The Philippines has become a popular place for call centers, bringing in businesses worldwide. This happened because Filipinos are good at understanding other cultures and are focused on doing an excellent job for their customers. This makes the Philippines a great choice for companies that want their call center services to be fast and high-quality.
Understanding the Call Center Business
Like any other business venture, starting a call center in the Philippines requires thorough research and feasibility studies.
Different Types of Call Centers
The call center industry is diverse, with various types catering to different needs:
- In-house Call Centers: These centers cater exclusively to the customer service needs of one company. They are typically set up by large corporations that require a dedicated team to handle their customer interactions.
- Outbound Call Centers: These centers proactively reach out to customers, often for sales, marketing, or information dissemination.
- Inbound Call Centers: Unlike outbound centers, inbound call centers primarily receive incoming calls.
- Outsource Call Centers: These centers provide client relation services for other companies.
It’s essential to know the differences between these types. For example, having your call center gives you more control but might cost more. Outsourcing might save money, but you might need help with quality.
Legal and Business Registration
Choosing the right legal entity: Branch Office vs. Domestic Corporation
When setting up a call center in the Philippines, entrepreneurs have two primary legal entities: a Branch Office or a Domestic Corporation. Both can be 100% foreign-owned, provided at least 60% of their services are outsourced.
A Domestic Corporation closely resembles an LLC. It requires a minimum of five directors, each holding at least one share of the corporation. Out of these, three directors must be residents of the Philippines.
A Branch Office is like an arm of the leading company. If there’s a problem, the main company has to handle it. This office needs a person to get official papers from the government. Also, within two months of getting a business license, the Branch Office has to give the SEC a deposit of PHP100,000.00.
Requirements for directors and resident agents
For a local company, you need at least five people in charge. Each of them should have a piece of the company. Three of them need to live in the Philippines. But for a Branch Office, you need one person living there to get official papers from the government.
Registering with government agencies: PEZA, DTI-BOI, SEC, and BIR
Apply for a Certificate of Incorporation or License to Do Business and local business permits, then sign up with the Social Security System (SSS).
If you want your business to work in certain areas in the Philippines, you must sign up with PEZA. PEZA gives tax breaks to foreign companies in special zones for three to eight years.
If you own a business by yourself, you can sign your name with the DTI. If your business is a big group or partnership, you must sign up with the SEC. Every business also has to get a unique tax number from the BIR.
The BOI, part of the DTI, rewards foreign people who give jobs to Filipinos. These rewards include tax breaks, not paying some taxes, and other benefits.
You might need more approvals depending on your business type, so always ask local officials and business groups.
Benefits of registering in economic zones and available incentives
Signing up in particular areas, like with PEZA, gives businesses many good things. They can get tax breaks for three to eight years. Places like PEZA and BOI provide tax breaks to many companies that handle tasks for others. This makes the Philippines a good place for these businesses to start.
Financial Planning and Securing Investments
- Startup Costs: Enumerate all the initial expenses, such as acquiring a location, equipment, software, and initial staffing. Starting a call center in the Philippines can range from 100,000 to 800,000 pesos, depending on various factors (Source).
- Operational Costs: List monthly expenses, including salaries, utilities, software subscriptions, and other overheads.
- Revenue Projections: Estimate your monthly and yearly revenue based on the number of clients, contracts, and the pricing model you adopt.
- Securing Investments: Consider various funding sources, such as personal savings, bank loans, angel investors, or venture capital. Ensure you have a survival budget, preferably for six months, to cover expenses before turning a profit.
Logistics, Staffing, and Operational Plans
- Location: Decide between remote call centers, which can be cost-effective and flexible, or fixed call centers, which offer a more professional setting. Cities like Cebu and Manila are popular call center hubs, but other cities like Davao and Iloilo might offer more competitive rental rates.
- Staffing: The Philippines has many intelligent and skilled people. Use websites, local job places, or social media to hire them. Remember, there are extra costs like special pay once a year, which is usual in the Philippines.
- Training and Development: Invest in training programs to ensure your staff can handle customer queries and effectively represent your clients’ brands.
- Operational Strategy: Finalize the daily operations, including shift timings, software tools, customer handling protocols, and quality assurance measures. Ensure compliance with local regulations and international standards, especially if serving global clients.
- Marketing and Client Acquisition: Make a solid plan to get customers. Giving free tests or services can show what you can do and get more work for a long time.
Choosing the Right Location for BPO Operations
Factors to Consider:
- Transportation: Ensure that the location is easily accessible by public and private transport. This is for the convenience of your employees and clients.
- Proximity to Amenities: Being close to amenities like restaurants, banks, and medical facilities can improve employee satisfaction and retention.
- Safety: The area’s safety, especially during late hours, is for the well-being of your employees
- Internet Connectivity: Reliable and high-speed internet connectivity is necessary for BPO operations. Check the availability of multiple internet service providers in the area.
- Power Supply: Make sure the location has a consistent power supply, with backup options like generators.
- Facilities: Modern buildings with amenities like conference rooms, breakout areas, and recreational facilities suit employee morale.
- Rental Rates: Compare the rental rates of different locations. Some areas offer competitive rates with good facilities.
- Operational Costs: Consider other costs like utilities, maintenance, and local taxes.
Employee Compensation: Wages can vary based on the city or region. Factor in the average compensation rates in the area.
Assembling Your Team
Setting up a call center in the Philippines requires a strategic approach to team assembly. Your call center’s success hinges on your team members’ expertise and dedication. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to build a great team for your call center:
- Operations Manager: This individual oversees the daily operations of the call center, ensuring that processes run smoothly and efficiently. They are responsible for setting targets, monitoring performance, and ensuring the center meets its objectives.
- HR Manager: The Human Resources Manager plays a pivotal role in recruiting, hiring, and managing the workforce. They handle employee relations benefits and ensure that the company adheres to labor laws and regulations.
- Training Manager: This role is crucial for the continuous development of your agents. The Training Manager designs and implements training programs, ensuring that agents have the necessary skills to handle customer interactions effectively.
- IT Manager: Given the technological demands of a call center, the IT Manager ensures that all systems, software, and hardware are functioning optimally. They are responsible for troubleshooting issues, maintaining data security, and ensuring that the technological infrastructure supports the center’s operations.
Client Acquisition and Relationship Building
In the busy world of call centers, getting customers and making good relationships is very important. Here’s how you can do it:
Networking and building relationships with decision-makers:
- Attend industry conferences, seminars, and workshops to meet potential clients and partners.
- Join industry-specific organizations and associations to expand your network.
- Collaborate with complementary businesses to offer bundled services.
Marketing strategies for attracting clients:
- Develop a solid online presence through a well-designed website, SEO, and content marketing.
- Utilize social media platforms to engage with potential clients and showcase your services.
- Offer promotions or trial periods to attract new clients.
Maintaining client relationships and ensuring high-quality service:
- Regularly solicit feedback from clients to understand their needs and address any concerns.
- Invest in training programs for your agents to ensure they provide top-notch service.
- Implement a robust CRM system to track client interactions and ensure timely follow-ups.
The call center industry in the Philippines has witnessed remarkable growth, boasting a compound annual growth rate of 10% over the past decade. This trajectory has elevated the Philippines as a premier destination for business process outsourcing (BPO), even outpacing traditional leaders like India.
Several factors have helped the Philippines become a top place for call centers. The Philippines has many people who speak English well and understand Western culture, which is great for dealing with Western customers. The Philippine government has been actively supporting the call center industry, offering unique rewards like tax breaks, and encouraging foreign companies to invest.
The call center industry in the Philippines has a great future and lots of possibilities. If done with careful planning and hard work, the Philippines can become even more famous in the BPO world.
Exploring the potential of the Philippines for call center operations? Look no further than SupportZebra. With their established presence in the heart of the Philippine BPO industry, they offer unparalleled expertise and a track record of excellence. Their deep understanding of the local landscape and global best practices ensure that clients receive top-tier service.
Businesses seeking a reliable and efficient call center partner in the Philippines will find SupportZebra a perfect fit. Join the ranks of satisfied clients and let SupportZebra elevate your customer service experience to new heights.