Call Centers

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Call Centers -- RP's Emerging Sunshine Industry
The call center service has been dubbed the country's latest sunshine industry, expected to generate around 24,000 jobs in the next two years. When a door closes, a window opens. Even as the Philippines feels the fallout from the global IT crunch, it has benefited from the prevailing cost-cutting trend in an unexpected way -- an unprecedented boom in the call center business.
Indeed, the call center service has been dubbed the country's latest sunshine industry, with the sector expected to generate around 24,000 jobs in the next two years, according to Toby Monsod, former assistant secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). "It's a very promising industry. Everybody's growing and hiring," Benedict Hernandez, Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) chair, said in a recent interview.
From 2000 to 2001, the segment reportedly grew by more than 200 percent, and local call center revenues are projected to increase from $173 million in 2002 to $864 million in 2004. Optimism runs high as an international research group forecasts the growth of ICT-enabled services to a $200-billion industry by the year 2010, with the call center segment's share at $42 billion.
Reports say that in the United States alone, there are 1.5 million call center seats that could be outsourced, and so far the Philippines has less than 10,000 seats filled, indicating the domestic industry's huge potential.
What are call centers?
A call center is a central customer service operation where agents (often called customer care specialists or customer service representatives) handle telephone calls on behalf of a client. Clients include mail-order catalog houses, telemarketing companies, computer product help desks, banks, financial service and insurance groups, transportation and freight handling firms, hotels and IT companies.
The size of an operation is described in terms of the number of "seats." A seat consists of

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