Industry Overview
Call Center Business in the Philippines
  A Call Center is any communications platform (i.e., web, e-mail, chat, voice, fax and mail) from which firms deliver services to customers via remote, real-time contact. Clients include mail order catalog houses, telemarketing companies, computer product help desks, banks, financial services and insurance groups, transportation and computer handling firms, hotels and I.T. Companies.

The size of an operation is described in terms of the number of "seats." A seat consists of a station with two or three people alternating in several shifts to provide 24-hour call center service. The industry's main target markets include the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The Philippine's Department of Trade and Industry defines Contact Centers as a physical location where calls are placed or received in high volume for the purposes of sales, customer service, technical support, research, and others.

The table below shows the range of calls handled by Call Center Companies in the Philippines:
 
OUTBOUND INBOUND
Telemarketing Inquiries (all types)
Advisory Technical Help Desk
Sales Verification Payment Authorization
Credit & Collection Order Taking & Fulfillment
Reactivation / Reinstatement Complaints
Loyalty Program Customer Service
Customer Service Disputes
Order Entry Transcription
  Requests
  Electronic Eligibility
  Support
  Sales
  Marketing/ Lead Generating
  Billing
   
  Industry Growth
  The Philippine Call Center industry has experienced tremendous growth the past few years. As of end-2004, the number of seats of local players is 42,000 and employing at least 67,000 agents. The seating capacity of the industry is expected to have reached to 112,000 at the end of 2005.
 
Philippine Call Center Industry
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Industry Revenues (US$) 25,000,000 60,000,000 150,000,000 420,000,000 850,000,000
Seats 1,500 3,500 7,500 20,000 42,000
Revenue per Seat(US$) 16,667 17,143 20,000 21,000 20,238
Source: Board of Investments
 
  On the average, a call center seat in the Philippines generates US$20,238 in gross revenues based on 2004 data. This figure is higher that the US$16,667 recorded in 2000 when the Philippines was just beginning to aggressively enter the call center business. The higher revenue per seat indicates a higher utilization in terms of shifts as well as a move towards more value added contact services.

The industry started mainly from providing e-mail response/handling support and technical support. It has since developed capabilities for almost any type of customer interaction, ranging from travel services, financial services, technical support services, education support services, consumer services, and on-line business to consumer support and on-line business to business support.

Local companies do not cater much to the directory assistance type of operation, which are considered to be the low-end of this business. In some instances, skills required exceed those required of programmers, e.g., agents trained in the US to take & pass Series 6 and Series 7 exams required by US laws on securities. Having a growth rate of over 100% annually, the number of seats of local players in this industry has mushroomed from less than 2,000 seats from year 2000 to an estimated 112,000 at the end of 2005.