According to Suite101 in Vancouver, Canada, call centers remain central to the success of businesses since they are the nerve of customer care “maintaining existing customers while attracting new ones.” Many do not see the importance of sitting at a desk making calls all day following scripts and fulfilling customer requests; however, maybe you should look at it in the perspective of the global industry as well as the skills you develop along the way.
Essentially, call centers in Belize are examples of business process outsourcing (BPO) initiatives, where companies in other countries seek to outsource and offshore their non-core functions to gain agility, efficiency, access to new talent and markets to ultimately save on costs. This global BPO industry grew by 10% amidst the global financial crisis in 2008. Offshoring estimates totaled USD 41 billion in 2011 and are expected to grow at a 7% cumulative annual growth rate until 2013 reaching a total opportunity of USD 52 billion. (Avasant, 2013) See graph.
Yes! Belize has tapped into a global billion dollar industry. The BPO sector in Belize is currently gaining regional and international attention as it has seen 80% growth in recent years. Mr. Michael Singh, C.E.O. of the Ministry of Trade, comments that Belize is a strong alternative for companies seeking a near-shore advantage; leveraging our young, educated, English speaking population over far places like India and the Philippines.
This growing sector has numerous hidden perks that people often forget. For example, through a call center, you get to interact with a world of clients from various cultures. From this, you develop the vital skills of patience, good communication, listening, customer care as well as understanding the individual differences of customers via intercultural communications. Along with these, language abilities and skills are also developed retaining proper grammar, even bilingually in Spanish, while maintaining accent neutralization. Last but not least, computer literacy and technical skills also become a part of the “treasure chest” hidden at working in a call center. It is also key to remember that most call centers, even in Belize, have opportunities for advancement to become supervisors, quality assurance (QA) agents and even managers.
So remember, a job at a call center is much more than just ‘customer service’ or ‘sales.’ It entails being an ambassador for Belize in the global billion dollar BPO industry while also collecting relevant skillsets paving the way for your personal advancement and continuous growth of this industry locally.
The Government of Belize through the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), is looking to attract investments into the BPO sector to enhance Belize’s economic growth and reduce youth unemployment in the country.