Business process outsourcing industry was not only expected to create more jobs for Filipinos but would also help fill up available office spaces, both in prime business locations and in “next-wave” cities. There is a clear impact on the real estate sector from this offshore call center trend. With the rise of the BPO industry comes along the growth of commercial real estate in the country.
The position for the commercial/office sector of the Philippine Real Estate industry is driven by the upsurge in the number of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies that are setting-up shop in the Philippines. The employment and income impact generated by these companies in turn fuel a consumer boom that has resulted in the take-up of more commercial spaces.
With the past records of the real estate industry, it is just now recovering from the effects of the 1997 Asian financial crisis that brought the Philippine Real Estate sector into a long fall down. According to sources, the existing recovery of construction and retail industries is being attributed to the booming BPO sector, particularly the Philippines call center subsector.
For the reason that there is a strong demand for office spaces from contact centers, the real estate sector has been flexible posting double digit growth after contracting from 1998 to 2002. Increases in building construction and office spaces for BPO firms were most notable in Makati, Ortigas, Libis, and Taguig areas. Further, call center sites have expanded in the provinces such as Cebu, Davao and other areas outside Metro Manila.
According to the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, Philippines dropped two rungs on the list of countries most attractive for offshore-business activities. The country used to be at seventh place in the firm’s 2009 ranking, now held by Thailand, which also dropped three rungs.
“While a sluggish recovery continues to create the kind of pressure for economies that drive business outsourcing, an increasingly complex global economic environment has led to major changes in the ranking of the most attractive offshore destinations,” the Chicago, Illinois-based A.T. Kearney said in a statement. India, China and Malaysia remained in the top three spots—positions they’ve occupied since the inaugural Global Services Location Index in 2003. A.T. Kearney cited a combination of human resources and low cost as reasons for this consistent ranking.
Despite of this, the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry continues to be strong and is still making an effort to improve along with the deepening impact of the global economic downturn. Its competitive strengths remain to be the key success factor namely its low cost but highly qualified English-proficient labor pool, its close affinity to Western culture, and the improved telecommunications infrastructure ideal for outsourcing operations. But there are also some comparative disadvantages that need to be dealt, such issues are overall investment environment, scarcity of quality labor pool and job-skills mismatch.
Together, the government and the BPAP had undertaken substantial efforts in promoting the Philippines as a prime BPO destination. Apart from the generous fiscal and non-fiscal incentives that promised well for BPO operations in the country, several activities and programs were undertaken in harnessing the BPO industry as a key driver of employment and economic growth.
In the call center, it is a fact that inbound or outbound call center agents work over the phone. There may be no face-to-face interaction between them and the customers but still their image is very important. Call center agents don’t work all by themselves; they have co-agents, leaders, supervisors, managers and even owners that they encounter every day. Appearance in business is critical to one’s success. Your business image should make you look credible, efficient, trustworthy and likeable.
The moment we see someone, we make judgments about them, based purely on the way we look. We evaluate them on a scale of attractiveness and whether we consider them friendly or threatening, equal to us socially and intellectually, and worthy of our time. Immediately after that, we start making evaluations about such things as their character and professional abilities.
Since we make a profound value judgment from such superficial evidence, it would seem important to choose carefully the way we dress purely to communicate what we want to be known for and who we want to be. An important consideration is to dress at the same high standard all the time. If people react positively to your appearance each time they see you, they will also build up a level of trust in your performance in other areas such as work skills, intelligence, capabilities, and competence.
On the other hand, if your image communicates mixed messages, you run the risk of negative opinions quite unrelated to the skills and capabilities you actually possess.
The Internet has changed the way companies do business. To thrive on the internet, every business has to make its products, services and interface more attractive than competitors that are only a few mouse-clicks away. There is no faster or more effective way these days to reach new customers than through online marketing. The trend now is that companies are shifting their back-office operations to BPO call center to save money. They know that to reach the growing market of consumers, the internet is the way to create new and profitable relationships, as well as big profits.
Winning customers is essential for the success of a business. Business websites are specially designed to attract the eyes of customers. They are designing websites and putting all kinds of information about themselves there so that people can get to know about them.
A website should be designed keeping in mind the SEO criteria otherwise it will remain as just a signboard. You must remember that for many of your customers, your website is their initial point of contact that’s why you have to make the right first impression. Web design should be kept simple: you want customers to be able to navigate your site with ease. It also allows you to connect with your customers without you realizing this connection.
They key is to convey your message, products, and services in a way that emulates an in-store experience.Together with the search engine optimization process, still, web design plays an important role. If your site is a train wreck, this won’t matter. They won’t want to give you money or visit again; they’ll go somewhere else more often than not.
Now, Cebu City is on the ninth spot in the list of top 10 Emerged Destinations for BPO. It is no doubt because it has many factors that made its way on top. It is the second largest concentration of IT Centers in the country and it has world-class telecommunication infrastructure. When it comes to workforce, the city government is doing their very best in meeting the growing demands of the BPO workforce in the country.
In fact, they will implement a separate “English class” in public high schools this year to better equip students for a career in Philippines call center and other offshore services in the BPO industry. Public school English teachers will also undergo training from leading BPO companies in Cebu City with the city government paying for the training. In addition to that, there are already a number of BPO companies that are now starting to partner with universities and colleges in Cebu. In the KPO sector, Cebu is seen to take the center-stage in healthcare and information management services.
BPO industry in Cebu has grown tremendously and providing highly skilled people has always been a priority. And now, Cebu’s graduates have abilities at par with international standards for business process outsourcing (BPO), according to the results of a study on Cebu students. Skills assessment conducted by CIBI Information shows a 7.4 percent gap in verbal abilities between those who still studying and those already in the industry. It only implies that the Philippines is on the right path in becoming the number one BPO destination in the world.
It is very evident that the internet has greatly become a part of our everyday lives. It has an even more profound effect on the way we work, live and learn. Today, most people have the easiest way to access the internet through their home or office PC, smart devices such as tablet-sized PCs and smart cellular phones. People are able to share information seamlessly across devices and interact with them in a more natural way. The language of the internet has become universal; any business can create products and services that make use of it. The entire world is your market, and you could potentially reach more people through the world wide web.
Today a business organization needs recognition in the market much faster and that’s why they are opting for online marketing strategies as internet provides information much faster and is accessible at any time and at any place. Success of a website depends a lot on its search engine optimization or SEO. Search engine optimization is such an important tool in getting your landing page ranked higher than the millions of other potential pages in your market. It is a business plan in action which is used for improving or increasing the volume of traffic to a website through the normal searching process. Any business can succeed in the online world if powerful SEO tools are used. And to save time and money, hiring out BPO companies can actually help in business support services.
Visibility of a business website is very important. The more you are visible,the more you will be recognized and for maximum visibility one needs to stress more on proper SEO operations.
You can’t build a great company without great people. Many companies have analyzed that what people know is less important than who they are. Hiring is not about finding people with the right experience. It’s about finding people with the right mind-set. A successful employee follows an unwritten code of behavior and set of attitudes that we call professionalism. Let’s look at some of the qualities that a professional must have.
Positive attitude towards the job. In order to be a good professional employee just like a telemarketing agent, you have to like it and want to do it well. An agent with a positive attitude works efficiently. Professionals have pride in what they do and want to make sure that the work is something to be proud of.
Ability to work with people. Philippines call centeris also about teamwork and it’s essential to be able to work well on a team and to corporate with your fellow agents.
Eagerness to learn.TheBPOindustry is changing so rapidly that it’s vital to be open to new ideas. No matter how good your techniques are, you might learn an even better ways and these new ideas will help you grow and become more confident.
Dedication to work.The point of your career isn’t to find easier work. It’s to find work that’s worth the effort. Work can be very hard, no question but the harder you work, the greater your right to love what you do. A career worth loving brings joy, excitement, and fulfillment.
Global companies look for ways to maximize operating cost and lessen risk while optimizing resources to hold themselves against the current economic recession. This is the reason why many large companies in the US and Europe outsource jobs such as call center services to save money. Outsourcing has become a fast-growing trend in the global market and Philippines has become an ideal offshore destination in Asia for many reasons such as its government full support on BPO industries and the country’s infrastructure.
Bearing in mind the need to improve foreign investment and to be competitive globally, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority which is a government institution has introduced the special economic zones policy in the country. Special Economic Zone is likely to present high quality infrastructure amenities and support services. Companies that are under these zones are entitled of tax breaks, quick clearances for building permits, and an exemption from import duties on computers and telecommunications equipment. This is a great opportunity regarding setting up a call center in the Philippines. PEZA was designed to ease the requirements and problems that foreign investment encountered in operating in the Philippines. This, combined with the renewed focus on infrastructure and land development, has allowed the country to emerge as a competitor in the global outsourcing scene. It has also made it a welcoming ground for companies seeking to break into the rewarding Asian market. Now, the Philippines has more than 788 call centers over 20 key locations according to PEZA.
While the rest of society sleeps, many Philippines call center agents are on their way to work. While working the night shift does have its advantages such as less traffic on the road for commuting, generally quieter conditions compared to day shift workers in the same positions; the work is fraught with far more downsides. One of which is personal safety.
Being out late at night can be dangerous because criminals are often out under the cover of darkness. However, this can be avoided as long as you use your common sense. The best way you can protect your personal safety at night is to travel with a group. A large group of individuals is intimidating to criminals when a single person is not, and members of the group can look out for each other. You should also stick to well lighted, frequently traveled areas, especially if you are out alone, because visibility augments personal safety. Try to avoid dead ends and areas of darkness, which are ideal locations for crimes. It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings. Look carefully around you while you travel, and take note of anything unusual. Do not use a cell phone or other electronics, because in addition to making you an excellent target for theft, they will distract you. Keep an eye on your personal belongings as well. You can also find self-defense weapons in your things such as keys or spray. Try to learn some self-defense technique as well, this will make you become more confident and able to protect yourself when you are out at night.
For small business owners, their goal is to earn but in order to do business successfully, it is necessary to examine how money is being spent. When you work for yourself, every dollar comes out of your own pocket. You lose the expense accounts, company credit cards and plentiful office supplies. It takes a lot of time, money and energy to run a profitable business. Someone has to answer e-mails, market and promote the business, develop and send out a monthly newsletter, write articles to optimize search engine placement, develop or update a website, search for content to add to the website, and drive customers to the website. If you’ll think, it seems like you need a lot of productive staff to perform these duties but there’s a solution to this problem if you’re on a tight budget. A virtual assistant can give you that one precious gift you most desperately need, which is time and can handle all the time consuming tasks so that you can actually enjoy your business.
Being a virtual assistant is similar to being an administrative assistant. The difference is that these people are individual contractors and they work at Philippines call center. With this service that offshore contact centers provide, you can run your business to its full potential without thinking about employee expenses. Specifically, when hiring a VA, the need to pay additional expenses like the insurance, taxes and other benefits to their VAs are eliminated. So if you are an entrepreneur looking to get the job done without making a hole in your pocket, consider the service of virtual assistant.