Industry Research : Demand Rising for Voice Call Services
Voice call centers continue to drive the outsourcing boom in the Philippines. The industry noted that there has been a growing demand for voice call services for banking, finance and insurance. Healthcare and gaming are slowly emerging new industries served by local call centers.
Formally called the contact center industry, it will generate revenues of $8.4 billion this year, according to a mid-year report by the Call Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP). Voice call center employment is nearing the half-million mark this year at 493,000 employees, according to the report released yesteray.
The increase corresponds to a projected 2012 year-end revenue growth of 18 percent from last year’s year-end revenue of $7.1 billion.
This is on track to hit 862,000 voice call center employees by 2016, according to the report , adding the latest headcount shows a growth rate of 19 percent from the 416,000 full-time employees in 2011.
The growth figures reinforces the Philippines’ global leadership in voice business process outsourcing services as the country moves toward increasing its global market share from 27 percent in 2012 to 29 percent by 2016, it said.
So far this year, technical support, back office processing support and IT help desk services increased as a percentage of total employment in voice call centers.
Customer service remains the major service provided, with a 52 percent share of all employments in voice call centers.
Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are the biggest growing markets for call centers in the last two years, inching into the niche American market.
"This expansion to new markets reinforces the growing brand awareness and equity of the Philippines as the premiere voice service provider for the world," observes the CCAP report.
The United States remains the biggest market, with seven of 10 call center employees providing voice call services to Americans. American English still accounts for 75 percent of the languages spoken by call center agents.
However, British and Australian English are slowly emerging as the second and third largest languages spoken by at least two out of 10 voice call center employees.
The rest of the languages spoken are Filipino, Spanish, Japanese, German, Mandarin, French, Korean, Bahasa, Thai and Singapore English.
There has also been a growing expansion into the provinces, with about 17 percent of surveyed firms planning expansions this year compared to only 10 percent in 2011.
Hiring rates have been increasing from an annual average of 6.9 percent in 2011 to 8.4 percent this year. In-house referrals are emerging as the most common sourcing strategy. Some companies have started tapping social media to attract new hires.
Attrition rates have remained unchanged since 2011, showing signs that the industry is finally able to control the retention of their employees.
Call centers are able to achieve these improvements through a combination of globally competitive benefit packages and diversified employee retention programs. These programs are increasingly focusing on values formation, rewards on performance and giving higher importance to employee relations, the CCAP report said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, September 17, 2012