Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – If you try to call customer service to inquire about your credit card or online product orders, chances are you will be speaking to someone from India or the Philippines, the top countries where U.S.-based companies have outsourced their phone services via call centers.
Until recently, India was considered the call center capital of the world. Not anymore. With an estimated 400,000 Filipinos working in call centers, the Philippines has displaced India from the top spot, thanks to Filipino nurses. Say what?
Nursing has become one of top courses and professions in the Philippines, with local universities graduating anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 every year.
With the very limited number of local hospitals and more stringent requirements for nursing graduates seeking employment in the U.S., it is now estimated that close to half a million licensed Filipino nurses are unemployed or underemployed.
But no worries. Filipino nurses are now being hired by the growing number of call centers in the country, and this has attracted many foreign companies to outsource their services to the Philippines. The reason? Customers who are connected to the Philippine call centers get an extra perk: free medical advice. Calling the centers is like calling Kaiser Permanente or Blue Cross Blue Shield and speaking to an advice nurse.
After answering customer queries about their credit card or online orders, Filipino call center representatives will ask, “and how are you doing today, healthwise?” The caller can then proceed to ask health-related questions.
So the next time you are connected to a call center in the Philippines, don’t forget to ask about the side effects of your medication or what over-the-counter drug you should be taking for your allergies.