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History of Call Center in the Philippines

A call center is a centralized office used delivery customer service through the phone such as receiving and responding to inquiries, collection of payments, providing tech support and other services which can be facilitated verbally through remote communications. Thus, call centers have longed existed in the Philippines however primarily providing services to the local market.

The pioneers in establishing call centers in the country included telecommunication companies, financial institutions, government institutions and fast food companies. Telcos institute call centers initially for connecting or routing calls nationally and internationally. They then extended their services to providing inquiries for phone numbers of other companies.

Today, telcos like Smart and Globe provide a wide range of customer services in their call center including tech support and promotional inquiries. Financial institutions especially credit card companies put up call centers for its credit collection efforts. Government institutions have call centers to centralize recurring inquiries from citizens, which also consumes much of the employee’s time for more productive and important service activities. Finally, fast food restaurants put up call centers to receive order calls and facilitate food deliveries.

In the advent of information technology, business process outsourcing has taken a big leap. In particular, standard, faster and cheaper telecommunications allowed foreign companies to set up their call center companies in developing nations where labor is cheaper, to provide services in their local markets back home. Multinational call center companies started to sprout in the Philippines, which outsource the tele-customer service requirements of companies abroad.

For instance, internet service providers based in the US used hire the services of a call center company based in the Philippines to provide tech support to their American ISP subscribers. The first foreign call center company established in the Philippines is Sykes Asia which was consecutively followed by other companies such as People Support, eTelecare, Convergys, Teletech and others. During which the call center industry expanded its services from merely responding or answering services a broad range of customer service including technical support, financial services, education, B2B and B2C support, and travel services among many others.

With the further improvement of information structures, individuals have become equally capable of providing remote customer service to people which gave birth to the Home-Based Model of call centers. In which case, employees or agents are able to facilitate and provide their services at the comfort of their homes instead of going to a centralized office. The home-based call center usually provides virtual office assistance to SMEs abroad. This has also become a popular medium of service provision in the booming English Tutorial lessons especially for Koreans in the last decade.

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