The Philippines was recently hailed as the “Call Center Capital of
the World,” and with good reason. Due to our excellent command of
English, great communication skills, and relatively young workforce,
many BPO centers around the world have decided to call the country
In fact, the latest data shows that their numbers
will just keep growing. The BPO sector is expected to “generate $40
billion in revenues, 7.6 million direct and indirect jobs, 500,000
jobs outside of the National Capital Region, and cover 15 percent of
the total global outsourcing market by the end of 2022.”
industry is booming, and it’s not stopping anytime soon.
However, when you run a BPO company, things can get very hectic.
Aside from monitoring various time shifts in a day, you’re also
fielding thousands of calls from customers in not-so-great moods.
When your callers hail from all over the world, there’s also the
challenge of crossing multiple cultural and communication barriers
With so many factors to consider, it’s no
wonder that call centers zero in on a key KPI: customer
satisfaction. Once this metric is met, the rest of the business
This is why many BPO leaders prioritize call
center training for their agents above all. High-quality agents
spell high satisfaction ratings. With new and unique cases happening
every day, call center representatives must learn how to adapt to
any situation. More than that, they must still maintain their
professionalism, solve the customer’s problem, and end the call on a
lighter note than when it started—all at the same time.
this, the urgent question we must ask then is, how does one keep up?
When it comes to operating a BPO enterprise, how do you ensure that
the constant learning these agents need happens on a wide scale, at
an accelerating rate, on budget, and with consistent quality?
Practice Makes Perfect—Among Other Things
answers emerged when call center customers were asked what their
expectations were during calls. First, they expect their problems to
be attended to and solved quickly. Second, they prefer having a
personal interaction with the agents they talk to. Lastly, they want
assurance that these agents know what they are doing and are able to
handle their concerns. In other words, clients value speed,
empathy, and competency—three skills that call center
representatives can only learn through continuous, hands-on
However, studies show that consistent, hands-on
practice is only part of the equation. After all, while the 10,000-hour rule —as popularized by
Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers—still holds, the quality of the
practice that one does is what truly affects the outcome.
It’s not simply about doing the same work over and over
again—it’s also about getting better each time you do. Coined as
“deliberate practice,” the goal to mastery (or even just to
competency) for any individual involves challenging yourself to do
better work each time.
There are many ways to facilitate
this: one involves having a great mentor who can point out blind
spots consistently—then challenge you to overcome it the next time
around. This is great for individual learners. However, it’s not
exactly a cost- nor time-efficient way to scale learning in an
organization—especially not one as large as a call center
Enter collaboration: a growing body of research has
emerged illustrating the benefits of cooperative learning. In
summary, having small teams that use a variety of activities to
understand a subject together can be more effective than learning on
When you foster a supportive learning environment
where each member is: a) responsible both for learning the subject
matter, and b) helping their peers learn the same, deeper learning
emerges. So, when you’re trying to execute deep learning on a
widespread scale, clearly this strategy of utilizing social networks
can be the more effective choice.
After all, call centers
aren’t even bound by location: usually, companies branch out to
multiple locations to serve as many clients as possible—sometimes
even in remote cities or countries. To achieve consistency in the
quality of learning across all levels of the organization (and all
locations, too), one must utilize effective real-time collaboration
tools that can empower employees instead of hinder them.
concrete example of this is holding webinars launched from the head
office. Cloud solutions such as G Suite or collaboration solutions
such as Web Conferencing can enable best practices to be shared
across multiple branches—all without paying for the cost of
transportation or food, saving precious work hours in the process.
This not only preserves the quality of learning, but it also
displays how utilizing your own social network can make your unit
smarter as a whole.
Another strategy can be the use of
telepresence: holding peer-to-peer study groups can help teams learn
better, deeper. Qualified trainers can facilitate these learning
sessions even when they’re offsite or working in a remote office.
Aside from incentives being given to teams for their customer
satisfaction goals, new ones centered around learning milestones can
also be put in place.
Learning Beyond Limitations
At the end of the day,
the continued growth of the BPO industry spells only good things for
the local economy and the business landscape. Empowering individuals
to become better at their jobs will ultimately lead to the
empowerment of organizations. Not only will customers be better off,
but businesses will be, too. There is always room for learning,
improvement, and growth—regardless of the size of your