by: Silver Cepeda
It was almost a year ago when everyone in the call center industry of the Philippines gathered for the annual ICCCE (International Call Center Conference and Expo) Contact Islands 2016. What I cannot forget about the whole experience is the focus on what makes the Philippine workforce different or what makes them special. The event answered it in one word “malasakit”.
Quickly referencing google to define the word malasakit it would give you “care”. However, for a regular Filipino this does not encompass the full meaning of the word. Malasakit is more than care. It is the nature to go beyond or to see through that someone in need is taken cared or fulfilled of their need. This is normal and evident to the majority of the population because caring for someone is innate and natural.
I am on my way home stuck in Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) waiting for my flight to Hongkong which will leave in five hours. My week in United States has been a fruitful one and I cannot help but recollect my experiences which reminded of the word “malasakit”.
Joe the doorman of the Mosser Hotel proudly told me that the Hotel Industry of San Francisco is populated by Filipino staff. True to that claim almost everyone that I met in that hotel speaks tagalog and has that warmth smile that reveals their nationality. I was amazed by their willingness to make sure that your concern is answered. Simple question of “the good steak in town, where can I smoke, how much is the taxi fare from point A to B”. Questions that are simple yet they display patience, pulls out a map and shows you where it is and making sure you clearly understood. Malasakit’s formula is then decoded with the following key ingredients i.e. understanding, patience and the utmost care. Walking down to the self check-in section American Airline, I asked a lady to help me figure out how to do it as I am overwhelmed with my luggage. She was very patient and even did it for me, showed me the direction to the next step. What gave her nationality was her big smile when she saw that I was headed for Cebu City. The lady in the duty free shop who willingly walked me to the smoking area of Tom Bradley which took us more than ten minutes in the maze and complications of the airport and it was just for a smoke. Imagine, if it was for something else. This characteristic is indeed something that makes Filipino the perfect workforce for a service related industry. When helping is natural coupled with the warmest smile in the world then who and what can go wrong.
Cebu tele-net Philippine Corporation is a Japanese company that expanded its operation in the Philippines and chose Cebu City to house their expansion in the country. The driving force of the organization is to deliver Japanese efficiency and hospitality which is centered in their culture of “omotenashi” (please read my previous article to understand this word). Believing in the skill set of the Filipino workforce and aware of their world class customer service expertise the organization continues to push the sales division to acquire and service more and more clientele in North America or any English speaking country. The marriage of both culture is the apex of the desire to provide top notch customer service and delight on each and every phone contact that the company makes. Malasakit and Omotenashi at its best.
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