I have been asked why choose the Philippines for 24 hour BPO services but for me the advantages are fairly obvious while living in the country.
As you all know by now I am Matt Wilkie from Tropical Penpals-blog.com living in the Philippines for nearly 6 years now.
I came with a small budget, not enough to live and enjoy life like most expat came here and build business and real estate. No. I had very little. My wife keep asking me why we don't get the hell out of here and go to England?
I don't really know what to tell her because the truth is the UK government refuses to accept us because of the following:
1- I owe money for child support to the mother of my daughter who lives there risking to be forced to repay it by any means ( In the first world we mean it) while here in the philippines no one cares.They can't.
2- The UK wants to make sure we'll not became a public charge and ask me to justify a minimum income of 1500 Euro a month which -even so low this is - not having any skills it's impossible for me to earn it. Of course, I could do like Evan Iliadis wife did, opened her own office cleaning business and has 8 Filipino Employees working.
But I need investment money and cash flow to face the overhead for at least 4 months provided the minimum wages in France is € 9.80 an hour. Out of the question. No money for that. So here I am stacked like many other expats who can't even afford to pay the ticket for their family to exit the Philippines.
The first thing about the Philippines is nearly everyone seems to speak some level of English. Even my smart pigs. The better the level of education generally the better the grasp of the English language.
Adding to that due to the BPO industry booming in the Philippines
getting experienced agents isn’t difficult. In fact its more of a
problem getting enough clients to keep them all busy.
Adding to that, assuming I have clients, As you can see on my picture below showing my desk, I only have one computer and one telephone line. How can I accommodate the agents? I need more space computers and telephone lines. So for the moment I don't even have work for myself!
But what about the quality? This is something else I have been
looking into a lot and the fact that there are a growing number of
people outsourcing to the Philippines pretty much says it all. Even many
Indian companies have moved some of their business here.
Of course they came here with millions in their bank accounts, comfortably installed in Makati, they already had the clients and there you go! Not like me lol! I had not a single prospective client, not even a promise from one. All I had was the support of Evan Iliadis the guy tried really hard to help me but I didn't cease the opportunity
Reality is that back in the UK I myself would put the phone down upon hearing that annoying voice that you instantly recognized as Indian and instantly know they were going to talk about gas and electric suppliers.
A contract today came up regarding the very same thing (considering I have been out of the UK full-time for 6 years), the issue of houses being bombarded with India telesales has become a major problem. So be, business is business i whish I had it also and never mind the problem
The Philippines population doesn’t have the same voice issues as
their second language is English. To the point you will find much of the
media here often wanders in and out of local dialects and English even
in the same sentences.
But there is problem also because how one can expect from the call receiver to distinguish if the accent in English is Indian -hung up- or is Filipino -Hello baby! can we chat a bit? Fecking shit all that I think Evan is right, the future is on the smart pigs. No bitchy customers no "agent training".
In fact as you saw on the video is much more easier to train pigs than Filipino to speak English with a British accent that often times even Britons when speaking, can't understand a damn word, so heavy the accent is! So I think better keep it Filipino!
Vocal training for accents is also a plus adding to that most Filipinos speak at least 3 languages which can be much more if they worked overseas. Reality is that most Filipinos abroad would like to be home and call centre’s can offer that ability by offering better or similar salaries to what they get for working on contract overseas.
Of course that's not the case in my business. Unless the "agent" was working as a slave for an Arab family where I am working also when business are slow in the Philippines, like Oman or Qatar, she won't be better off working for me. The minimum wages in the province of Cebu is 300 pesos a day, in most countries of Europe 3000 a day. How much can I pay?
The call centre’s then gain experienced staff that are also well educated. But even if the education itself isn’t relevant to the job the desire to succeed and wanting to work for a local company that offers a better way of life is something foremost in peoples minds.
Fact is that 24 hour BPO is expanding in the Philippines and its not all about cost cutting, often its about expanding the sales network of companies. Having a call centre bolt on to the side of an existing business improves customer service and marketing on a daily basis in a cost affective manner.
But the damn problem comes up again! Where are the customers? Dare to believe I'll never see one! So I took a decision. I'm packing everything in my "new" 4x4 and moving to Makati. I'll start over again, from scratch, working out of my car,no agents needed , just me and my smart pigs. OK Babe? We'll park the car just below the Indians' offices in Makati and start taking their leftovers for "processing" on our own way OK Babe?
Lalala lalala la..la...lala!!!!