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City thriving in growing sector of call centers

By Dong Xianwu and Zhao Shijun ( China Daily )

Updated: 2016-05-10

 City thriving in growing sector of call centers

A call center agent at Xutong Big Data Co Ltd confers with a client. Zhao Song / For China Daily

With the rapid growth of big data industry in Guiyang, capital of Southwest China's Guizhou province, companies in the city are finding success with the emerging business of outsourcing call centers.

One company in Guiyang that has seen success as a call center outsourcing operator is Xutong Big Data Co Ltd. The company became a telecom operator in 2003 and began to offer call center outsourcing services in 2014.

It said call centers are an effective way for its clients to cut costs, generate sales and better maintain customer relations.

In two years, the company has a staff of 1,050 call center agents and a client list that includes Sinopec, Petro-China, China Mobile, China Unicom and Haier. The company predicts the number of call center agents will reach 10,000 next year.

Zhao Quanqiang, executive vice-president of Xutong, said the government's strong support for call center outsourcing businesses as well as the city's hardworking spirit and growing big data industry are key advantages for the city.

Zhao said a company could have applied for a 1 million yuan ($154,000) subsidy from the government for offering jobs and training locals as call center agents.

"We are glad to have many hardworking, patient and highly skilled people from Guiyang to serve as call center agents to help clients conduct market surveys and promotions and maintain customer relations," Zhao said.

The city's other main advantage is the lower costs of hiring employees compared to other large cities in the country. But Zhao warned that cost-effective labor is not enough to ensure the success of such a business.

"The business needs support from the big data industry," Zhao said, adding that his company has rich experience in big data collection and analysis that can offer added value to its clients.

"For instance, we can help clients better understand their customers and have accurate marketing based on our clients data analysis," he said.

Yan Xiaobin, chairman of the China Call Center and BPO Association, said he is optimistic about Guiyang's development in call center outsourcing business.

"Guiyang was approved by the State as a demonstration city in broadband networks," he said. "Its improving infrastructure featuring free Wi-Fi access and its successful big data industry will offer greater support to the call center outsourcing business."

He said the call center business can play an important role in upgrading Guiyang's economy because it is a labor-, knowledge- and technology-intensive sector.

According to Chen Gang, the city's Party chief, Guiyang will use its big data and call center businesses to drive its overall development and to make the city a call center outsourcing hub with global influence.

Contact the writers through dongxianwu@chinadaily.com.cn

(China Daily 05/03/2016 page7)

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