The Philippines remains the leader in customer experience (CX) delivery despite a global slowdown, but the shift to digital and the uptick in the global market unlocks new opportunities for contact centers in the country.
“The shift to digital means new, higher value, higher margin opportunities for contact centers in the Philippines,” said Jojo Uligan, President of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines, in a press conference Friday for the Contact Islands 2019 event.
“As the global market leader in contact center services over the past decade, the [PH] industry stands to benefit from the shift away from classic delivery models to digitally-enabled service delivery designed to disrupt and transform customer experience or CX,” Uligan added.
“Clients today have gone beyond traditional service level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs). By capitalizing on digital capabilities, clients have started to expect their service provides to help them reshape and transform the end-to-end customer experience to impact both top line and bottom line,” he added.
In the Philippines, the take up of real estate for IT-BPO (information technology-business process outsourcing) this year has resurged to 126,000 square meters from January to April, which is back to historically high levels.
Everest Group’s analysis reveals that the Philippines still enjoys 16% to 18% of the estimated global IT-BPM market of USD 81 billion to USD 83 billion.
The country's leadership is based on a report by Texas-based consulting firm Everest Group, which said that the 2018 global growth in IT and Business Processing Services (BPS) sourcing has slowed to 3% to 4%.
According to the report, several companies around the world have taken some pause in their sourcing decisions as they figure out how to best integrate automation, artificial intelligence, and analytics in their business and shared services strategy.
While the Philippines continues to grow faster than global market growth, Everest similarly has seen slower growth in the country 2018 at 5.1%, ending that year with direct employment of 1.23 million employees, lower than the 8% annual projection based on the industry roadmap 2022.
This slowdown in the local industry growth is seen as driven by the global market pause in investments as well as a “wait and see” stance some investors have taken given the anticipated investment incentive regime changes being proposed in the country.
This year, however, shows some signs of a rebound, CCAP said, as globally, Everest Group forecasts a 4% growth in 2019. “After the dip in growth last year, the industry has now stabilized and is showing an uptick,” the Everest analysts say.
The shift to higher value services has been occurring over the past 5 years or so and is manifested in the types of jobs being currently handled by Filipino IT-BPM workers.
In the 2018 CCAP job complexity study conducted with its members, jobs that are ‘mid-skilled’ and ‘high-skilled’ represented almost 9 out of 10 contact center jobs, that is, 30% were “high skilled” and while 55% were “mid skilled”.
These work categories range from jobs like patient medical reach out, level 1-2 technical help desk specialists to business analysts, level 3 enterprise tech support and artificial intelligence developers.
Only 15% of jobs fall under the “low skilled” category, which includes jobs like outbound telemarketers and basic customer service assistants.
“This ongoing shift to transforming the customer experience through digital presents unique opportunities for the Philippines. As the global leader in the space, we are best positioned to take advantage of this,” Uligan said.
“CX transformation and how it drives business outcomes, have become a key differentiator in the industry. This year’s conference in July focuses on exchange in views on CX with thought leaders from other industries, like food service, banking, manufacturing, and others,” he added.
The Contact Islands 2019 conference is scheduled in Mactan, Cebu on July 24 to 25. About 250 C-level and senior level executives from the IT-BPM industry are expected to attend in this conference.
With new opportunities available to the industry, CCAP continues to support programs that will help provincial locations become centers for IT-BPM investments. The industry has been investing heavily in provincial expansion over the last ten years.
CCAP is working on a program to support countryside development by partnering with the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), which will mobilize its network of local councils nationwide in assisting provincial locations to become contact center-ready. This partnership will be launched at Contact Islands 2019.
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