Over the last two decades, the Philippines has emerged as the world’s leading contact center outsourcing destination and the world’s second-largest business process outsourcing destination. The BPO industry in the Philippines today employs more than 1.5 million people and generates approximately US$25 Billion in annual revenues.
The Philippine BPO industry is composed of a few sub-sectors, namely, contact centers, knowledge process outsourcing, finance and accounting, logistics, legal services, procurement, HR, etc. It has played a significant role in the Philippines growth and development.
There’s a vast pool of highly qualified labor that consider BPO jobs as a career much rather than just a temporary job, which is another huge advantage. Probably unknown to most business people in the US, UK, and Australia that have never visited the Philippines, the city of Manila is an ultra-modern metropolis that boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure. It competes head-on with other Asian cities such as Singapore or Seoul. The Philippines is no small player, but a giant in the world of BPO.
The unmatched hospitality and strong customer service orientation of the Filipinos is another key advantage of the Philippines over other offshore outsourcing destinations such as India. The key markets that require such outsourcing services can be narrowed down to a few countries. The US would come in first place, with a whopping 60%, cementing the United States as the largest and most important BPO service buyer market, followed by Australia (25%) and the UK (10%), with other regions filling in the final 5% gap.
The Philippines is a natural fit for servicing these markets, and Filipinos are known to be highly reliable workers and are highly regarded in these countries. Most of these countries have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Filipinos working in their hospitals, hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise ships, to name a few. Filipinos are everywhere and typically extremely well-liked by everyone. People are at ease with Philippine-based outsourcing firms because they have the language skills and understanding of slang and idioms necessary to functionally communicate around the world. The fact is that while Western cultural touch-points are geographically removed from the Philippines, the cultures are actually quite similar, which lends itself to communication with a total lack of cultural barriers.
About 70-80% of all outsourced jobs are contact center-related. Companies typically outsource their customer acquisition, care, and retention related requirements to Philippine-based contact centers. But it goes well beyond making and receiving phone calls. Most agents work in omnichannel contact centers. That means they are equipped and trained to handle a wide variety of customer interactions, including calls, emails, and web chat sessions as well as social media inquiries.
Another high-growth area is back-office support. Whether you order a pizza through an online food delivery service such as DoorDash, call an UBER, rent an apartment via Airbnb, or leave a review on TripAdvisor’s website, your front and back-office processes are most likely being supported by agents in the Philippines on a 24/7 basis. A multitude of services is provided, from supporting social media applications to providing content moderation services that ensure end-users have a safe and pleasant online experience. The list of services is endless. And all of it is done in the Philippines.
Companies also have started to employ agents in the Philippines for multilingual support for both voice and non-voice (data) processes. It may come as a surprise, but it still makes financial sense for the budget-conscious organization to migrate those multilingual BPO requirements to the Philippines.
The Philippines, as one of the world’s leading BPO destinations, is here to stay as the primary source of efficient outsourcing services and will only continue to grow as an industry. For smaller companies operating in less competitive markets, bringing their business processes offshore is a smart and strategic choice to gain a competitive edge. For larger organizations in highly competitive markets, going offshore is not only a good plan, but a requirement to stay at par with the competition. Even the biggest and most prestigious customer experience-obsessed companies, such as Amazon, have moved their front and back-office operations to the Philippines.