The EDSA Road in Manila? For the BPO traders and the customer experience, it is the Silk Road!
If the Silk Road was mythical for some merchants, EDSA Road is just the same for the major actors of the BPO in Manila, may they be American, French or Canadian. The endless main street that crosses the Philippian capital is bordered, as are so many places in the world, by fast food brands, billboards monopolized yearlong by Samsung, but also by huge buildings which facades display the logos of major BPO and call centers companies: Teleperformance, Convergys, Telus, Alorica, Sitel. Not a single one of the global market’s top players is missing. In just 17 years, the Philippines established themselves on the global podium of a still unknown industry: the remote contact industry. And they even now precede India.
“Customer experience”, the two words indispensable to every slogan, catch the eye as soon as one lands at the local airport: “IT, Digital transformation, Customer Experience ”
In a way, they are the equivalent of our Parisian JC Decaux billboards. However, here, only these 3 professions seem to exist.
Our local guide, a former Accenture communication director, now in charge of the PR (Public Relations) of another major company, tells us that indeed, « here, in the Philippines, the government and the population are grateful for the BPO. The sector provides thousands of jobs, rather well paid, and all the major players are here. »
BPO, three magic letters that sound like EMI, letters heard in a different time, in another speech or CRM industry…
Nonetheless, this obsession with the customer journey probably has not reached the local airport leaders yet: the queue which awaits the passenger at the passport control resembles the one the tourist bumps into at the Eiffel Tower.
On this evening of the 16th of April 2018, if En-Contact’s team waited for practically an hour to cross the customs of Manila, it is to add a story to the Citizen Kane series.
Almost two years ago, a French trio, made up of Acticall friends, decided that they were going to defy the world size trio (Teleperformance, Convergys, Sykes) with the acquisition of Sitel, a company 7 times the size of theirs. The low probability of a success did not stop our French gamblers (Olivier Camino, Laurent Uberti, Arnaud de Lacoste, the founders) at all.
So, how does one goes from Porte de Bagnolet, Paris, to EDSA Road, Manila? Read all about this news story in one of the upcoming issues of an incredible fanzine. Why incredible? Well, for three reasons:
• For still existing after 17 years
• For having said no to Rupert Murdoch’s buyback offer
• For its mythical covers, as impressive as Hugh Hefner’s ones for Playboy
En-Contact is in Manila, looking for the perfect Chinese-English-French BPO recipe. And to uncover it, night work is definitely necessary.
Translated by Lucy Lavabre
Cover picture: En-Contact’s team, dispatched to Manila, at the Chinese Binondo Temple, one of the last Buddhist temples that escaped the bombs. Mattresses are sold there, as people who come to the temple like to sleep onsite.
Read our other articles in English here.