Home-based outsourcing vs company outsourcing centers/call centers

Published: 03rd April 2012
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When business owners/managers think about cutting down costs to increase their profit, always part of the evaluations are on the employee side. As they evaluate the costs for salaries, they may have compared it to virtual staff cost or simply asked what if we have these responsibilities outsourced offshore. Offshore outsourcing especially from Philippines and India are evidently of lower cost. American, Australian, Canadian and other countries have been taking advantage of the low-cost labor from these countries. Lots of companies that have outsourced offshore reported big buck savings and many as well had been disappointed since most of the outsourcing service providers from these countries only caters to bigger companies and costs per seat is still expensive for a small and starting company. Most of these outsourcing centers (sometimes called call centers or bpo centers) will not accept contracting of just 1 or 2 seats. They always have to hit a margin of at least 5 seats for a start. Luckily some centers are accepting 1 or 2 seats but still a little expensive for a starting company.

Imagine a newly started family business with few transactions like order taking, price inquiries, research for some products or anything related to your business, flight bookings and or email and calendar management and you've been charged around USD 1100 a month for someone who will work on that in your behalf -- considering that you have just started your business and tasks are not that heavy yet but you do need someone to work on that so you could focus on the marketing side of your business. Maybe some would think that you have already saved much for that offer compared to hiring someone that will physically report to your office (giving salary plus other government required benefits). They're maybe right but you can still get more savings!!!

Most Centers are accepting contracts in hourly/monthly basis. Some that I know of will only accept $8 per seat and some are above $8 and $1000 and above on monthly basis. I am sure they have their own way of justifying their rates and i am sure as well that those could include the type of facilities used like their servers, systems, elegant-looking office, full support group like IT, HR and QA and Training Team and on top of those are the salaries plus the benefits to be given to those employees. If you just need someone to do General Admin tasks for you, do you need that support group? I don’t think so. So you are also somehow paying services you don’t require. For your virtual staff who will be working on general admin task, you'll only be needing a computer, internet and of course the skills of your virtual staff. You could also include the service of someone who will monitor the start time and task progress of your virtual staff but it is optional.

I have a friend who has been in the outsourcing industry for few months now. He has some virtual agents/staff there in the Philippines working 8am - 6pm EST. He told me outsourcing to the Philippines was great. Filipinos are very hardworking and very skilled. Most of his virtual staffs are college graduate. He has 5 agents doing lead generation, calling some residences in US and 1 acting as his Admin Assistant doing the reports and researches for him --basically general admin tasks. He is paying around $7,000 a month for his staff. But when he learned about the home-based setup still in Cebu, Philippines, he slowly shifted and changed to home-based. He is just paying $3.5 an hour, working 7.5 hours a day and 22 days a month. Slashing the cost to almost half of what is he has been previously paying --that's the additional saving part!!! Quality of the callers is still almost the same if not more and he said these people are happier since they are getting more income than working on the real centers. Bad side though is line quality sometimes are not too good as they will just be using broadband connection and he has to pay additional for the system costing him around $200 a month. Reports are call recordings he got from real company center and from these home-based group are absolutely the same (Audio recordings, sales report, call disposition report and call detail report). How did you learn about these guys? - I asked. They were referred by one of my call center agent (the VA), as she is one of these group. They are actually a group of freelance people who worked together to address the outsourcing needs of small and medium sized businesses. Their team is composed of HR, IT and Call Center Agents and called home-based outsourcing.

Making the decision to outsource is a big step in itself, but choosing the type of call center or any outsourcing service provider that is right for your business will be determined by your customers' specific demands. Home-based outsourcing may prove to be an effective way to build a seamless (and virtual) bridge between your business and customer needs.

Home-based Outsourcing –addressing the outsourcing needs of small and medium sized businesses by providing skilled and hardworking Filipino virtual staff.


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