Philippines Department of Trade & Industry
The primary government agency with the dual mission of facilitating the creation of a business environment...
Cebu Investment Promotions Center
Contribute to the country’s goal of achieving economic growth towards poverty reduction...
Investing in the Philippines
Ensure that our consumers’ rights are protected and that they are entitled to value for money...
Philippines Board of Investments
Attached agency of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is the lead government agency responsible for the promotion of investments in the Philippines...
Doing Business and Investing in the Philippines
This Guide has been prepared for the assistance of those interested in doing business in the Philippines...
If you’re thinking of using a call center in the Philippines, you’re not alone. Over the last ten years thousands of multinational corporations have established relationships with a call centers in the Philippines. In fact, it is estimated that call centers in the Philippines will generate $9 billion in revenue in 2011 and employee over 350,000 call center agents. These numbers are impressive in their own right but much more so when you consider that the call center industry in the Philippines is only about 10 years old.
Before examining some of the advantages of using a call center in the Philippines, let’s first do a quick review of the call center industry for those that may be less familiar with it. Call centers began to appear commercially in the 1960s, and their availability has expanded many times over the last forty years. A call center is a centralized office used for processing large numbers of customer interactions by telephone. Calls are both incoming, meaning placed by a customer and received by the call center, and outgoing, meaning placed by the call center and received by a customer. These customer interactions are made for a variety of purposes, including product support, information gathering by customers, technical support, and sales or telemarketing. Where the volume of customer telephone calls is large, a call center may be the most effective method of call handling, providing improved call handling by telephone agents, as well as an improved customer service experience. Telemarketing effectiveness is also often enhanced with the use of a call center. Users of call centers include utility companies, financial services companies and debt collectors, mail order sellers, online retailers, entrepreneurs, and more.
More and more, call center operators in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other western countries are utilizing offshore call center services. This began in the 1980s when only simple customer response services were offered, but offshore call center services have become highly sophisticated, extending even to high level technical support. The advantage to the operator is often largely in cost of operations, since a primary cost in call center operations is labor, and labor costs offshore are often lower. Needless to say, attractive offshore providers of call center services are often found in developing countries, where rates of pay are significantly lower than in first world countries. Among these countries are India and the Philippines. Both of these countries have strongly burgeoning call center industries, with many call center providers in operation.
There are more than two hundred call centers presently operating in the Philippines. The Philippines is a strongly preferred offshore call center source for a number of reasons. Primary among these is language skills normally utilized by an operator at a call center in the Philippines. The Philippines is the world’s third largest English-speaking country, after only the United States and Great Britain. English is a primary language in the Philippines, and natives commonly speak English with no accent or regional inflection. People in the Philippines are also familiar with and versed in western culture, including especially that of the United States. The Philippines was an American territory early in the twentieth century, and was a strong American World War II ally. A common objection to having contact with an offshore call center heard from customers is that operators spoken to sound foreign due to speech and language. This is largely ameliorated with the use of Filipino call centers.
The Philippines offers great cost-cutting advantages to western call center operators. Typical wages for Filipino workers approach $4,000 per year. This is versus the common $30,000 to $40,000 per year in the United States. An operator at a call center in the Philippines will be employed at a substantial cost savings.
At the same time, reliability and quality of call center workers in the Philippines is in no way sacrificed just to achieve these cost savings. Employee turnover, for instance, is markedly low in the Philippines. Whereas in the United States call center turnover rates commonly approach fifty percent, in the Philippines it is often less than ten percent. The cost of rehiring and retraining call center staff is therefore significantly lower when using a call center in the Philippines.
The literacy rate in the Philippines is also very impressive, at above ninety percent. The Filipino population is very well educated, with more than 2,000,000 people per year graduating from high school and more than 400,000 people per year completing college educations. Education in the Philippines is prized, with many people participating even in ongoing post-graduate education.
The business climate in the Philippines largely mirrors that of the United States. American business practices and accounting and legal principals and systems are widely employed. Contributions to these principals and systems are regularly made by Filipino practitioners. The regulatory environment follows this familiarity, too, with American and western practices favored and protected by Filipino laws.
For these reasons and others, the Philippines has rapidly become one of the most highly sought after locations for western call center operators. The Philippines was even named the Offshoring Destination of the Year in 2007, 2009 and 2010 by the United Kingdom “National Outsourcing Association.” Growth and development of the industry continue in the Philippines, and the country is open to ongoing challenges and advancement.
If you’re interested in using the services of a Philippines call center, simply fill out the form on the left and one of our representatives will contact you to get an understanding of your needs and then offer you free introduction to a recommended partner.
We look forward to speaking with you!