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Pioneer Call Centers in the Philippines

The oldest call centers in the Philippines apparently are the local call centers of major business companies that provided service to local customers such as call center of credit card institutions (BPI, Citibank), utility companies like Meralco as well as telecommunications companies like PLDT, Smart and Globe. However over the last decade, the Philippines had become a major outsourcing destination especially for the contact center industry which was marked by the exodus of multinational call center companies around the country.

This continuing trend can be attributed to multiple factors including the better government support, large pool of quality manpower supply in terms of English communication skills and ICT knowledge, cheap but stable telecommunication infrastructure and finally, cheap labor and business space.

Sykes, a Florida-based firm, was the first US-based outsourced call centre in the Philippines which started in 1997 with around 20 seats. It was originally Sykes Asia because the company concentrated providing services to the local market and the Asian regions. In 2001, it started to serve the English-speaking customers mostly from the US. From an IT staffing company in Tampa Florida, Sykes has grown to be a global provider of e-business solutions and end-to-end customer care management solutions.

Sykes is followed by Sitel as the second US based call center in the Philippines. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Sitel is one of the biggest contact centre companies in the world with branches in over 30 countries.

After Sykes and Sitel, more multinational call center companies followed such as eTelecare which was founded 1999 and expanded the contact center clients to include financial services, travel, and media. APAC Customer Services, Inc. is also one of the first call centers in the Philippines which take pride of its successful Customer Lifecycle Management Solutions program that unswervingly generated better sales and improved customer loyalty. Among other earliest call center is Convergys which first operated in the Philippines in 2003. It now ranks as one of Fortune’s most admired companies.

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