Often mislabelled as simply “call centres” modern contact centres are so much more than just inbound and outbound phone calls. While calls are still a huge part of contact centres, modern and well-equipped centres can now handle many different customer service and technical support functions.
Inbound calls can include:
- Customer service queries
- Support questions
- Order processing
- Login and connectivity issues
And outbound calls can cover telemarketing, market research and sales calls, to name just a few examples. But contact centres haven’t always been so complex, and have quite humble beginnings.
A brief history of contact centres
Although the telephone itself was invented in 1876, it took one hundred years for the first call centres — which became today’s contact centres — to become common in the 1970s. Various laws were passed along with growing technological developments, and contact centres quickly grew in popularity.
They rose to their current levels in the 1990s and early 2000s as companies and organisations began to discover the benefits of outsourcing their call functions to offshore staff who can be available 24/7 thanks to smart scheduling.
What can contact centres handle?
As well as inbound and outbound calls, there are specific functions that contact centre teams can handle on behalf of your organisation.
It’s far from an exclusive list, but among other functions, contact centres can handle:
- Customer service
- Tech and IT support
- Software development
- Insurance claims management
- Gaming support
Some companies outsource the whole function, or engage with additional teams to boost their own in-house capabilities. Having a level of additional, dedicated support means that you can better serve your customers at any time of day, even long after local staff may have gone home.
Your team, but better
When you outsource functions offshore, you get all the benefits of an in-house team without worrying about having enough physical office space to provide workstations. And not only that, but many difficult aspects of recruitment can be avoided by choosing outsourcing.
When you pick the BPO approach, you can alleviate HR troubles of finding the right candidates, stop worrying about how to juggle vacation leave and skip the office politics, too. And if you do need to downsize, there’s no redundancy risk.
AI in contact centres
The rise of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) is already showing signs of boosting productivity in BPO services, including contact centres. Tools like chatbots and virtual assistants can help the staff working in contact centres to work harder for your customers. President of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines, Mickey Ocampo, said: “Generative AI on our end is our enabler, like automation. GenAI can be used to automate and enhance various aspects of customer interactions.”
Advantages of contact centres in the Philippines
Choosing BPO services in the Philippines is a great step for many organisations looking to save money while expanding their teams. The country’s Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry, which holds the BPO sector, is flourishing and continues to outstrip the UK in terms of size and revenues.
It’s currently estimated that the Philippines holds between 10–15% of the global BPO market. There are currently 622 contact centres in the UK and the number of businesses in the industry in the UK has declined 7.1% per year on average over the five years between 2018–2023. Compared with the success of BPO services in the Philippines, it’s easy to see why companies choose to outsource functions to offshore contact centres to the country.
According to PEZA, there are 788 BPO contact centres in the Philippines. Revenues from the Philippines’ IT-BPM industry are expected to hit $59 billion and to add 1.1 million more full-time jobs by 2028. Add a highly educated and dedicated workforce into the mix and the advantages of outsourcing to contact centres in the Philippines become clear.
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