The Philippines may be a popular call center location, but are they the right location for your call center?
We’ll show you how to decide by walking through:
- the pros and cons of call centers in the Philippines
- call center services offered in the Philippines
- costs compared to other locations
- steps to setting up a call center in the Philippines
- and more
First, let’s dive into why the Philippines are such a popular call center destination.
The Philippines: The Preferred Destination for Call Centers
The Philippines are known as the “call center capital of the world,” with the Philippine BPO industry producing well over a million jobs throughout the islands. This has only grown since the Covid-19 pandemic both increased the desire and need for outsourcing, as well as the rise in work-from-home and remote working setups which has increased the number of BPO agents in the Philippines. And while the Philippines hold 10-15% of the global BPO market, their national BPO industry grows by about 8-10% annually.
All of this growth is the result of a few key factors that contribute to the popularity of call centers in the Philippines, namely:
With such a large BPO market in the Philippines, and millions of agents employed in call centers, it’s a massively scalable location, allowing large and growing operations to affordably create a call center that can meet their customer demand. In addition, with such a long history of call center operations—and a strong reputation—the Philippines remain in-demand for call center outsourcing.
Why Choose the Philippines For Your Call Center?
Aside from the above, the Philippines offer four main advantages for call center outsourcing.
- Excellent English Proficiency. The Philippines offers a large labor force that is proficient in English and speaks, generally, with no discernible accent—something that can’t be said for other offshoring locations. This is due in part to the strong Western influence in the Philippines, as well as the dominance of the BPO industry.
- Exceptional Customer Service Skills. Again, the focus on customer service and call centers in the Philippines create a strong cultural emphasis on high-quality education and training, resulting in better quality compared to other offshoring destinations. In order to keep up their growing BPO industry, the Philippines invests in a high level of education and has developed a strong cultural emphasis on exceptional customer service.
- Highly Educated Workforce. With a mostly young and college-educated workforce, call center agents in the Philippines bring a high level of education and technical literacy to their work, making it easier to staff technical support call lines and other more specialized roles.
- Cultural Compatibility with Western Countries. A strong Western influence in the Philippines—and an emphasis on English-speaking countries in their BPO industry—creates a stronger cultural compatibility, especially compared to other offshoring locations. This means your call center agents will have an easier time connecting with and understanding your customers, resulting in better service and higher customer satisfaction.
Cost-Effective Call Center Solutions in the Philippines
Of course, the Philippines are also an incredibly cost-effective solution, which is partially why they’re such a popular location. The cost-effectiveness makes it much easier to scale operations, allowing you to deliver more services—as well as higher-quality services—to your audience.
While prices vary based on team size, services included, and other variables, location plays a large role in solution costs. Consider how different average hourly rates look per-agent depending on location:
|Location||Average per-agent hourly rate|
|The US||$20 – $30 / hr.|
|Eastern Europe||$12 – $25 / hr.|
|Africa & the Middle East||$15 – $20 / hr.|
|Mexico / Latin America||$8 – $18 / hr.|
|India||$6 – $10 / hr.|
|Philippines||$8 – $14 / hr.|
The Philippines are one of the most affordable outsourcing destinations, and yet, they also offer high value and high quality services. In addition, the Philippines offers a strong and stable economic climate, especially compared to other outsourcing locations, such as those in Eastern Europe or India. You can take advantage of a stable infrastructure and growing BPO industry with government backing to ensure your operations are stable without having to exceed your budget.
Exploring Different Call Center Services in the Philippines
Since the BPO industry in the Philippines is so large, you can also find a wide variety of services available, beyond your standard call answering services. For example, the Global Response team in the Philippines offers services such as:
- Inbound call center services: offer customer service, customer support, after-hours or 24/7 hour service and more
- Outbound call center services: supplement customer service with a customer success team, or support your marketing or sales operations with cross-selling, upselling and customer surveying.
- Technical support services: get Tier 1 or Tier 2 tech support, a full service help desk, or other technical support services through an outsourced call center in the Philippines.
- Multilingual call center services: if you’re working with a global audience, multilingual services are a must—and many Filipino agents are multilingual, allowing you to expand your audience and operations
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Ensuring Quality Assurance: Standards and Regulations
For all the services offered and affordability of the Philippines, don’t think that there’s a drop in quality compared to other locations—in many situations, the level of quality, data security and privacy found in Philippines call centers rivals many nearshoring and onshoring locations.
The Philippines BPO industry caters to a Western market, particularly the US, Western Europe and Canada, which means that the data security and privacy standards in the Philippines are generally on par with US standards. While it always pays to do your research and ensure that your call center provider is carefully vetted, you can rest assured that most Philippines call centers are accredited and comply with US standards.
In addition, the Philippines offers a high level of quality assurance, with many call centers running their own internal quality assurance programs to ensure that their call center processes, services and results adhere to international quality standards. Many Philippines call centers even go above and beyond to ensure quality, such as employing English language tutors to improve agent’s communication skills, reduce accents and make scripts more conversational, as we do with our teams at Global Response.
Steps to Setting Up a Call Center in the Philippines
If the Philippines are beginning to sound like the right location for your call center, next you’ll want to understand the process of setting up a call center in the Philippines. If you’re establishing your own operations, there are a number of steps you must follow, including:
- Conducting thorough pre-planning research before beginning the actual setup. Careful research that must be done includes:
- Defining and documenting your call center objectives.
- Determining what services you’ll need.
- Calculating hiring and staffing needs.
- Establishing reasonable timelines for hiring and launching operations.
- Understanding business requirements for Philippines call centers.
Of course, operating a call center in another country comes with specific legal and business requirements that you should research and understand carefully before beginning.
- Identify the right call center partners. To develop a call center in the Philippines, you should identify a suitable location or partner with a local organization to accommodate your team. Thoroughly vet any service providers you consider and ensure they align with your goals, workplace culture, and communication preferences. Local partners can also provide insights into local politics and geography, helping you identify the best cities or towns for your call center.
- Train and staff your call center. This is often a difficult step that is under-accounted for in the planning process. To get your call center off the ground, you must:
- develop recruitment and search strategies to create an educated and diverse team
- create pre-screening and selection strategies to match the right candidates to the most fitting roles
- establish hiring and onboarding processes
- develop comprehensive training for new hires and existing staff
In addition, you’ll need to hire managers, supervisors, QA agents, HR staff and other team members to keep the operations running smoothly, provide continuous training and management of call center agents, and hire new agents to manage call center turnover.
- Establish technological support and infrastructure. Any call center in 2023 and beyond will rely heavily on technology and the right types of software for efficient operations. For example, modern call centers need to have modern telephony systems, customer CMS software, agent laptops and phones, auto-dialing software, omnichannel support systems and more. Not only do you need to find, purchase and set up the infrastructure for this software, but you also need to have a team to effectively implement, integrate and manage this software for smooth operations.
Since establishing your own call center requires significant resources, you may consider outsourcing to an already-established call center in the Philippines, such as our team at Global Response. When doing so, you can partner with a US-based outsourcing provider and get proven support while still leveraging the advantages offered by outsourcing to the Philippines. Outsourcing to an established provider alleviates the burden of set-up and maintenance, while also ensuring quality and infrastructural support.
The Future of Call Centers in the Philippines
Of course, no location is without its own challenges. The Philippines has a few primary challenges that can block results from outsourcing efforts:
- time zone differences
- communication challenges
- lack of proximity
While time zone differences are often a benefit—allowing you to more easily and affordably offer extended hours or 24/7 services—they can also make it difficult to effectively collaborate with your team. In addition, the geographic distance from the US can make it costly and difficult to visit your call center, meaning you must rely on and trust your outsourced team more to manage day-to-day operations and quality.
These distance barriers can also create communication challenges that make it difficult to implement new initiatives, get progress and status updates, and effectively manage your call center from afar. Of course, these challenges are not necessarily intrinsic to Philippines call centers, and when you work with established and reputable teams, like our team at Global Response, you can bypass many of these common pitfalls.
The growing BPO industry in the Philippines also offers exciting opportunities to take advantage of new and emerging technology and innovation that can deliver exceptional results for your business and set your customer service above the competition. For example, many teams in the Philippines now offer omnichannel support, at a scale that other geographic locations can’t support. This enables larger and growing teams to offer world-class support at an affordable price. And with the rise of AI and automation, we expect call centers in the Philippines to continue increasing services, productivity and results while continuing to offer affordable prices, allowing smart businesses to scale services without skimping on quality.
Is the Philippines right for you?
In short, you should consider outsourcing to the Philippines if:
- you need to quickly scale your call center operations
- you have, or need, a large call center team to meet growing consumer demand
- you want affordable pricing while still maintaining high service quality levels
- you don’t need to be “on-the-ground” with your outsourcing team regularly
- you have a global operation that requires a larger call center with more specialized skills
If this sounds like you, our Global Response team in the Philippines can help. With Global Response, our agents work as an extension of your own team, serving as brand specialists that can effortlessly meet your audience’s needs, every time. With everything from technical support to omnichannel support, multilingual services and 24/7 answering services, our team can help you deliver the results you’re looking for.
Connect with a Global Response expert today to see how our Philippines team can get you the results you need.