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In a dazzling city of Manila, the capital of the Philippines is described to be as busy as an anthill, thousands of call center agents are trooping to their respective workplaces not minding the bad weather condition due to rainy season and tropical cyclone that is commonly a normal event in the country’s geographic condition. When the clock strikes from 8 pm until wee hours is officially the starts of the day for the Filipino customer service representatives. This is the scene which you will observe in the Philippines brought about by the fast growing outsourcing industry occupying the gleaming towers in metro Manila. Largest call center operators also brought development and new culture to the Filipino agents in a way of uplifting their lives and be fitted in a fast-paced environment like of this one.
These workers are dealing with clients from all walks of life in which some were using pseudonym American names, donning with their headsets and placed phone calls to their clients as far as from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia in promoting products like Timeshare travel, collecting billings, credit cards, among others. Even on special holidays, call agents workers are required to appear on their schedule on time since their holidays are based in the US.
This is another culture which practiced in the outsourcing industry. For instance, there were numbers legal and non-legal holidays celebrated in this country, but if you work in a call center, there’s no break because you are dealing with 24/7 US office operations. Of course, the compensation is much different compared to the other field of professions. Even though you are required to render overtime or during holidays, everything is paid off, according to Florena V. Abanilla, a call center agent of Unique Interaction.
“It is hard at first but the continuous learning process I acquired from the training gives me the opportunity to improve my communication skills. Working in a highly regulated company is enjoyable,” the 30-year-old live chat support agent opined.
Ms. Abanilla disclosed that since the job requires a night shift schedule, she left her house in Bulacan, a province in the Northern Luzon at 5 pm in order for her to be at the office before her shift starts at 8 pm until 4 am.
“We are like nocturnal animals because we are awake in the evening and definitely sleeping in the morning. I am used to it and I am very happy with my job,” she said.
The former works previously as an area managers secretary at Prudential Life Plans Inc. for four years but quit her job and changed her career path to call center. She also narrated that she was chosen as the “best agent” wherein she was awarded the newest model Nokia cellphone.
The Philippines is considered to be one of the multi-cultural country in Asia. Its chronicle reflects the complexity of every Filipino because of its rich in cultural background, which is widely known in the world. The fragmented structure of the country because of its divided provinces in terms of island to island is also unique in some other countries. The country is also logging its best practices in terms of information technology which boost the country’s economy. Not only the country is known for its sweet hospitality in treating their visitors, customer service is also a way of showing the Filipino values in a telephony technology.
The outstanding call center management expertise of the Filipino agents have been recognized in the call center phenomenon. Showing concerns and putting ones shoes to another is a way of emphasizing the customers. Filipinos are carried away with their emotions especially if the customers are affected with the poor service they got from the package they purchased. If the worst scenario came, American customers showed uncomfortable by being irate and angry if still the concerns were not addressed thoroughly. This is something what makes Filipino proud because of their patients and flexibility many customers were happy on how they assist help to the customers’ concern. In a call center in the Philippines, the agents were trained the value of dealing all types of customers. The call center companies informed them that the customers are not angry with them, instead to the program they got. No matter the rudeness they showed, Filipinos still do their best to maintain the smooth conversation with them.
The trend of outsourcing is remarkable in the country because it now part of the government drive to maintain this industry. Every call center locators offered a world class facilities which makes their agents and employees feel the ambiance like that in their respective homes. The culture of working in a call center is inevitable. Many benefits also shared by 24-hour convenience stores circulated outside the skyscrapers offering different kinds of services. Young and older call center agents like hanging the finest resto and coffee shops spending their breaks together with other agents from different companies.
Call center brought wealth to the Philippines because of its tremendous success for a decade of its presence to the country. This was proved by the national government because they huge amount of revenues aside from the share being delivered continuously by the overseas Filipino workers (OFW). The world class facilities make the workers proud to work in an owned American company. This is only part of a burgeoning industry known as business process outsourcing (BPO) in which call centers is part of. The application of a Western management is delectable way because workers complies the US standards. Learning the American speech music is very interesting in dealing with clients.
This cultural trend strengthen the relationship between the Philippines and the US in continue to provide hope for every Filipino from poverty. The good thing, most contact centers offer attractive pacemaker in terms of benefits to their employees. World class facilities like spa and fitness gym, gaming area, sleeping quarters and freebies are some of the rewards which make their workers stay on their company. The agents also enjoy the getaway vacation award they received and discounts to movie houses and malls. Filipinos are also known for its multi-lingual skills aside from English, they can speak Spanish, Australian and British accent and others.
This culture will continue to grow in the next following years because of the excessive performance in the outsourcing industry. The Philippine government still believes that they achieve their goals by collaborating with other investors and convince them to forge deal with them.*