Slideshow: Belize Strives for Recognition as its Capabilities Expand

This slideshow explores some of Belize's most recent evolutionary steps, explaining through pictures why BPO companies shouldn't be so quick to ignore this unique market.

San Pedro belize

Often hailed as BPO’s “backwater” nearshore location, Belize continues to carve its own path in the contact center industry, moving away from its telemarketing roots into a more value-added future.

This tropical paradise in Central America has always suffered (and always will suffer) from a small labor pool, being less than 400,000 strong in overall population. Even so, a few niche players are leveraging the country’s advantageous traits to continue achieving growth.

The following slideshow explores some of the country’s most recent evolutionary steps, explaining why BPO companies shouldn’t be so quick to ignore this unique market.

  • Belize
    The Central American nation of Belize is tucked away on the Caribbean coast alongside Mexico and Guatemala. While it's population is significantly low compared to other potential markets (only 368,310 in 2015), its residents boast an unparalleled level of English ability due to it being the primary language of public education.
  • The Belizian culture has always been heavily centered on tourism -- almost 50% of the economy is driven by it. This background has contributed to a resource pool that is naturally skilled at hospitality and customer service, which translates well into many high-end BPO and contact center roles.
  • The workforce also deeply understands the American culture and can communicate with anyone in the United States without thinking twice. Other locations have to first learn the language, then develop a cultural understanding -- roadblocks that Belize hasn't had to overcome, helping it to grow so steadily.
  • Teleperformance
  • Transparent BPO HQ
    After opening its first offshore site in Belize City in 2009, Transparent BPO has since become the largest industry player in the country and one of the largest employers in Belize City. The company, led by Scott Newman, is one of those players trying to evolve the outbound telemarketing paradigm that Belize has become known for.
  • IDB skills development programs
  • The company has switched its focus from outbound to customer service and technical support, utilizing channels such as web chat and email processing. "What was really being underutilized in Belize was the skill sets that were available," said Newman. "It's still a very raw market, but Belizians are like chameleons: they can adapt to anything."
  • Another initiative the company is launching to overcome some of the country's infrastructure fallbacks is a private bus line for staff. There will be two routes in Belize City and two more that go north and west of the city. "The public transportation services in Belize are relatively unreliable and buses get filled quickly, so this will keep the stress and headaches down for our employees," said Newman.
  • "Real estate is still a limiting factor, and it'll never be on the same playing field as Costa Rica, El Salvador, or the Dominican Republic, just because of the size of the labor pool," said Newman. "Even so, niche players shouldn't write off a whole country based on its size, because in reality there are 2-3 really strong players doing industry leading work here."
  • While the call center climate has significantly improved over the last 3-4 years, Newman believes that Belize still has another 10 or so years of development ahead of it. Even so, there is a new class of high-end call centers emerging as Belize catches up with its fully developed Central American neighbors.
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