Young professionals in the business process outsourcing industry have the opportunity to become chief executives, according to a co-founder of call center company TaskUs Philippines.
Bryce Maddock, chief executive and co-founder of TaskUs Philippines, speaks from his experience. He says TaskUs started as a virtual personal assistant company with a core group of five and grew to an international workforce of more than 1,500 “ridiculously” talented individuals.
“Inspired by the Philippines’ promising growth, we gambled to expand our business in the country after our first start-up year. Turns out, the decision gave us a rewarding outsourcing experience,” Maddock says.
His partnership with TaskUs co-founder Jaspar Weir resulted in a budding organization that many of the world’s most innovative and disruptive companies in the world trust today. TaskUs was listed as one of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s 100 fastest growing private companies in 2014.
“Growth is always earned, but the real reward is not growth itself—it is the number of lives we changed, starting from our employees right down to their families. Now, we’re more than ready to share our secret with ambitious young entrepreneurs who would like to embark on this same venture,” says Maddock.
For a successful outsourcing business, Maddock cites seven major factors—experience, location, accent, redundancy and disaster planning, security, technology and client portfolio—all of which can launch an aspiring BPO professional’s career.
Getting experience within an international BPO firm is essential for success, according to Maddock, but he also advises aspiring BPO professionals to be selective when it comes to where they work.
“Not all BPOs operate the same way. Most of the big, traditional BPO firms have large workforces and a lot of bureaucracy. This type of environment won’t permit you to learn the business from the inside out,” he says.
Smaller, more modern BPOs like TaskUs, on the other hand, emphasize career development and are more likely to give employees the ability to have an impact and get hands-on experience, says Maddock.
The Philippines’ edge over other countries is its capacity to offer lower office rates. In fact, office rental rates in the Philippines remain the lowest in Asia, costing $29 per square feet per annum.
Maddock says, “Choosing a strategic location will affect many other aspects of your decision.” Therefore, starters should consider the country’s exchange rate, stability of government infrastructure, the nation’s culture and environment, as well as its economic landscape.
“For a successful call center, you’ll need a team of highly qualified people with accents that are easy for your customers to understand,” says Maddock. He says accent is important because you want the transition from in-house customer support to a call center to be as seamless and undetectable to your customers as possible, and utilizing a call center with minimal or undetectable accents allows you to streamline your business without harming your brand image.
Any successful business has redundancy and disaster plans. A call center needs to have an adequate planning for emergencies as determined by the American Express to provide uninterrupted service to the company in any emergency situation.
For this, a call center needs to have back-up plans for situations such as power failures, Internet outages, transportation allowance for your employees during storms, and the like.
Extensive security measures are also important in maintaining the company’s physical and technological security. Having a call center should never jeopardize any of proprietary data, and one way to do this is to have round-the-clock security guards and the necessary information security technology in place.
“Prioritize your employees’ safety as well as your company’s data to provide the best outcome,” he says.
Maddocks says in today’s digital environment technology is a critical factor. Aspiring BPO professionals must make sure their call center has leading edge technology and the capability to meet the needs of both the company and its clients.
“To check whether you are on the right track, deliberate on your center’s capability of handling the type of outsourcing service you need, your experience in utilizing the software, and whether or not a technical consultant is highly called for,” he says.
Portfolio of clients
Maddocks says a call center needs to look at the roster of companies it is working with and check if they are a good fit for the business. Doing so will help one get a better understanding of what their offerings are and what companies they best suit.
On a personal note, Maddock says the company’s Philippine workforce can deliver unparalleled outsourcing services to their customers worldwide, and it’s an advantage for any business to thrive in the country’s outsourcing milieu.
“All it takes is a little creativity, patience, and determination to turn nothing into something. That’s where we started—and that’s where you should, too,” he says.