What People DO NOT Understand About Being A Call Center Agent

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

When the call center industry started in the Philippines sometime in 1997, I was just starting a career in banking. It was only Sykes that time. Or it was only Sykes that I know of. For me, Sykes is synonymous to call center.  I got introduced to new terms like "outbound" and "inbound". Graveyard shift was the "in" thing.

Through the years, different call center companies emerged and disappeared like mushrooms. For some reasons, I have a notion that if you talk about call center, the benchmark is Sykes.

I have friends and acquaintances who worked or are still working in call centers.  I never bothered to ask them before what it's like being a call center agent. I was limited with what I think I know about being a call center agent. But as time goes by and numerous conversations with agent friends, I learned a lot about them.

If you speak fluent English, you're sure to land a job as a call center agent.

So I thought all these agents need is a good conversational English. Period. 

Excellent English is a must but you need to possess other skills. Like any other jobs, your aptitute, Intelligence and Emotional Quotient, customer service or technical skills are also taken into consideration. 

Outbound calls are for sales. Inbound calls are for technical support.

I still get confused with the Outbound/Inbound category. I limit the description to the idea that if you make the call (outbound), you sell. If you receive the call (inbound), you provide technical support. I believe it's easier for me to remember and understand.

There's more to selling and supporting. Aside from telemarketing, an outbound call also covers collections, sales verification, advisories and even conducting surveys. For the inbound call, this includes customer services like inquiries, technical support and after-sales services.

All call center agents work on graveyard shift.

Although majority of the agents are on the graveyard shift, there are also other work schedules available. The schedule will depend on the location of the account you are handling.

No career path in being a call center.

Like in any other job, your progress career-wise is measured based on your performance. There are many opportunities for career growth in the call center industry. It's your drive and determination to climb the career ladder which will determine how soon you'll get on top.

Being a call center agent is a waste of educational/college degree.

The call center industry covers a wide range of capability. Again, it's not just telemarketing. It is considered the fastest growing industry in the Philippines because of the various services it can offer. They handle clients in the travel business, financial services and even health and insurance. These call center agents are highly skilled employees. People should stop looking down at them.

All work and no fun.

Well, may be because you think they are working graveyard and all they do during day time is sleep. But you'll be surprised that most of them have more fun than those working the eight to five shift. Call center companies have exciting recreational activities for their employees. The office has a relaxing lounge with great amenities. They also have interesting benefits and incentives.

Every industry has it's unique pros and cons. It's your capability to adapt to the working environment which will determine your job satisfaction.


Do you want to consider a career in call center? Visit Sykes E-Recruitment Site and who knows, you might find the job that suits you best.


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