THE contact center industry in the Philippines is aiming to hit seven to eight percent growth this year.

Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) chairman Benedict Hernandez said the first five months of the year showed encouraging signs for the industry to achieve its target.

Hernandez on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, pointed out the significant high take-up rate in office spaces in recent months, which means there is still high interest of investors to get into the market.

He said the high take-up rate is represented by a combination of new players in the industry and expansion of existing ones.

The take-up for real estate for the Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry this year has surged to 126,000 square meters from January to April.

“It’s a good lead indicator because the high take-up means there is increasing employment,” said Hernandez.

Global growth

CCAP opened the two-day Contact Islands 2019 Conference in Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa on July 24. It was attended by 250 C-level and senior level executives from the IT-BPM industry.

Texas-based consulting firm Everest Group forecasted a four percent global growth in IT and Business Processing Services in 2019.

“After the dip in growth last year, the industry has now stabilized and is showing an uptick,” said the Everest Group.

Customer experience

Besides the high office take-up, Hernandez said the industry rests its confidence on the differentiated customer experience rendered by Filipinos as another element that will support the industry’s growth and help the industry hit its growth target.

“Technology adoption is important, but we need to maintain our strong global position in the area of differentiated customer experience. This will help us shape our future globally,” he said.

Moreover, the shift to digital and the uptick in the global market unlocks new opportunities for contact centers in the Philippines, according to CCAP.

Higher-value services

“The shift to digital means new, higher value, higher margin opportunities for contact centers in the Philippines,” said CCAP president Jojo Uligan.

“As the global market leader in contact center services over the past decade, the industry stands to benefit from the shift away from classic delivery models to digitally enabled service delivery designed to disrupt and transform customer experience,” he said.

“Clients today have gone beyond traditional service level agreements and key performance indicators. 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 2018 CCAP job complexity study, 30 percent of jobs rendered by Filipinos were considered “high-skilled” while 55 percent were “mid-skilled.”

These work categories range from jobs like patient medical reach out, level one and two technical help desk specialists to business analysts, level three enterprise tech support and artificial intelligence developers.

Only 15 percent of jobs fall under the “low-skilled” category, which includes jobs like outbound telemarketers and basic customer service assistants.

Hernandez said so long as the country keeps its strong stature as a preferred outsourcing destination through a more improved customer experience, it would bring in higher value work for Filipinos.

Everest Group’s analysis revealed that the Philippines still enjoys 16 to 18 percent of the estimated global IT-BPM market of US$81 billion to $83 billion. (KOC)