American businesses that capitalize on BPO to gain global competitiveness make English proficiency of workers a major consideration when outsourcing. It is important that their offshore workers are able to communicate effectively with their clients. But language is not the only consideration when choosing a location for their outsourced call centers. Companies also focus on the culture affinity of the areas that they are outsourcing to. This is why the Philippines has been such a popular destination for American companies looking for offshore call centers.
The Filipinos have been influenced and exposed to US culture for the last century and are very familiar with US business practices and customs. Businesses that need call center services can save time and money by using call centers in the Philippines because they can get workers who already have familiarity with US culture and don’t have to be trained on cross cultural techniques and language skills.
Philippine schools start teaching English in the first grade and classes are taught in American English. 72% of the Philippine population is proficient in English and its the third largest English speaking country in the world. In addition, their verbal skills are clearer and more understandable to the U.S. buyers than other competitive English-speaking country destinations.
This English proficiency allows the Filipinos to take advantage of what really makes them relate to Americans…the media. When speaking with Filipino call center agents, they can tell you about how “Friends” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House” have showed them some things about how life is in America but they also understand that these shows are really the visions of Hollywood writers. Oprah is probably a better example of what life is like in the United States and it is one of the most popular shows in the Philippines.