Is BPO Industry Ready for the eventual AI Uprising?

Despite the preconceived notion that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will soon take over the jobs of local employees working in the BPO industry here in the Philippines, applicants for call center companies and other back-office operations continue to flock the HR departments.

Last year, experts predicted that the entry of AI in the BPO industry will without a doubt affect the number of workers employed in this field and reduce the workforce but contrary to the estimate, the number of applicants and available positions continue to grow.

Take the case of Sutherland Global Services, which recently opened at the Palayan City Business Hub (PCBH) in Palayan City, the capital of Nueva Ecija. Since its announcement of expansion to PCBH, Sutherland has been steadily accepting applicants for its workforce, which is expected to reach 1,750 seats by June 2019.

All over the Philippines, several BPO job positions are waiting to be filled up by prospective applicants. There are actually two categories of BPO-related jobs:

  1. Voice based
  2. Non-voice based

Voice-based BPO job is work that involves the person assigned to talk to a client to perform tasks. Some examples of voice-based job are the following:

  1. Customer service representative. This is the person who focuses on resolving issues on the first call. They navigate through the appropriate computer system to identify the current status of the issue and provide appropriate response to customers.
  2. Telecallers. Their main work is to answer customers’ phone calls to resolve the issues and problems.
  3. Finance consulting. Under this BPO employment job, the BPO consultant conduct high quality outbound or inbound marketing over the internet or telephone, to provide either credit card information dissemination, insurance sales, conduct surveys for financial questions, etc.

Non-voice based BPO jobs, on the other hand, involve work where the employee does not verbally speak with the client but performs work using a computer like handling of emails, chat support or answering of messages from clients of the principal employer.

They usually resolve complaints via phone, email or social media. They likewise assist with placement of orders, refunds, or exchanges. Non-voice based BPO jobs also usually utilize computer technology to handle high call volumes and attempt to persuade customers to reconsider cancellations and inform them of the latest deals and promotions.

The following are examples of non-voice based BPO jobs:

Data entry operator. As the job position implies, the one who is employed as a data entry operator enters several data into the system or database. The work of a data entry operator is similar to a clerk or typist who regularly updates information containing facts and figures using computer and the internet.

Other non-voice based BPO jobs are the following:

  • Transcription
  • Content Writing
  • Proofreading
  • Software Development
  • Web Design
  • Email/Chat Handling
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Back Office Tasks
  • Online English tutors
  • Japanese translators

Now that some of the BPO jobs/position waiting for the Filipino applicant has been listed, all you have to do is apply. In Nueva Ecija, the fastest rising and most modern BPO company has been built. Sutherland Global Services is now housed at the Palayan City Business Hub (PCBH).

Sutherland Global Services, a process transformation company with presence globally, assist customers from financial services to healthcare. They bring their business in PCBH to expand their reach in providing services to customers as well as jobs to Nueva Ecija locals.

The other day, October 19, Sutherland held its latest Recruitment Day at the PCBH in Palayan City where it hired its newest batch of Customer Service Associates. The BPO company even gave free meals to the first 70 hires!

Going back to the AI scare, maybe the AI is a blessing rather than a danger to the BPO industry.

To quote an article from the website, diversifyoss.com, “The BPO Industry will continue to prosper for the next five years as it maintains its growth and also adapts to new trends. It will also continue to be a reliable business strategy to be considered, regardless if they are a mid, large or listed company. The use of AI technologies certainly has the potential to shape the future of the industry, but one should also not discount the value of using highly skilled and versatile employees.

“There’s also plenty of indication that the Philippines remains a definitive choice for BPO companies. Not just because of its significance to its GDP but also the quality of workers that people can find in the country. Although it’s possible for trends to change over time, partnering with the right provider will guarantee you are ready to take on and adapt to any challenge that comes your way.”

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