Philippine Contact Centers Looking Beyond U.S. to Drive Growth
July 25, 2008
The economic slowdown being felt throughout the world is helping to create a shift in the contact center market. Those offshore providers that offer domestic companies lower cost customer service operations are finding that the demand is growing for what they can deliver, but many are looking beyond the U.S. borders.
In fact, the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) has reported that local call centers are tapping other English-speaking markets as the economic slowdown is impacting the likelihood of increasing call center operations for U.S.-based companies.
The CCAP has 39 member companies, or 15 percent of the more than 200 call center operators in the country. As of the first six months of the year, the group’s members accounted for more than 50 percent of the industry’s workforce.
Jojo Uligan, CCAP executive director, noted that many industry players have discovered more clients by looking at other big markets such as Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Uligan also highlighted that while there may be reduced demand in certain U.S. industries, the need to reduce costs may actually lead to more outsourced work to countries such as the Philippines.
According to Uligan, the contact center industry remains confident of meeting its revenue target of $4.35 billion by the end of the year. This figure will account for 67 percent of the total revenues of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
Oscar Sanez, Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), said the industry is confident of meeting its $6.8 billion to $7 billion revenue target, especially now that the industry is targeting markets other than those just in the U.S. The U.S. market accounts for about 90 percent of the total Philippine industry clientele.
A variety of research studies completed on the global contact center industry have identified the Philippines as a strong and growing contact center region. Firms throughout the world can look to this area to establish contact centers with low overhead and skilled English-speaking employees.
In order to continue to drive growth, the major contact center players in the country understand that while there will continue to be opportunities out of the U.S., especially with the economic downturn, it is wise to look beyond its borders for other English-speaking opportunities.
By diversifying its efforts, the industry in this region will have more opportunities for growth and expansion and will not be reliant upon the economic strength or weakness of only one country. Such a move makes smart strategic sense for sustainable growth over the long term.