Category Archives: Philippines

A Filipino Call Center gets a 250 seater job from!

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A company just called me from the Philiipines about their call center. They said they had a listing on and just was offered a huge job. The job was from a huge company who is going to test them out with a sixty day job for ten seats. If all goes well, then they will be needing 250 call center representatives from this company to help them out. The call center in Manila who got this job is going to be purchasing multiple listings from us now that they know our directory attracts serious business. This particular assignment is a multi-million dollar contract and I am proud to say it derived from the hard work I put into my online directory over the past several years! Many call centers advertise with us, but this is the best story so far.

If you want to get more business to your call center or call centers, contact us at and we can discuss your options. “Regular” positions are US$200 per year and show up above the free listings on our site. If you are serious about any type of outsourcing profession and want to advertise, we would love to hear from you!

Outsourcing to the Philippines — things I noticed

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I have never outsourced to the Philippines myself, at least not yet. I like certain attributes that the Filipinos have as a culture. I have been made aware of several tendencies that you might want to be aware of.

The Philippines is very integrated with the West as far as business is concerned. It is common for Caucasians to live in Manila, Cebu or other outsourcing destinations in the Philippines. Westerners find the culture comfortable, friendly, and inviting, not to mention the warm climate. It is normal for Westerners to work at multinational Filipino companies in management and sales.

What I learned is that they are great talkers. They are smooth, friendly, and fun to talk to. Even the Westerners that live in the Philippines conform to this norm. The accent is different, but the message is still the same. The minute I tried to get anyone to email me information it was like pulling teeth. I tried to get a German guy managing a small company in Manila to return a quote to me. I asked twice and then gave up. I asked a Filipino manager and call center worker to return a quote to me. I had to ask five times and finally got it. Filipinos and often foreigners who live there are wonderful orally and horrible about writing anything down or returning emails.

There is yet another experience I had. The lady was the nicest person I have ever spoken to in my life. Her photo was a knock-out too. She was the most beautiful female I have ever seen — at least by photo. Later, I noticed broken links on their site, and a failure to return emails.

My last example really cost me. My dentist is also from the Philippines. She is a wonderful person and great at her work. But, her record keeping is in handwriting, and not that organized. Although I see her four times a year for cleaning — We/she forgot to give me x-rays for a few years, and I had to have a root canal.

The bottom line is to appreciate the people from the Philippines, but just don’t expect much from them in terms of written communication. If you get lucky and find someone who is punctual and methodical about emails and keeping records that is great. Just expect that you will have a very difficult time getting them to write or type much.

(1) Filipinos are great on the phone, but how good are they at written communication?
(2) The Philippines is very integrated with the West as far as business is concerned.

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Call centers in the Philippines are getting more expensive than India

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Although the Philippines seems to be a country that is permanently cursed with poverty, prices for labor might seem expensive relative to India. The Rupee has been losing ground for the last several years. It went from around 40 per dollar to around 60+. Will this devaluation ever end? India has the corner on the market for price, but few companies have ever had a positive experience with an Indian call center.

The Philippines has over 1000 call centers. They are distributed all around the country. However, a huge percentage (roughly two thirds) are in urban areas near Manila such as Makati City, San Juan, Ortigas Center, Manila Proper, and Quezon City.

Call center outsourcing in the Philippines is not that old. It started in 1999 when Cyber City created an outsourcing facility in a former US Air Force base in Clark. That created a trend that really took off (no pun intended.) A decade ago, India had a huge lead in the call center industry, but now Philippines is #1 in line for being the biggest international outsourcing location for call center work.

(1) Call center prices in Manila are more than Mumbai due to fluctuating exchange rates!
(2) Call center outsourcing in the Philippines started in 1999 at a former air force base.

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Half a million Filipino call center workers are on American time

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500,000 Filipinos live on American time! Their bodies are still in the Philippines, but could be said to be emotionally in the United States. They work and sleep on an American time zone. Additionally, they take their vacations when America is on vacation. Imagine celebrating the 4th of July in the Philippines! It sounds dreadful. Next, if disaster hits in a part of America, they become more involved with that snowstorm, power outage, or mud-slide than they would be if a tsunami or hurricane hit their motherland.

There is some sort of an emotional divorce that happens between the call center workers in the Philippines and “regular” folks. They just can’t relate to each other the same way after getting their call center job.

I have personal experience with this type of life. I sometimes will be on the phone with India all night for weeks in a row. I lived in India a few times before as well. But, this didn’t divorce me from our locals here in Los Angeles. I still relate to them the same way I did before. I relate to individuals — or not!

But, I think there is some truth to the fact that the first time in your life that you become immersed in a 2nd culture, a gap is created between you and your countrymen. There is just too much that you become familiar with that they know nothing about. It creates a huge division.

But, there is relief to having what I call a “bicultural gap.” In the Philippines they solve the problem by drinking beer, hard alcohol and consuming vast quantities of fried chicken! Maybe it is not the most healthy way, but they will figure that out when they get into their late thirties and forties!

(1) 500,000 Filipinos live, eat, sleep, and work on American time
(2) Their bodies are in Manila, but emotionally they are in the US #callcenterworkers

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Call Center Manila News

Categories: Call Center, Philippines, Popular Posts | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

To see the article:
10 ways to gain clients for your call center — click below

Call Center Manila News
Manila Call Centers are expected to grow in total revenues due to grow due to increased internal demand as well as increased outsourcing revenues.  Additionally, Indian companies are now outsourcing jobs to Filipino call centers.  The continued recovery of the global economy will also help to fuel growth.  According to abscbn news, Filipino call centers could have total revenues in excess of over 7.38 billion dollars which seems like an optimistic figure considering that total revenues were less than six billion this year.
CCAP’s president claims that 350,000 currently work at Filipino call centers, many of which are Manila call centers.  India only has 330,000, and the Philippines has taken the lead over india in call center revenues this year.
Additionally, Manila call center employees are reported to be having less regular mealtimes, and indulging in an excess of caffeine, fast food, and alcohol.  A study indicatd that Filipino call center employees skip many meals.  40% skip breakfast (the most important meal of the day), 20% skip lunch, and 16% skip dinner.  The most popular foods included fried chicken, chips, fries, and burgers in that order for Filipino BPO workers.  Coffee consumption was 2.3 cups per day compared to the national average off 1.7 cups.  Filipino BPO employees also prefered drinking to partying or other leisure activities.  It looks like the lifestyle of a Manila call center staff member needs to be more health conscious and less stressful.  Maybe a walk in the park would be good!

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India & China compete for outsourcing revenues

India & China Compete for Outsourcing Revenues

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China and India compete for outsourcing work.
Amoung the top several outsourcing nations, India ranks #1 with China and the Philippines next in line.  India’s outsourcing revenue from April 2010 to March 31st 2011 is expected to be US$60-62 billion and was roughly 50 billion the previous year. China’s outsourcing revenue was roughly 36 Billion last year, but is expanding faster than India’s outsourcing revenue.  The future is showing that in addition to China, many other nations are going to be catching up to India in the outsourcing industry.
Indian Outsourcing
Although India is currently the world leader in outsourcing revenue, there are many factors that are governing its growth rate.  Factors leading to a slowdown in the expansion of Indian outsourcing lie in high attrition rates, poor infrastructure, lack of cultural affinity wiht the West, and rising wages.  However, factors in India’s favor include: a reputation of being great at outsourcing, an emphasis on enforcing patent laws, and a diversity of outsourcing services that goes well beyond call centers and IT.  Indian companies provide dozens of outsourced services including data entry outsourcing, legal process outsourcing, market research, payment processing, accounting, web design, SEO,  and pharmaceutical research which is one of India’s newest outsourcing growth industries.
Pharmaceutical analytical services performed in India are less expensive, better quality, have shorter delivery times, and less downtime than if done in other countries. Additionally, intellectual property protection is excellent in India while China has a questionable reputation in this regard.  Pharmaceutical outsourcing is one of India’s new growth industries which is expected to become a multi-billion dollar industry in India in only a few years.
Although the Chinese can compete with India for IT services, and Filipino call centers are gaining market share from India, India has a safe position in the outsorucing industry because they offer dozens of other outsourcing services which are not threatened by foreign competition.
Chinese Outsourcing
China has paved the road for a bright future in quickly growing its outsourcing industry. China has incentives for industries providing outsourcing services which helps to stimulates growth in this sector.  Incentives include removing taxes on outsourcing businesses.
China can easily compete with India for IT work, however China lacks workers with good English language skills which is a huge deficit for many types of outsourcing work. 
One of the main reasons China has such a promising future in outsourcing is that China is investing in new infrastructure in ecomonic zones faster than any other country.  New roads, dams, buildings, and other infrastructure are being built really quickly in China.  China’s capacity for getting projects completed quickly is one factor that works to their advantage.  China has also worked on building good internet connections and developing workers technical skills.
Putting skills, prices, and infrastructure behind, China’s outsourcing industry is growing at 30% while India’s is growing at 14%.  China’s overall economic growth has been a few percent faster than India’s over the last few years, and their growth in outsourcing is also surpassing India’s.
Filipino Outsourcing
The Philippines is a distant third in the global outsourcing market.  Their services are mostly confined to call center and medical transcription work due to their good command of English.  The Filipino call center industry is neck and neck with India, both commanding slightly less than 6 billion per year, but the Philippines looks like it will be taking the lead, once again to their excellent language skills and cultural closeness to the United States.
Its hard to see where the outsourcing industry will be in 2020, but my guess is that China will dominate with India in second place.  Filipino, Indonesian and African companies will also probably gain a higher overall percentage of market share leaving India with a relatively stagnant revenue in the long run.  The overall outsourcing industry will most likely grow tremendously in the next ten years, but Indias percentage of the total looks like it will be shrinking slowly over the next decade.

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When you hire call center workers: have an overseas friend evalutate them

Categories: Philippines, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Are you in the Philippines or India? Do you hire call center workers who seem great by your standards. Well, guess what? Your standards don’t matter! It is the standards of the people wherever you are calling or receiving calls from that matter.

Are you doing incoming calls from Canada? You better have a friend in Canada who puts in his 2 Canadian Cents worth telling you what he thinks of your new call center employee. Getting calls from Delhi? Well, you had better ask some Delhi-ites what they think. After all, their standards are a bit different than standards in other parts of India, right?

Get workers who are attractive to your audience. This is not rocket science, but you do have to ask around and keep your eyes open. In the long run, the call centers that win are the ones that go overboard to please their clients. Do you try to please your clients? If so, how much do you try to please your clients? Are there a few MORE things you could do to please your clients? How often do you talk to your clients to ask them if there is anything else that you can do?

If it were me, I would run my call center workers one by one through a set of demanding people in various parts of the world. I would write down all opinions from all of my “judges”. It is so funny, because these days there are reality shows throughout the world where people will get up and sing before judges, or cook before judges. Each judge has something to say.

The sauce was too strong, and the cucumbers didn’t seem like they were “part” of the dish — they seemed like something you just threw in.

You can put your call center workers before judges and get critiques… That is easier than having your client tell you that you are fired because HIS customers didn’t like your new guy or your new girl. Think ahead and scrutinize your people — or someone else will.

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Cebu Call Centers in the News

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Call Center Cebu News issues
Expanded Broadband for the Philippines
As PLDT completes its expansion of the domestic fiber optic network, Cebu’s potential as an outsourcing destination gets better and better.  Broadband costs could get lower too.  An increase in call center investments is expected to create many new jobs in the Philippines that will likely mean that the 60 BPO companies in Cebu could expand and that new Cebu call centers could arise.  The new network goes through eleven islands and underwater and is expected to ensure uninterrupted broadband coverage for the entire nation.
Asiatown IT Park
In addition to Cebu call centers, there is an Asiatown IT Park in Cebu which is the Philippines second largest concentration of IT industries employing an excess of 15,000 individuals.  
BPOs including Indian companies are outsourcing to Cebu!
Wipro, a Bangalore based company, set up a call center in Cebu in 2007.  eBusiness BPO is ready to hire 350 employees for its new headquarters in Cebu in December 2010.  Additionally, the Radisson Blu has opened a 400 room hotel in Cebu.  
Hoax bomb threat near Cebu Call Centers
There was a false bomb threat that lead to the vacating of a Cebu city Asiatown IT Park building.  An unidentified caller was the individual who made the threat.  Two K9 teams were unable to find any explosives.
To summarize, Cebu, in the Visayas region, is a major economic hub in the Philippines which caters to the call center and BPO industry. As time goes on, you can expect large businesses to be setting up branches in Cebu, especially if they need to have a high quality call center.

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Philippines is #2 in non-voice outsourcing?

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Philippines is #2 in non-voice based outsourcing?

2011 was a special year for the Philippines.  They passed India to become the #1 country in call center outsourcing (voice-supported outsourcing).  But, the Philippines is #2 now in non-voice services according to
Many companies are pleased with their outsourcing ventures with the Philippines, and there are many advantages.  But there are disadvantages in outsourcing to the Philippines that you might not think of.  Corruption, bureaucracy, poor infrastructure, abject poverty, and a suceptability to natural disasters!
When companies outsource, they might be making an equation regarding, how the language skills of the employees are, cost, ease of communication, level of experience and technical saavy.  But, how many companies integrate the possibility of a severe tsunami, flood, hurricane, or other disaster into the picture.  It is so unpredictable, that even if you do take these factors into consideration, you will not know how to weight them.
Look at what happened in Thailand a few months ago.  Everything was fine, and then they had a horrible flood in July 2011 along the Mekong and Chao Phraya rivers.  Can you imagine if you give all of your call center work to a company near a river in Asia, and then all of a sudden, your workers have to take an inflatable boat to work — assuming work is still there?   I worry about this too!
Putting aside these risks that are hard to evaluate, the Philippines has a great work force of friendly people with superb English language and cultural skills.  So, don’t worry, be happy… and take your altimeter with you when you visit your prospective call centers in the Philippines. Remember that high ground needs to be on the requirement list!

(1) 2011 was the year that Philippines passed India to become #1 in Call Center Outsourcing
(2) Disadvantages in outsourcing to the Philippines: Corruption, bureaucracy, poor infrastructure, natural disasters!
(3) If you outsource to SE Asia, if there is a flood, your workers might need an inflatable boat 2go 2work!

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