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Contact Center Philippines: Rethinking Your Back-Office Strategy

Photo from PITON Global

Traditionally, an organization’s front office acts as the face of the company, the intersection where the business meets the public. But the back office is the lifeblood of every organization. “A company can’t operate if the back-office functions don’t run smoothly. Well-coordinated communication between the front and back-office keeps a company humming,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, a leading mid-sized contact center in the Philippines.

Back-office employees perform administrative tasks related to a company’s business operations, including accounting, data collection and entry, order processing, and market research. “An efficient back-office boosts productivity, keeps costs low, and helps maintain strong customer satisfaction,” explains Ellspermann.

While the back-office staff rarely engages with customers, their impact on the overall customer experience cannot be understated. When the back-office team does its job effectively, the front-end staff can immediately respond to customers on the status of queries, claims, product delivery, and refunds. It’s a win-win-win for the two departments, customers, and the business as a whole. “In short, efficient back-office operations make the entire company look good,” emphasizes Ellspermann.

But if the back-office fails to deliver, the quality of customer service diminishes, leading to frustrated customers and increased costs and effort for the company. The longer customers remain frustrated, the more likely they will abandon a brand. Worse, angry customers tend to take to social media to spread negative comments, which can severely damage a company’s reputation.

According to Ellspermann, “There are many reasons why back-office operations drop the ball. Clumsy operational silos, inconsistent processes and reporting, poor communication, outdated technology, and a lack of automation can all hinder efficient back-office functions. Additionally, responsibilities that fall under the back-office umbrella, like out-of-stock inventory, or refunds taking too long to process, can negatively affect the customer experience.”

While the back-office is vital in a company’s overall operations and customer experience, running and maintaining an efficient back-office can be a time-consuming, costly headache. According to statistics, companies waste an estimated $480 billion due to inefficient back-office processes.

That’s why many companies now outsource their back-office requirements to the Philippines. The country has long been a leader in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry and is now the world’s second largest outsourcing destination. In fact, the industry in the Philippines accounts for 10-15% of the global BPO market.

“Outsourcing to a contact center in the Philippines has many advantages for companies looking to cut costs and ensure a consistent customer experience. A young, educated, and tech-savvy workforce, low labor costs, a close cultural affinity with the US, and a government that invests in the country’s BPO industry are all attractive advantages,” says Ellspermann.

But the country’s twenty-year history as an outsourcing leader gives it the edge. BPOs in the Philippines have proven expertise in helping companies become more efficient, productive, and agile, all of which contribute to an enhanced customer experience. By outsourcing operations to trusted business process and call center outsourcing providers, companies can better resolve customer queries and complaints, reduce errors, improve turnaround times, and track and manage inventory and delivery times.

Most notably, the country’s thriving outsourcing industry provides reliable 24/7 omnichannel support, employing agents who have a high level of English language proficiency and familiarity with US business conventions. Additionally, outsourcing back-office requirements to the Philippines can save companies between 60-70% in labor costs.

A contact center in the Philippines can alleviate the logistics and costs of managing an in-house back-office operation. By handing those tasks off to a reliable offshore provider, companies can focus on improving the customer-facing functions of the business. It is the most effective and cost-efficient way to give their client base the top-notch customer experience they want and deserve. “It is therefore no surprise that an ever-increasing number of US-based companies are choosing to outsource their back-office requirements to a BPO or contact center in the Philippines,” concludes Ellspermann.

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