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Dominican Republic To Create More Call Center Jobs

October 23, 2007

Increasingly U.S. companies are starting to recognize the buying power of American Hispanic consumers. Statistically, Hispanics are the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. They are also experiencing increasingly buying power, a fact that has not been lost on large U.S. consumer companies.



U.S. government data show that the number of Hispanics in the U.S. is expected to reach 60 million by the year 2020, or 18 percent of the overall U.S. population. Any company that ignores this is likely to become a danger to itself.

Aware that Hispanic customers would prefer the option to be given customer service in Spanish, many companies are scrambling to grow their Spanish-speaking agent base. Oftentimes, they are turning to countries like the Dominican Republic for outsourced customer services.

In the next seven years, call centers in Dominican Republic are expected to generate some 250,000 jobs in the services sector alone, said Investment and Export Center (CEI-RD) director Eddy Martinez, citing a study by the U.S.-based company Huwer.

The study found that the country has the conditions necessary to attract an increasing number of not only U.S. companies interested in Spanish-language services, but also similar ones from Spain, Martinez said.

He said that will prompt Dominican Republic to continue promoting the training of young people in English and to implement programs in schools and universities to improve their Spanish.

The government of the Dominican Republic, according to Martinez, has set out to create 100,000 jobs by 2010; with the rest to be completed by 2014. He said it would benefit the Dominican economy, “because we are not only speaking of creating more jobs, but better, higher-paying jobs on average than those we have until now."

Martinez said president Leonel Fernandez met recently with a senior delegation of the Inter-American Development Bank (I.D.B.) in Casa de Campo, where they agreed Dominican Republic has the conditions to be the region’s leader in that type of service, especially due to its geographic proximity to the U.S. (i.e., "nearshore").

Tracey Schelmetic is Editorial Director of Customer Interaction Solutions magazine. To see more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

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