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Empowering Philippine Call Center Agents

Feb 1, 2008
In the drive to improve performance and the bottom line, organizations, call centers include, tend to forget that their people are their best resource. It is good to bring in addition resources, motivate people to perform more or sell more. Without the necessary motivation, however, all of these will just fall on barren soil and will not yield richly.

The call center industry in the Philippines has been investing on its most important resource people. They are the ones on the frontlines: they answer calls from customers with different moods, they process requests, they provide their time and their skills for the benefit of the company they work for and for the customers that purchased the products and services of the company they represent.

The first empowerment that call center agents receive, of course is the basic training in handling calls and using the computer systems being used to provide service to customers.

Although Filipinos are generally considered to possess the strongest English skills in the region, the regional accent needs to be toned down so that customers from different parts of the world can understand them. In this case, most call centers have included accent neutralization training as part of their onboard training and orientation to call center agents. As time goes on, the agents can acclimatize themselves with the accent being used by customers. In some cases, the agents are even able to use the very accent of their customers.

The compensation for call center agents in the Philippines is commensurate to the kind of work that they do. Because most call centers conduct their operations at night, the call centers provide night differentials and transportation allowance. Some call centers even go as far as provide shuttle service for their agents. This way, their safety is ensured and the operations of the call center are not jeopardized.

Another way of empowering call center agents is the provision of fun learning activities both in the work setting and outside. Most Philippine call centers conduct out of town team building activities to strengthen the relationships among call center agents. This way, they develop stronger bond with each other and with the company. In the long run, this translates to stronger loyalty to the company and lesser turnover rates. When an agent stays longer in a company, he is able to develop his full potential and becomes more versatile in dealing with complex issues brought by customers.

Call center agents provide the backbone of the industry. Through their willingness to contribute to the companies they represent, the Philippine call center industry has grown to where it is now. Although the industry has accomplished a lot, it can do more by investing on its people and helping them become professionalized.

The most important part of the agent empowerment is the inculcation of the values of the company, which is of course centered towards the service provided to the customers. Philippine call centers exist to provide excellent service to customers and realize the goals and objectives set by the company.
About the Author
James Stinson is Owner and Founder of Global Sky Inc. He employs a team of 50 in a high quality call center facility based in the Philippines. For more info on outsourcing your project visit: http://www.global-sky.com
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