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June 2014 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

By setting up operations in the Philippines, business owners will be able to get several benefits aside from significant cost savings.

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PR Marketing Myths and Facts

by: Sarah Joson

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Should You Believe These PR Marketing Practices?

A lot of marketers and consumers are still puzzled by the latest trends in the public relations (PR) industry and one particular platform that is still on the crosshairs of everybody is digital media.   

All of us are going through changes - evolution even. Businesses, lifestyles, and even trends are changing, which is why there’s no doubt that PR as well as the processes involving technology, are changing rapidly and are revolutionizing today’s marketing landscape.   

The popular PR myths are:

1. Content is all that matters.
In some cases, yes it is. But for marketers to maximize the benefits of content creation and promotion, they would have to map out a strategy that will serve as the foundation of the entire campaign. In fact, a study done by Vocus.com showed that only 60 percent of PR experts have a content marketing plan and religiously follow it. The others are missing out on what could have been a bulletproof campaign.

2. Innovative tools are utilized properly.     
A lot of people believe that since marketers are usually the ones who innovate, think out of the box, and influence consumers, they automatically become experts in using social media, owned content, and local advertising.

Online wisdom dictates that PR and marketing professionals are taking full advantage of campaigns that comprised social media, owned content, and local advertising, among other processes.

The truth is, only 53 percent of marketing practitioners maximize these tools, less than 49 percent employ SEO strategies, and only 34 percent consider mobile marketing.
3. A blog page will become your main source for traffic.

Having a blog is a great way for businesses to share and disseminate information about a product, company or event. The thing is, people often forget that there are numerous avenues that are more effective in bumping those numbers up.

All in all, surely there will be new myths and challenges in the marketing world, but keep in mind that compelling content, whether it be an article, video or graph, will trump all pre-determined PR and marketing strategies.

Value of Global Healthcare Outsourcing Industry in 2018

MarketsandMarkets, a renowned market research agency, recently released "Healthcare BPO Market Payer (Claims Processing, HR Services, Finance & Accounts), Provider (Medical Billing & Coding) & Pharmaceutical (Clinical Trial, Contract Manufacturing, & Non Clinical Services) - Trends & Forecasts (2013 - 2018)". Just last year, the global Healthcare BPO market was valued at an estimated $92,325.9 million. It is projected to post a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8% from 2013 to 2018, and is expected to be valued at $188,856.5 million by 2018.

The Healthcare BPO market is divided into payer, provider, and pharmaceutical outsourcing. It was also found that cost efficiency is still the main driver for the outsourcing activity in this market. Processes include claims processing, medical billing, and contract research.

Other functions such as HR services, finance and accounts, and sales & marketing are also being sent out by payer, provider, and pharmaceutical companies to help them focus on core functions.

The report also named the pharmaceutical outsourcing segment as the largest shareholder, taking 80 percent of the entire BPO market in 2013. However, with the recent modifications in healthcare rulings in the US and Europe, payer and provider outsourcing services are expected to increase their market share as well.

The report also divided the Healthcare BPO market according to source and destination geographies. The sources are US, Europe, and Rest of the World, while the destination geographies list is made up of India, China, the US, Europe, the Philippines, LATAM, the Middle East, and Rest of the World. The latest regulatory changes in the US propelled it as the leader of the healthcare BPO market, particularly the payer and provider segments.

The top providers in the Healthcare  BPO  market include Accenture (Ireland), Medusind (US), GeBBS Healthcare (US), Genpact Limited (Bermuda), Inventive (US), Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation (US), Lonza (Switzerland), Catalent (US), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany), DSM Pharma (US), Quintiles (US), Covance (US), PPD (US), Parexel (US), Charles Rivers Laboratories (US), and ICON (Ireland).


Philippines'Strong Economic Comeback

In a recent article posted at Investopedia.com, the Philippines was lauded for displaying one of the most noteworthy comebacks as of late. Times indeed have changed because the country is now basking in countless achievements and breakthroughs. It is even cited as a ‘tiger club’ and ‘Next Eleven Economy’. Back in the old days, it was one of the nations that lagged behind its neighbors.     
One of the key drivers of the impressive growth of the Philippines is the stability provided by the leadership of President Benigno Aquino III. With the current leader taking control of the unruly political environment, domestic and international confidence was slowly restored and became steadfast. In fact, the Philippines recently became home to the World Economic Forum on East Asia, a gathering attended by industry leaders, lawmakers, and global press groups to discuss business trends and opportunities.

It is safe to say that the Philippines went through immense changes over the last 10 years, because it has accumulated remarkable foreign exchange reserves and posted great earnings even if there were looming issues regarding interest rates and inflation.

The country also proved its resilience last year when it was hit by the strongest typhoon ever recorded, Haiyan. Despite the calamity, the Philippine economy grew 7.2 percent in 2013, putting it in 5th position in Southeast Asia. In line with that, IHS Inc. predicts that the annual economic growth of the Philippines for the period of 2016 to 2030 will be at 4.5-5 percent, and will be valued at $1.2 trillion by 2030.

Positive Activity Seen in the Philippine Stock Market 

With the strong performance of the Philippine economy, the stocks in the country have been observed to be performing well over the last four years. The PSEi Index posted year-to-date (YTD) earnings which are in excess of 16 percent in June of this year. Growth drivers are business process outsourcing (BPO), cement, and consumer products.

The Philippines has become an ideal BPO destination for its low labor costs and large workforce known for being proficient in English. It is expected to generate at least 110,000 jobs in the coming years.

However, the article pointed out that there has been no record of a publicly listed company that invests in BPO firms. Investors are advised to capitalize on companies that are currently being fuelled by BPO. These include real estate and property development. Some of the notable players in this segment are: Megaworld Corp. (MEG), Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI), Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC), SM Investments Corp. (SM), and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPH).

Now, industry leaders should figure out how to sustain the growth of the Philippine economy. They should be cautious not to rely on the BPO sector and remittances from overseas Filipino workers too much. Other industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism can also be further developed.

Customer Service on Social Media - Part 3

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Social Media Tone is Everything

The previous article, Customer Service on Social Media - Part 2, let us in on the reasons behind unanswered complaints on social media. Clearly, not all businesses have taken full advantage of social media customer care. But how about automated responses?
Tone Is Everything
All panelists agreed that when implementing social media customer care, canned responses are unacceptable. Responses must be personal, and it’s important to strike the right tone.
According to Mook, at Barclays, the challenge was shifting their tone of voice: talking to Apple customers in their tone; talking to NFL customers in their tone as well.
Buckridee said using the right tone requires continuous daily coaching and training. What could appear as a funny response to one customer may offend another, so you have to keep monitoring. Buckridee shared how her team might look at a customer’s social profiles before sending out a response. They try to make it look real-time, but they’re really doing a ton of research in the back.
Despite its challenges, social media customer care presents an enormous and growing opportunity for businesses to nurture strong customer relationships. But remember that it works both ways - you can’t expect your customers to keep engaging with your brand if you don’t respond. Make sure to maintain the engagement through the entire product life cycle, or someone else will.

Customer Service on Social Media - Part 2

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Monday, June 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Successful Customer Service through Social Media

In the post last Friday, Customer Service on Social Media - Part 1, we talked about consumers' rising expectations and how companies are adapting to the changing times via social media. Panelists at the Wharton Social Media Best Practices Conference gave us insights on social care as well as a peak into their social media strategies.
Today's article tackles customer complaints and the reasons behind unanswered ones.
Many Unanswered Complaints
So far, businesses have not taken full advantage of social media customer care. According to a study by evolve24, a Maritz Research company that specializes in social media analytics, approximately 70% of customer service complaints made on Twitter are left unanswered. The study is from 2011, but the panelists believe that there hasn't been a significant change in the percentage.
The reason behind unanswered complaints might not only be for lack of trying. There are barriers that companies and industries face in their efforts to fully manage social media care.
Monitoring the social space - just imagine the amount of conversations out there - to locate discussions about your brand can be daunting. Some companies, even with a fairly large team for social customer service compared to most small businesses, take months to be able to look beyond just mentions to their handle - and that extends from your typical social networks to influential blogs in your industry.
Then there are regulatory issues. In the banking industry, for instance, Buckridee shared that the only thing they can take even via direct message on Twitter is name and zip code, so they have to route them through other channels. Also, any links tweeted out by the bank are audited, and the link must take customers directly to the relevant page with a single click.
Lastly, not a lot of companies are ready to invest in social media care. Often, the individuals responsible for budget-making decisions are not active in social media, and this becomes a hindrance. Decision makers still think that Facebook is only for teenagers, and are fearful of blunders, because blunders get so widely publicized. What they need to understand is that a community isn't built through outreach or listening alone; there has to be engagement.

Customer Service on Social Media - Part 1

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Friday, June 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Using Social Media for Customer Service

What do you do when your flight is cancelled at an ungodly hour and the airline insists on rebooking you and your spouse on two separate flights? Or are you live streaming a basketball game you just couldn't miss and you suddenly can’t connect to the Internet? Or have you been waiting for hours in an examining gown to see your dermatologist? Or your favorite pizza stop that says it is open Sundays until 11, isn't?
Like millions of consumers around the globe, you’ll probably log on to Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, and complain to your friends, family, followers, and the world about the terrible service you are experiencing. You might even locate the company’s Twitter handle or Facebook page and complain directly. Will people there answer? How quickly? Will they actually help? And will you go back to social media and report that you are now a satisfied customer, or rant even more about their misguided response, or the complete lack thereof?
Companies today meet their customers on social media. Now that social networks are an essential part of the culture, using them for customer care has become a business necessity. That was the message from panelists at the recent Wharton Social Media Best Practices Conference session "The Real Value of Social Media for Customer Service."
This article features the three main topics discussed during the session, and that marketers and consumers should take note of:
Rising Expectations
Dennis Stoutenburgh, co-founder of Stratus Contact Solutions, recalled how a year ago, getting a social media response from a brand on a customer issue pleasantly surprised consumers. Now, we’re at the point where companies get criticized if they don’t respond to customer complaints.
Today, companies of all sizes have their own Twitter handles and, in some cases, a second handle dedicated solely to customer support. This is evident in most companies in the airline, banking, and credit card industries. According to panelists at the session, however, that’s only one step along the journey to effective social media customer service, which they also referred to as "customer care" or "social care".
Bianca Buckridee, Vice-president of social media operations for JPMorgan Chase, shared an advantage she sees in social care: customers can go to her company’s Twitter page and actually see the individual with whom they are talking. This, she feels, restores some of the familiarity and comfort that is lost in a phone conversation. They even have customers returning to the channel asking for specific customer care specialists, saying that that individual knows exactly what they’re going through.
Another advantage identified by Buckridee is having a customer service team that crosses its line of business. Customers can tweet one handle and get help for a number of things. Having a team of customer service representatives ensures that your customers’ inquiries are answered in real time.
Brian Mook, Assistant Vice-president of social media for Barclaycard US, described how his team prepared for the launch of the company Twitter care handle in the first quarter of 2013: by having an intensive customer listening campaign to identify pain points and trends during the first few months of the year.
American Airlines established its social media presence back in 2009 with an outside agency, but brought the process in-house in 2011. The airline company now has 17 employees dedicated to social customer service, four to brand engagement and one to social media measurement and reporting. The focus of American Airlines in the social space this year is closely aligned with the company’s massive brand transformation initiative. Katy Phillips, a senior analyst in social communications for AA, said what’s important to them is to go from being vigilant about protecting their brand reputation in the social space - which all should be doing anyway - to really building customer loyalty, continuing to create ‘wow’ moments for their customers.

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