The Philippines has remained an attractive location for multinational call centers to setup offshore offices since 2000. It was here they strategically positioned voice-related customer services (order taking, telephone answering services, live chat, help desk, technical support) to serve a large number of customers in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Starting with 4 contact centers setting up shop in the Philippines 10 years ago, there are more than 190 centers with 280 sites in 2008 across the archipelago. Now, there are even locally-ventured firms servicing customers particularly the major and emerging small business segment. In the industry’s Roadmap 2010 – a collaborative plan of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), consulting company McKinsey & Co., government agencies, individuals in academe, and private sector leaders – the Philippine offshore and outsourcing industry aims to reach 10% of the addressable global market by 2010. Voice services account for more than half of the industry, followed by higher value-added fields such as software development and back-office, which includes accounting, finance and human resources. The demand for gaming and animation is rising steadily. Medical transcription is an emerging value-added field to watch out for in the coming years. Leveraging on the country’s strengths in voice, some call center companies are now offering “blended” services or comprehensive front- and back-office and end-to-end services. The success and reputation the country now enjoys is attributed to the English proficiency of its workforce, low wage, low operating costs and the customer service-oriented culture. Today, the Philippines looks into the future, moving more quickly than ever before to reap in the benefits, and to capitalize on its current position as one of the world’s top outsourcing destinations.
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