Case Study: Contact Center Outsourcing
Offshore Customer Support Leads to $20M in Cost Savings for American SaaS Company
Long-term tech client stays competitive with a target-smashing team in the Philippines
Offshore Contact Center
This business automation and digital marketing organization serves more than 400,000 diverse, local customers. With a decades-long history and a recent reinvention, the software as a service (SaaS) company now employs ~2,500 people and thrives in a highly competitive industry with the likes of HubSpot, Wix, Salesforce, and vCita.
In 2015, the client engaged HGS to provide subscriber triage and support services through phone, chat, and email from one of our Philippines locations. With 50 to 65 HGS agents, the client has since enjoyed high NPS and quality results, while saving an estimated $20M* during the life of the contract.
*based on today’s labor rates and headcounts, compared to a typical US-based, outsourced contact center
The client sought a lower-cost geography with a culture aligned with North America’s in order to field straightforward subscriber questions about accounts, portals, and agreements, while escalating sales- and help-desk inquiries to in-house teams in the US.
The client embraced Iloilo City, Philippines, because it has a similar labor pool as Manila without the number of competing BPOs – a critical factor for employee retention, labor arbitrage, and cost containment.
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The Philippines is renowned for its empathetic and articulate talent, and our site in Iloilo is no different. While our approach to meeting this client’s needs is straightforward, we take pride in remaining brilliant at the basics, even as technologies and marketplaces change.
Following are some of this engagement’s key elements.
Because we’ve found that agents and their leaders appreciate the predictability and the camaraderie that develops when they see the same people every day, we operate three fixed shifts. Indeed, our on-site leadership team has been providing reliable service since day 1, with absolutely no leader turnover! Due to this long tenure, there is mutual trust and openness with the client. Although our clients are always welcome to our office, they rarely visit in person because the video clips, soundbites, and pictures that we send keep them involved in every call, every meeting, every team, and every celebration.
The client provides the key metrics and volume forecasts, and we provide an enthusiastic team with great customer service skills for one, fixed, all-inclusive, comparatively low price. Our performance regularly exceeds targets, but if there are ever any concerns, the client can monitor status using their own technology.
Our team leads, managers, and shared services (HR, training, quality, WFM) specialists have direct lines of communication with the clients’ director of operations and training manager. By chat and phone, we share insights, ask questions, tweak processes, and solve problems in real time.
Our recruiters source, interview, and shortlist qualified candidates, and all new hires meet with HGS leaders and a client rep before joining the team. Our recruitment team has developed sound screening techniques to ensure agents have the commitment, communication abilities, technical skills, work ethic, and attitudes/values required. Client reps have endorsed practically every proposed new hire.
The Philippines has a collectivistic culture, where close-knit families and a strong sense of community are held in high regard. To bond with co-workers and the brand, every agent participates in 4 weeks of new hire training and 4 weeks of on-the-job shadowing using the client’s curriculum and processes. Through rewards, recognition, and community initiatives (e.g., food and back-to-school drives, and orphanage and senior center visits), engagement levels remain high even after training ends. Employees in Iloilo love to connect, and the low levels of absenteeism (2%) and attrition (3.5%) show our efforts to engage are working.
Offshore Contact Center
Year after year, we have delivered solid results that this SaaS client can take straight to investors.
$20M* in labor cost savings
over the 8-year contract
100% average service level
+58 NPS (average NPS for SaaS companies is 36)
99% voice queue quality score
over a 90% target
<2% agent absenteeism rate
over a 5% target
52% of agents have stayed
for more than 12 months
Only 4-5 new hire training classes
required per year
+18% YOY growth in active users
(as reported to investors), and HGS contributed!
Offshore Contact Center