For the past few months, there have been concerns that automation would be the new threat, putting thousands of call centre jobs in the Philippines on the line. However, a much closer look helps us realise that automation is actually an opportunity, not a threat, and the BPO call centres are here to stay for the next five years.
A recent report from the Contact Centre Association of the Philippines (CCAP) further strengthens this optimism. As 2016 moves to the last quarter, there have been hundreds of foreign clients contacting Filipino partners to request offshoring proposals, especially for the customer service functions. In the list, you can easily find market leaders like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, together with other technology and communication companies from the Silicon Valley. Of course, we should not forget Verizon and Visa inc. who have recently announced their call centre or BPO hubs in this island country.
Moreover, the offshoring industry in general, and the BPO call centre functions in specific have matured significantly since its launch back in the 1990s. Beside so-called low-skilled tasks, Filipino staff are heading towards more complex responsibilities like technical support, consultative selling etc. In this sense, I think automation and technology should be considered as complements and opportunities for Filipinos to reach the higher level in their service offering.