Monday, October 29

Four Years of Love

I have to stop writing about call center, and congratulate my good friend and former co-worker Fernelle C. Rodriguez on his four year anniversary with David Smith. Fernelle was the chief Copy Editor of Sun.Star Bacolod, while I was one of the reporters.

Fernelle is now happily based in Rochester, New York, wherein he is presently taking up his Masters in Journalism. You can read his majestic articles at

His message to me:

My friends,

It is 10:10 p.m. David picked me up downtown (I came from school) and we both went to dinner to celebrate our 4th year anniversary. You are all part of this wonderful moment.

Love you all and thank you for all your support.


I hope to see you my friend in the near future!


Tuesday, October 16

Hello Is This Call Center?

By Roberto L. Bacasong
Company Writer
Unique Interaction


Yes, this is call center. Relatively young but considered as vibrant industry in the Philippines. Wanna be part of this industry? Definitely, the answer is always yes.

Why would that be? This is a workplace where dominated by yuppie Filipinos. So it means that Filipino men and women ages 18 to 25 have the huge number of this elite circle in the world of customer service. Employers also welcomed elder people to apply. Age does not matter, according to one of the call center executives whom he preferred to keep his identity. In general, call center does not require you to be young. The important factor for you to get employed is your capability of speaking English. Of course, this is an obvious requirement because the clients are from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. An off-shore industry like call center cannot be just ignored right away.

Call center is not only required to speaking excellent English all the time. There's so much opportunity to be offered by the call center companies despite the high attrition rate. The expertise in keeping the posture of professionalism, politeness and can stay longer in a shift schedule is a plus factor. An agent should quick to adopt the changes in a fast-paced environment in call center.

Some says that many are quiting call center job because of its hazardous effect on the humans health. Others point of view, on the other hand, want to be in the industry because of the attractive benefits it may offer to the successful candidates. Both are true, everyone of us are entitled to one's opinion. But the meat of the matter is, the flourishing business process outsourcing generate millions of pesos to the Philippine Government.

Influential sector like the business group very much excited on how call center industry lift up the lives of every Filipino people. The business group expressed their gratitude to outsourcing locators for choosing the Philippines against its neighboring Asian countries.

Customer service is a tough job. But to people who learned to value the culture of this career contributed to the amazing improvement on their lifestyle. Many agents succeeded from the harsh good and bad interpretation of this industry. That's why the Philippines is always a top choice nation by the outsourcers'. Impressive characteristics such learning how to sympathized and emphatized won the heart of the clients against other competing countries.

We have so much things to be proud of being a Filipino. Our history will tell us why. Our ancestors who were known to be patriotic, brave, intelligent, creative, religious and English speaker, are among the strong reasons written from the past.

The country not only as a tourism hub, call center became a word of mouth which is very familiar now to the younger generation. Now, the parents need not to worry that their children can afford to pass the trials in a very keen process of applying for a call center job.

So the industry must go on. Its a good thing because we dominated this aside over a decade years now. The interest of the national government is welcome as long as it will not involve politicking and personal interest. Working together for the progress of the nation is the number factor.

So are you ready to be a call center agent now? Practice English everyday because “practice makes perfect”.*

The Wonders of Live Chat Support in Outsourcing

By Roberto L. Bacasong
Company Writer
Unique Interaction

ANOTHER way of doing customer service is through the use of live chat support which is now gaining positive response aside from the famous inbound and outbound customer service management. This is a simple way of assisting clients worldwide because it requires the agents to be proficient in grammar, can type at least an average of 25 words per minute and most importantly, can respond quickly to the concerns of the customers.

Unlike with voice support, a customer service representative often encountered irate clients and sometime being discriminated on their race identification, among others. But regardless on how they help their customers, Filipinos customer service was proven and tested in telephoning communication. Clients from the United States easily pissed them if they failed to receive enough services they wanted. If this will continue, no wonder that the next move would end up in cancellation the program they purchased.

The introduction of chat support is a great wonder to the outsourcing because it gives the opportunity for the customers to deal one-on-one coaching with the agent using this technology. In many contact centers today in the Philippines, live chat support are now offered because call center locators believe that customers are their lifeblood and no matter what happen addressing the customers' problem should be listed a top priority.

Meanwhile, Melanie Mae P. Lagasca, a chat operator for Unique Interaction, disclosed that she is now accustomed using the live chat support services. Previously, Ms. Lagasca came from the inbound account but was transferred to chat account, as part of the company's way of giving quality help to the customers.

“I encountered angry customers on live chat support but the thing is, I can fully address their concerns after looking on the customers' account. Chat support service is broad and in general this is fun,” said the 24-year-old lass from Bulacan province.

Speaking in Filipino and English, she said: “Chat support improves my skills in typing and I become more conscious of my grammar and I also learned how to handle the HTML code. I learned new things everyday and I treasure this opportunity to work in call center which greatly help me in supporting my family.”

Agents assigned for a chat support were trained the workings of this services. First, they were brief about the background of the program. Once they know everything, then they started to explore some basic jargons related on this account. Since the account is complicated to learn at the beginning but later on the knowledge will continue to spark the chat operators.

If the customers were satisfied with the service offered by a chat agent, usually they give good remarks to the agent's performance. This is true, because the agents were also evaluate how they deal with the customers. If their remarks “NI” (needs improvement) this is something to give continuous coaching and reorientation to the agents to avoid getting this remark again and again. Everything can be sorted out properly through proper forum.

Today, ecommerce sites improve their sales because of the live chat software as a standard way of customer service. Call center executives interpret that this technology is a powerful customer interaction and support solution that offers substantial advantages to clients. Because online shoppers or Internet users rapidly increasing, chat tool gives positive outcome by helping the customers decide which is the best pick to choose. This tool can help strengthen upselling and generate loyalty by enabling live, person-to-person communication.

A survey conducted by eMarketer in 2000 showed that retail revenues from online shopping worldwide will increase to 35.3 billion by 2002. However, according to Yankelovich Partners, there is a problem: Nearly two-thirds of Web users are unwilling to purchase products without human interaction.

Another research from Andersen consulting, revealed that 63% of consumers surveyed did not compete an online transaction because they could not find necessary informal. With less than adequate information, they frequently don't buy at all or end up buying the wrong product and ultimately, return it.

Ecommerce companies especially outsourcing, lead the customers in a way that they will learn and earn the benefits from the products they bought. This is not only for the purpose of doing sales but giving accurate information not to mislead the customers are the responsible of the provider.


Most of the ebusiness companies now have window section for live chat support. They provide few snippets information, along with a button, to their pages in which the customer may have the chance to browse it. If the customer will click on a button then it will alert the live chat server, hosted by the service that a visitor is popping up and wants to talk to the available chat support agent. In this highly regulated outsourcing industry, everything is compact and the information is stored ready to give a quick response to the visitors. And at the end, this visitor will enable to learn about the services and possibly turned out to be an up sell.

No wonder that in the next following years, live chat support services will give the outsourcing a remarkable journey in the online marketing scheme.*