the Philippines is back after COVID19 – see what’s happening

There’s no doubt that the Philippines has been holding the golden torch when it comes to offshore outsourcing. In the last year, however, the pandemic has taken a toll on all of us in the workforce. 

How much did it really affect this offshore location? Today we are looking at the advantage of outsourcing in the Philippines- with or without COVID. 

We first have to acknowledge the undeniable rise of outsourcing. BPO call centers have continued to grow and expand in different cities and regions throughout the country due to the admirable demand in telemarketing and customer care found in the Philippines. This has caused the market to raise prices. 

Remember, countries like the Philippines have a lower cost of living – which usually translates into lower salaries. That’s not the case here. This area is known for its competitive compensation market as outsourcing services rise. 

While COVID-19 has hindered the speed of the region to offer seamless remote-work models, the technical fundamentals of their personalized service remains. 

Nonetheless, the Philippines continues to be the top outsourcing option among its competitors. 

Scott Newman, Founder and CEO of Transparent, says “operating work from home in the Philippines since 2009 has given Transparent BPO a lot of best practices that allowed our team members to continue to serve our clients without interruption during the Covid-19 pandemic. The quality of our WFH team’s work-life balance has been greatly increased, by avoiding extremely long commuting times and lost time with their families.  This increased employee satisfaction and engagement has had a direct result in top-notch customer support to our clients.”

Bottom line: the Philippines is operating at an accelerated rate given the global crisis. To learn more about outsourcing during these challenging times or where to get started, click here

risks of selecting the wrong BPO partner

Selecting the right BPO partner can be challenging – after all, you are trusting another company with your most valuable resource, your clients. Further complicating matters is the ever-expanding lists of providers from around the globe. Getting references from colleagues can also be daunting as no other business is exactly like your own.

Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom. The expanding number of BPO providers can work in your favor to get costs down and quality up, something you may have thought impossible. To help, we’ve compiled a shortlist of potential risks along with mitigation solutions.

The Risks

Loss of Control – Most obviously, when allowing another company to take over a function as precious as customer service, concerns arise. Will the partner maintain your quality? Will they handle customers as well as before? How will you transfer so much knowledge?

Loss of Visibility – It can be uncomfortable to manage people you cannot physically be in a room with, especially if your company has used in-office resources. From adhering to processes to monitoring performance, physical distance can create anxious moments, especially during launch.

Changes in Data Handling – Giving third party access to precious customer data – particularly financial or health data – comes with its challenges. Will the partner stay in compliance? Is data safe from hackers? Will all processes be followed?

Mismatched Culture Fit – When you hand over customer service, you’re not just allowing someone to field issues, you’re also asking someone to represent your brand. How do you know that another company in another country can represent your brand to your standards?

The Solution

With so many vendors scattered across several continents, it would be impossible to vet each of them and mitigate all of these common concerns. For the most part, BPO companies are excellent at their work and have been in business for many years, some decades. Their process, tools, and people are all focused on providing exceptional service when servicing clients who meet their “ideal profile” (akak – large scale).

However, this doesn’t mean that you can throw a dart and choose any partner. Teams like ours at CX Partner Source ensure your priorities match the core competencies of your partner. We have already vetted the portfolio of partners, reducing the selection time significantly and allowing us both to focus on what’s most important to your company. For instance, culture fit might be a top priority for call handling – we can help with that.

Don’t go it alone when choosing your BPO partner. CX Partner Source has a proven methodology to make outsourcing simple with our pre-vetted partners with your unique needs so you can focus on growing your business.

finding a CX BPO partner in challenging times

Finding a CX BPO Partner in Challenging Times

23

NOVEMBER 2020

CXPartnerSource

Originally published on Customer Magazine

While the country prepares for a second wave of the pandemic, many companies are preparing for what may be another shutdown and are taking the necessary steps to prepare their employees to work from home.

At the same time, many of these companies are turning to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) as a solution for the anticipated contact volume growth. It is not easy to find; however, a BPO that is not only cost-efficient but delivers on their commitments. Companies often have to sift through hundreds of possible BPO Partners in order to find one that fits their needs; they must negotiate the contract, plan the knowledge transfer (training), implement the technology solution for them to manage contacts, and actually start completing the work.

In many cases, companies are not experienced, nor do they have the resources to support the selection process, which in turn becomes a hassle, and usually does not result in selecting the right partner. However, we caught up with Tom Silzell, the Founder and President of the recently introduced CX Partner Source (CXPS), whose mission is to mitigate the risk of selecting a BPO partner.

When asked what motivated Mr. Silzell to start CXPS, he said, “Having spent the last 15 years selling BPO services for several very large companies, I became increasingly aware that companies typically aren’t very savvy about choosing the right contact center outsource partner. In many cases, they simply identify the five largest BPO suppliers, who all have a very buttoned-up sales process, and never have a chance to evaluate the numerous other partners who might be a better fit.”

By launching CX Partner Source, Silzell is creating a no-cost solution to companies who are considering outsourcing their contact center. CXPS has vetted hundreds of BPO providers and categorized them based on their size, geographic footprint, channel capability, vertical experience, and overall approach to managing their client relationships. “There are so many mid-size outsourcing companies out there who the same level of market visibility does not have due to their size,” Silzell said. “We want to make sure buyers of contact center outsourcing services know what options are out there and, based on their need, have the chance to review those suppliers.”

While Silzell does cite the fact that price isn’t everything, in almost all cases, CXPS can help ensure that their client is getting the most cost-effective deal while not placing their contact center outsource partner in a position to cut corners when it comes to servicing the clients’ customers.

Having spent three decades in the business process outsourcing industry, spending time both operating contact centers and selling BPO services to companies, Silzell has leveraged that experience to guide the match-making process for both the prospective buyers and the BPOs themselves. “My operational roles have taught me that it’s difficult to succeed if the agents, supervisors, and managers are not happy. So, by investing in those key positions with a balance of technology, training, data, and compensation, many positive outcomes will occur. Fast forward to my last 15 years of talking with potential clients about what they want out of a BPO outsourcing relationship; although they say it differently, it has not changed. The benefit of helping clients view a partner through both lenses is a huge advantage to the client as they choose the right partner.”

And while there are other BPO matching companies available, Silzell is confident that the experience brought to the process from both sides will set CX Partner Source apart from companies that offer similar services. “I spent 15 years operating contact centers, and the other 15 years selling BPO services. It takes me about 30 minutes to realize if a BPO Partner is going to deliver on their commitment. Most buyers take a “process” approach when selecting a partner, add thirty years of reality to the equation. Additionally, our model allows us to support the relationship well beyond the launch. We are there to support the client and the BPO Partner to ensure success on both fronts.”

Though a perfect unison is a tall order to fill, Silzell is confident CX Partner Source can find the right BPO partners for any prospective buyer that is currently searching. “There is a good fit for every need,” Silzell said when asked how CX Partner Source will ensure a good match when recommending a BPO to a prospective buyer. “I have spent many years in this industry and know how to match clients with outsource providers. It takes asking the right questions, transparent communication, and understanding each party’s definition of success.”

Finally, when asked about the future of CX Partner Source and tracking the company’s growth and success, Silzell said, “I think the biggest indicator is the length of the relationship and growth. If our client continues to grow with their partner and gives them more business, we have succeeded.”

what rate should I pay to outsource my contact center in the US?

what rate should I pay to outsource my contact center in the US?

The fact is, BPO’s who operate in the US managed to pivot during the pandemic by moving their staff to a work-from-home solution. In most cases, BPO’s grew during the pandemic, which has been great for the industry however, the stimulus is forcing BPO’s to accelerate their planned wage increases which don’t always align with their contractual rate structure.

read more

CX outsourcing opportunities continuing to grow in Jamaica

CX Outsourcing Opportunities Continuing to Grow in Jamaica

15

DECEMBER 2020

CXPartnerSource

Originally published on Customer Magazine

When asked to think about countries known for their contact centers, the first country that comes to mind may not be Jamaica. However, in the past decade, Jamaica asserted itself as one of the finest markets in the BPO industry, offering a myriad of advantages to U.S. companies looking to outsource nearshore.

First, one of the biggest advantages Jamaica has to offer is its workforce. Jamaica’s English-speaking 1.3 million-strong labor force consists of talented, educated, and motivated individuals who have a strong cultural affinity to the North American market.

Second, Jamaican based BPOs also offer the advantage of proximity. Jamaica falls in the Eastern Standard Time Zone, making collaboration with client companies more efficient. With the time differences for the U.S. market only varying from three hours to none, coordinating with a BPO during times of call volume surges becomes much easier.

Third, the proximity of Jamaica to the U.S also allows for the advantage of efficient business travel. A flight from the U.S to Jamaica is shorter and less expensive than a flight across either ocean to Europe or Asia.

Jamaica also offers a variety of economic advantages when it comes to the contact center industry. With highly competitive wage costs, Jamaican contact center salaries are roughly 40 to 60 percent lower in cost per seat than in the U.S. This leads to an overall better price for clients looking to outsource, allowing them to conserve valuable resources and reinvest them elsewhere in the CX technologies industry.

“Contact Center BPOs in Jamaica are among some of the most innovative we’ve seen in the world,” said Tom Silzell, founder of CX Partner Source, a company that matches small to medium size BPOs with small to medium size companies. “With a proven track record in foreign investment, nearshore advantages for the North American market, a highly educated and English-speaking workforce, competitive costs, and quality infrastructure, Jamaica has positioned itself as an ideal location for Business Process Outsourcing Investments.”

Joseph Fidangue III, Chairman of Iterum Connections, noted that Jamaica is an ideal country with a warm and friendly culture, saying “We chose to invest in facilities and people in Jamaica, given the quality of the leadership and agents we met there. They embrace our company’s values and further our mission to provide flexible, responsive, and creative CX solutions to our clients – and great experiences to our clients’ customers. We’ve been tremendously successful in Jamaica, and will continue to reinvest and grow in this outstanding geographic market.”

Silzell says that when it comes to finding the perfect match in a BPO partner, you must take into consideration a myriad of factors. The overall health and wellness of a country’s population and its people directly impact the availability of creative and smart employees who represent brands in friendly and professional manners.

“Jamaica has one of the most ambitious, free-spirited, and well-mannered cultures I’ve ever seen,” Silzell explained. “Jamaicans are always open to a conversation, and have such a strong sense of national pride, whether it’s the reggae, or the food or the just the beautiful weather, they love their country and their joy comes through in every conversation with customers.”

Silzell also noted that when it comes to infrastructure and technology, Jamaica offers some of the highest quality in the contact center industry. “The island has state of the art communications infrastructure, with a complete fiber ring around the island and multiple off-island sub-sea links that provide built-in redundancy and constant connectivity to the world.”

Jamaica has quickly turned itself into a haven for BPO companies. In the last five years alone, the country has set aside roughly 1.2 million square feet of space just dedicated to BPO Centers. Jamaica earmarked 15 million dollars to funnel into the industry, and in return they’ve doubled the amount of BPO companies on the island, adding more high-quality BPOs into the outsourcing market.

what rate should I pay to outsource my contact center in the US?

what rate should I pay to outsource my contact center in the US?

The fact is, BPO’s who operate in the US managed to pivot during the pandemic by moving their staff to a work-from-home solution. In most cases, BPO’s grew during the pandemic, which has been great for the industry however, the stimulus is forcing BPO’s to accelerate their planned wage increases which don’t always align with their contractual rate structure.

read more

Is Panama the next big nearshore CX outsourcing opportunity?

Is Panama the Next Big Nearshore CX Outsourcing Opportunity?

08

DECEMBER 2020

CXPartnerSource

Originally published on Customer Magazine

To the uninitiated, Panama is not well-known for its customer service, contact center and CX outsourcing industry.

In fact, Panama has been serving organizations for over two decades, and is one of fastest growing nearshore countries for U.S. based companies.

One of the greatest advantages of working with BPOs in Panama, besides the strong fundamental relationships between the U.S. and Panama, including trade agreements and other business collaborations, is the time zone differential. Compared to contact centers on the “other wide of the world,” Panama is GMT-5, or Eastern Standard Time, so when volume surges in the U.S., coordination becomes easier than having to connect in the middle of the night.

Another advantage is the availability of educated agents who speak multiple languages, including fluent English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The economics in Panama make it easy for BPOs there to attract and train top agents, at substantially lower salaries than are paid in the U.S., which leads to better pricing for BPO clients who are looking to conserve resources and reinvest in the latest CX technologies – which are also available from the most innovative and creative BPOs in the country.

The Panamanian CX BPOs we partner with provide a full range of services, from traditional inbound voice for general customer service applications, to highly technical help desk, technical support and specialties across verticals including healthcare telemedicine solutions.

“We identified some of the most creative and bold BPOs in the world in Panama,” said Tom Silzell, founder of CX Partner Source, a company that matches small to medium size BPOs with small to medium size companies. “The innovation happening in the region is inspiring and is part of an overall progressive culture which supports a healthy, happy workforce. They are bringing the latest live chat, screen sharing, social, video and outbound marketing solutions to their clients, and have outstanding capabilities in reporting on results and trends, which is increasingly important to successful, long-term programs.”

Silzell also said travel to Panama is much easier than having to fly across the Atlantic or Pacific on 12 plus hour flights. “Despite the pandemic and travel restrictions, business travel is still important and will be opening up again in 2021. A flight from Denver to Panama City is under 6 hours, and currently costs under $500 for coach. Compare this to a flight to an Asian country – from Denver to Mumbai, for example, takes anywhere from 1-2 days, causes tremendous jet lag, and costs thousands of dollars.”

Miro Batista Pousa, CEO of Iterum BPO Services, based in Panama City noted that Panama is a country that has averted natural disasters, given its geographic position. “While every country has its share of earthquakes, floods, fires and more, Panama has suffered many fewer large-scale interruptions than other countries. The country is governed in a quality way, with continual investments in education, networks including increasingly fast 5G which brings better quality broadband to BPOs, and a longstanding track record of building modern infrastructure. Even the COVID-19 pandemic has been managed better than in most countries, though of course everybody everywhere must remain vigilant.”

Silzell says finding the right BPO partner takes into account many factors, including the health and well being of the population, and the availability of smart and friendly people who represent brands in professional and upbeat ways. “Panama has long been known for its diverse and vibrant culture,” Silzell explained.  “Panamanians within minutes of meeting you will tell you what they love about their country. Whether they brag about the climate, the culture, the landscapes, the music and the food, national pride runs deep in Panama. Panamanian pride may best summed up in the popular Panamanian phrase, puente del mundo, corazón del universo, which means ‘bridge of the world, heart of the universe.’”

Panama is booming, especially within urban areas, where nearly two-thirds of the people live. Many of these urbanites live in Panama City and the surrounding areas, especially within the Canal Zone, which stretches from the capital city to Colón. The other most densely inhabited parts of the country are the central provinces of Herrera, Los Santos, Coclé, and Veraguas. These include the Pacific hills, lowlands, and the Azuero Peninsula, a place considered by many to be the “heart” of Panama.

what rate should I pay to outsource my contact center in the US?

what rate should I pay to outsource my contact center in the US?

The fact is, BPO’s who operate in the US managed to pivot during the pandemic by moving their staff to a work-from-home solution. In most cases, BPO’s grew during the pandemic, which has been great for the industry however, the stimulus is forcing BPO’s to accelerate their planned wage increases which don’t always align with their contractual rate structure.

read more