The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed businesses and industries. Short-term change has been felt at nearly every level, and the changes being implemented will have lasting effects.
Strategies and tactics are changing for the long term.
“Along with change comes innovation. Shifts made in reaction to the pandemic are driving the digital age deeper. In specific relation to call centres; customers are at home more often and for longer hours at a time.
Many people work from home, kids attend classes from home, and the family unit—in general—has more focus placed on the home. Now, customers use their appliances, technology, and home goods more frequently,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, a leading call centre in the Philippines.
As a result, call centres receive much higher call volumes. The influx of incoming calls has led to the need for more agents, longer hours of operation, and a higher cost for businesses.
“Adding agents is not cheap but call centre outsourcing reduces cost. In recent years, the Philippines has emerged as the top destination for contact centre outsourcing,” says Ellspermann.
The workforce in the Philippines is comprised of a younger agent on average when compared to the UK. The literacy rate in the Philippines is high, meaning that incoming customer calls are not met with a language barrier—unlike the potential for issues to arise with other offshore call centre outsourcing destinations.
As workers the world over adjust to a career or work-life that revolves around off-site work, a bigger focus is laid on technology. Companies are investing in the technology they use, and as a result, digital transformation is being driven.
The pandemic has reduced on-site work and emphasises digital transactions. Zoom meetings are the new normal.
For customers, online shopping is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity. Now, more than ever, reaching out to local repair shops for appliance or technology issues makes less sense than contacting dedicated call centres.
Many local repair shops have closed or operate under limited hours. Call centres are not affected in the same way. With customer needs increasing—in part due to higher usage, but also stemming from more attention being given to products or services than before—an expected increase in customers needing to reach out to companies has taken place.
“Outsourcing call centre requirements to the Philippines reduces the stress that workers could feel with the influx of customer interaction. Dedicated teams in a thriving call centre market—the Philippines—are uniquely trained and equipped to deal with the current state of the industry,” says Ellspermann.
Right now, workers are off-site. They are using their computers, laptops, tablets, and phones at higher rates than before. The pandemic has kept doors shut, countries have entered several stages of lockdowns, and the need for a greater digital presence has been highlighted.
Industries are left with no choice but to adapt and transform, and that transformation will continue to be digital. Outsourcing call centre services to the Philippines is the most cost-effective and efficient way to ensure that customer needs continue to be met—as they both evolve and increase in volume.