Historically, the industry’s growth has never faltered. Its annual average growth rate since 2006 has been impressive at 46 percent. Despite the US-led market meltdown in 2008, the industry earnings still increased to $6.1 billion up from $4.5 billion the previous year. It was enough to make it the third largest BPO destination in the world, after India and Canada.
The year 2009, however, was even better for the BPO industry. From $0.02 billion in 2001 the country’s BPO industry, which is comprised mainly of Philippine call center companies, brought in $7.3 billion in 2009. Of that amount, $5 billion came from the call center industry. This represents about 12% of the country’s Gross National Product.
What makes this feat even remarkable is that the Philippine call center industry posted positive earnings when most of the global economies were still reeling from the impact of the financial meltdown that sent the US into a deep recession. The industry grew by 25 percent while the overall Philippine economy managed less than 1 percent growth.
In the present year, Philippine call center service providers are already off to a great start. As the fading recession continues to give way to recovery, Philippine call center companies are already expanding operations in anticipation of the surge of business growth in the United States and Europe. In February, the country cornered 72 percent of the 25,700 new BPO jobs in the world, according to a recruitment, and training outfit for Philippine call center agents.
The industry also expects to expand its market to other countries as more Australian firms are looking to outsource to the Philippines, according to Gillian Joyce Virata, executive director for information and research of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP). There were also indications that the banking sector was considering the country as an outsourcing option, she added.
The emergence of the Philippine call center industry as a global powerhouse is largely attributed to the Filipinos’ high level of English proficiency. Philippine call center agents are not only fluent in American English but also have neutral accents. A neutral accent makes it easier for agents working in Philippine call center companies to interact with global customers whether they are from the US, Australia, New Zealand, or England.
The Filipino’s strong cultural affinity with the West, particularly the United States, has also contributed to the success of the Philippine call center industry. Since they are already very familiar with American popular culture and current events, Philippine call center agents have superior conversational skills over agents from other countries.
Philippine call center agents also have a reputation for delivering cost-efficient but high quality of outsourced work and live up to the strict performance metrics of international standards. Agents working in Philippine have garnered high ratings for their customer service, efficiency at work and courtesy. Furthermore, Philippine call centers are more popular among clients in the US, Canada and Europe than India.
Because of these qualities, many leading multinationals such as Caltex, Procter & Gamble, Barnes and Noble, among others, have tapped Philippine call center service providers for their customer service needs.
Additionally, the support the BPO industry has been receiving from the Philippine government has made the country even more competitive in the crowded marketplace. There is a need to maintain our supply of talent and focus on infrastructure, according to Ray Anthony Roxas Chua III, head of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT). One of the biggest boosts to the BPO industry is the creation of the Cyber Corridor.
The Cyber Corridor is composed of key cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao identified by the private sector, the academe and government as the strongest potential locations for Philippine call center companies as well as back office, software development, medical transcription, engineering design, animation and game development outsourcing.
The corridor allows BPO players to move outside Metro Manila and Metro Cebu, the two original cities that served as the main locations for Philippine call center operations. Ten urban areas being promoted as new destinations for the Philippine call center industry include Metro Laguna, Metro Cavite, and Lipa City in Batangas, all located south of Metro Manila. Metro and Central Bulacan and Metro Pampanga, just north of the Philippine Capital, are also part of the Cyber Corridor.
Other cities that comprise the Cyber Corridor can be found in the Central and Southern regions of the archipelago. Joining Bacolod are IIoilo, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro as alternative sites for the expanding BPO industry
Call Center Philippines
Philippine Call Center life has a character that harkens back to the good old days in the US when companies took pride in achieving together as a team. Call Center agents love competing against other agents and other teams for prizes or sometimes even for silly little things like ‘the loosing team has to do 20 pushups’.
Unlike some types of jobs, the value of an agent in a Philippine Call Center is on display every day in a ‘real time’ basis. It’s posted up on the production board for all his or her fellow agents to see. There’s never any doubt ‘who’s Number One’.
Depending on the type of work they’re doing, i.e. sales or non-sales related, agents in a Philippine Call Center can earn bonuses in the form of extra cash and/or prizes. Amazingly enough, sometimes prizes of items that would be considered very average and ordinary in the US are enthusiastically pursued by call center agents even more so than cash.
Filipinos tend to stay with companies that treat them well…..more so than US workers. They value jobs in call centers, especially in the top tier Philippine Call Centers, because of the opportunities for advancement, recognition and fun.
In fact, all the big BPO/Call Centers in the Philippines (most of which are located in Manila, the national capital) have department directors whose only job is to provide ‘fun’ things for the agents to do. They go on outings, sight-seeing trips, concerts, have sports days, special hobby classes…..anything that the agents can use to get their mind of their work for a while.
Most of the premium quality call centers in the Philippines are located in Manila but there are smaller ones scattered throughout the country. For example, Cebu City is the second largest city in the country and also has several mid-sized call centers. Those mid-sized and smaller call centers usually don’t have the expansive benefit packages and extracurricular activities that the ‘majors’ do thus many agents us them as a ‘stepping stone’ to work up to jobs in Manila with the majors.
If you’ve been wondering whether or not using a Philippine based call center would help your companys bottom line, we’d be happy to give you more information. We a US managed company which has been based in Manila, Philippines for over 10 years. We have the technologies and the well trained staff to assist you in cost effective, profitable business process outsourcing from the Philippines.
Call us today. Let’s talk. And we’ll give you a specific, written solution proposal if you’d like.