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Manila is talking about C3/CustomerContactChannels: Increase in Men and Older Staff Marks Industry Development


What is it about C3, a customer contact channel at One Bonifacio Technology Tower in Taguig City, that is giving job-seekers and employers alike something to think about?

C3 is not just another call center company. It infuses energy into the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry backed by the experience and the technical knowhow of a team of leaders headed by Andy Sarakinis, vice president and country manager. In a recent press conference held onsite, he shared how C3 came about in the Philippines.

“I was here in the Philippines in 1999 from South Florida to test the waters. Before, 70% of the call center agents were females with the remaining 30% males. Now, it’s 60% women and 40% men. There’s been a shift in the age in today’s BPO agents where the older ones are increasing in number. In 2000 alone, 95% were below 30 years old. To date, there’s an increase in those older than 30, with a few in their 50s joining the industry. Every one of these agents could rise to the next level after three months like one of our fast-rising employees April Torrecampo, who thought she had none of the qualities required of a call center agent, but proved that her latent skill just needed to be harnessed," says Sarakinis.

Human Resources director Crystabel Cardenas, who has worked in the BPO industry with three other BPO firms, added, "A career path with C3 is equated with opportunities for growth. Globally, about 9 out of 10 C3 employees are promoted from within.
C3 offers above industry benefits to its employees and is constantly outfitting its human relations policies to fit the needs of its workforce. Kevin Urrutia, the Vice President of Operations asserts, “When we talk about pay scales among call centers in the Philippines,
C3 is at the 80th percentile - meaning if there are 100 call centers, C3 pays higher than 80 of them.”
“Inexperienced agents, those who have no prior call center experience, receive P16,000 starting pay. Those with a degree of experience receive up to P18,000 monthly wage. Plus they receive HMO benefits that they can share with a family member as long as they remain employed. It could be for a spouse or child, parent or sibling. Beneficiaries are named and could be changed at the start of every contract cycle. Lateral transfers are not done here in Manila yet but in our US branches they do,” she continued.

She also shared why C3 is literally different from the pyramid hierarchy of most corporate set-ups. “We are employee-centric and follow the inverted triangle approach wherein the grievance approach is immediate. This is made possible through regular supervisory visits. Our focus is on the entry level; mostly for support people and agents,” she enthused. Crystabel talks from over 13 years of experience in Human Resources dealing with fast-paced, rapidly-expanding local and multinational companies, and it is no mean feat that C3 now is counted as one of the most effective and productive BPOs in the Philippines.

C3 is definitely making an impact in the Philippines’ customer care industry with its own brand of performance optimization. Performance optimization, an element of C3 University, is where re-training for a new field and/or higher position takes place. It is the ‘silver lining,’ as its mentoring process helps employees climb the corporate ladder of success in their work life.

C3 University is an on-line training tool wherein an employee undergoes an aptitude test. Meanwhile, the Cadet-ship Program runs at an average of three months. The term can be extended depending on an applicant’s performance and evaluation rating. These promotion avenues provide the means to step up the C3 ladder.

When C3 opened on Nov 1, 2011, it started with 30 people on opening day. Now, the employee roster has risen to make C3 one of the fastest growing BPOs to date, as evidenced by an ever-increasing human resource inventory and a steady vote of confidence from its serviced clientele.

C3 is also strong on the value that charity begins at home. Cardenas emphasized that “C3's core values include open communication systems, accountability and helping the community through our CSR efforts. By community, we begin with our very own agents. For example, the people serving our pantry must be related to an employee. And as long as they have the support and patronage of our staff, they continue serving us with whatever type of food they make available at the refectory. Also during the Habagat, a number of agents were trapped in C3 and couldn't go home because the floodwater in their respective areas was really high. So our 11th floor recruitment section was turned into a shelter for them and their families and C3 contingency funds were used for logistics."

C3’s other international locations include Guatemala City, Guatemala and Panama City, Panama in Central America; Glasgow, Scotland and Sofia, Bulgaria in Europe; and Dalian, China and Mumbai, India in Asia. Its U.S. locations are in Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas, with headquarters located in Plantation, near Miami, Florida.  - The Lifestyle Portal

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