Call Center In India - Call Center Industry in India
Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Philippines' booming call-center business

India is Philippines' chief competitor in attracting call-center business. However the government of Philippines is of the view that the country has advantages on many fronts. Cultural affinity with the United States being the first advantage the second advantage is that labor in Philippines is relatively cheap and is equipped with modern telecommunications infrastructure. Another major difference is that Filipinos speak Americanized English as a second language, whereas the Indians speak the Queen's English.

Philippines has a Call CenterAcademy that focuses on teaching English proficiency, as well as American culture, call-center technology and sales, telemarketing and customer-service skills.

Unemployment is rising in the Philippines; it is 12.7 percent in July, which is up from 11.2 percent the previous year. Thus though the call centers are coming up in Philippines, the recruitment process is not easy to pass. Only selective candidates who are educated in English medium high school and graduate with a good American English Fluency are selected after conducting verbal and non-verbal English Grammar tests.

Jack Tucson, a founder and director of Ambergris (a Call Center), said that the company has been hiring about 150 to 200 people per month — only about 5 percent to 10 percent of the applicant pool in a country that produces about 385,000 college graduates a year.
Paula Angela Valladolid, training director of a Call Center in Philippines, said the company doesn't look specifically for an American accent but just an accent that is understandable to an American customer.

"It's been termed as a neutral accent," she said.

More important, she said, is understanding American culture to get a perspective on customers' needs and the types of responses they require.

Employees in these Call Centers are given USA Today and the most recent Texas travel guide to read between calls. They watch TV news from a Texas network during breaks in case conversation with a customer veers to current events.

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