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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Call center agents will be jobless in 10 years - DataOne Asia CEO Cyril Rocke ~SHARE TO PREPARE

A site named published a story that the voice sector of the Philippine BPO industry may cease to exist in the Philippines in 10 years. This prediction was made by DataOne Asia CEO Cyril Rocke.

This is alarming news because many businesses depend on the BPO industry and the collapse of the voice sector of the industry will have a negative chain reaction. For instance, buildings built to support BPOs owe much to the bank and their inability to pay loans may result into a financial crisis.

For those of you who are employed or whose businesses are connected one way or the other to the BPO industry, you may find the article shown below a good read.  Please leave a comment and share your thoughts so others may learn from you.

The basis of my comments is the full article shown below.  


  • DataOne Asia CEO Cyril Rocke predicts call centers may be gone in 10 years
  • The voice sector of the Philippine BPO industry may cease to exist

It’s not pleasant to put someone’s job in jeopardy. To threaten someone who knew nothing else to do for a living but to serve those customer who are in dire need. But it seems the warning is legit after all.

Many people would disagree, mostly those working in the BPO industry because of what they experience everyday, there was so much need for people to answer the phone. Whilst it’s true, it becoming a major headache now for CEOs of these corporate giants, which we so-call clients. The BPO and the call center industry for them was better 10 years ago, when 10 people would fight for 1 or 2 posts. Now there are 10 positions available and only 1-2 make the cut. It’s a sad picture. Quality has deteriorated and the agents notice it among their ranks.

According to DataOne’s Asia CEO Cyril Rocke, call center agents these days would move from one company to the next with a mere 1-3% increase in salary. Who can blame them when it was he, himself said that agents should be paid more. He estimates that call center agents in the Philippines should earn at least between P35,000 – P40, 000 per agent. That’s almost 150% more than what most agents are earning. The sad part though is, there’s no indication that call center companies who act as third-parties would heed to such a call. Some love the idea of taking advantage of the strong mid-20s workforce who are willing to lose sleep just to earn above minimum salary with a few incentives.

But is it the real problem? In my humble opinion, it’s not the only problem. Because no one bothered asking the agents themselves. In my own and a couple of people’s experience, salary isn’t the only factor. No matter how high that person is earning, it’s not a guarantee that he will stay in a company until retirement age. The chances are higher but in order for an agent to be able to recharge (because everyone know this job is really stressful), they need enough REST.

It’s quite a miracle these days not to get a call a minute after ending another call. There’s just not enough rest. These days it’s become very difficult to file a leave of absence when someone needed some air to breathe. These days you can;t call in-sick without being second-guessed by your superior. Some are paranoid about it that they’d check the agents social media account only to make sure he’s not just partying some place else. Whether the reason for taking a leave is valid or not is not the point. Some people feel they’re sick because vacation leave applications get rejected left and right.

What choice do they have other than to leave the company, take some time and then apply again. An agent can do this every year or two. Why? Because they’re not expecting retirement pay anyway. They’re not expecting a hefty salary bump each year. Most third-party call center companies do not value loyalty. Nothing.

So here we are, in a disagreement and companies would embrace the idea to innovate. To all call center agents who are reading this, do not make the mistake of thinking this isn’t possible. The same message was echoed by the Telstra CEO himself. What it means to you is that their starting to find ways to eliminate agents on the phone. And it could happen anytime. All it takes is one tech company like Google or Apple, who’s intelligent enough to solve this riddle and the people taking calls are gone.

Look at the way we interact with people these days. Look at how things have changed. Facebook changed that. Look at how we share memories, Instagram changed that. Look at how UBER and Grab disrupted the way we move. Look at Shazam and TrackID, technologies that can name the title of a song by listening to a very short clip. Just look around you. Technology doesn’t get tired. Isn’t losing sleep, doesn’t get sick and doesn’t complain.

So what do call center agents do? We should upgrade. We should learn more skills so we can do other things and provide value, other than taking calls. An alternative is to take advantage while the industry is still here and maybe, go back to school.

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