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Outsourcing Done Right

Outsourcing providers are not all created equal. Even when many are similar to each other, they will all have something that makes them unique. This might be their specialism, affecting whether they have suitably experienced staff or even the right facilities to meet requirements. Or it might be the language they speak.

“Of course, all outsourcing providers will say that their agents speak good English. But as anyone who has learned a foreign language will know, there is a big difference between speaking a language and being truly fluent. One of the reasons that call centres in the Philippines have become world leaders is the exceptional level of fluency they can offer English-speaking clients,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, an award-winning call centre in the Philippines.

Cost is often the biggest consideration when outsourcing. Faced with the pressure to keep prices low for customers and profits high for shareholders or investors, anything that can save money can seem a good thing. But contact centres are a vital part of a business. They become the frontline between a company and its customers, and they should be able to offer not just a saving but also maintain high-quality services.

Contact centres frequently cause complaints, and communication difficulties are the leading issue. Whether it’s a thick accent that is difficult to understand or a message that contains English phrasing that might be technically right but reads oddly, they can all start to affect customer confidence and satisfaction.

But English fluency is one of the reasons for the primacy of the Philippines in the global outsourcing industry. According to official figures, the Philippines has English as an official language, which means plenty of people speak English, well over 60 million. However, what sets the country apart from anywhere else is the quality of English spoken.

The Philippines was an American colony until the Second World War and has retained close links ever since. Unlike other countries, it also has a very close cultural link with the West, and films, television and music from English-speaking countries are popular. Filipinos absorb English throughout their daily lives.

The result is a population that does not just learn English academically but hears it directly from English speakers, helping to build both linguistic and cultural fluency. A Filipino may speak English without any detectible accent but will also be familiar with and frequently use slang and idioms from western countries. The result is that an Australian making a quick call to their bank at lunch may never even suspect they are talking to someone in the Philippines who is just starting their day’s work.

But, of course, a contact centre in the Philippines also offer significant savings for their clients because of their low labour costs. A business outsourcing will typically save 40–50% compared to providing the same service in-house. And, because they are specialists, they will improve customer service. The result, for businesses, is a win-win: savings on their bottom line and better customer satisfaction.

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