6 Misconceptions about Working at a Call Center
When in Manila, people would usually think that working at a call center is the sweetest escape to poverty. However, just like any other jobs, there are lots of misconceptions about it, too.
Photo courtesy of callcenterfocus.com
Business Process Outsourcing or BPO is one of the blossoming industries in the Philippines. With 400,000 employees hired last 2011; the country’s economy went up, as well as everyone’s self-esteem. It gave a huge amount of hope to newly-graduates and somehow, gave them a taste of financial freedom. There was a time that the only job opening that people knew of is a call center job. Although there are more alternatives (job offers) now than before, BPO jobs still remain a pleasant choice for most people. Truthfully, a call center agent’s salary is much higher than any rank and file employee of other companies.
Before embarking to WAHMhood (Work-At-Home-Motherhood), I’ve been to several corporate jobs, and one of which was working at a call center. Regrettably, I have encountered a lot of family issues, which then made me leave the corporate world. However, the friendships I made since then remain intact, thanks to Facebook. With that, every time I hear negative comments about someone working at a call center, I get extremely affected.
What are these top 6 misconceptions? Let us start reading them, shall we?
6 Misconceptions of Working at a Call Center
6. A Call Center Job is No-Brainer-Job.
The controversial line sa Teleseryeng, “The Borrowed Wife.”
Do you have any idea how hard it is to pass and get certified at a particular skill? I remember how people would patiently wait for their turn to be interviewed, especially, when I saw applicants’ faces being turned down or accepted. I can vividly remember the ‘proof’ of being hired – a long brown envelope. If you see someone walking out of the interview room with an envelope, this means s/he’s hired! But the agony doesn’t stop there; it is just the beginning of either a blissful or sorrowful experience of working in a call center industry.
Before you become a full-fledged Call Center Agent, one MUST surpass these stages:
- Initial Interview
- Series of Exams (Listening, Multi-tasking, Written and Oral Assessments, among others)
- Final Interview – This is either a one on one Interview with your future Operations Manager or Team Leader OR, a panel interview – which is more nerve-wracking!
If you fail in one of the 3 stages that means goodbye and better luck next time! Well, you can reapply after several months if you wish to. Otherwise, you get to move to the next step, which is: Training and Certification. Training is categorized into 3 stages: (1) Culture Training (2) Product Training and (3) Nesting.
Panel Interview is really nerve-wracking! All the stuttering, Uhms, will come out! If you ace this, “You Already!” 🙂
Allow me to elaborate:
- US or AUS 101- is a 7-day introduction to your client’s culture. Call centers are now diversified; hence, you will either learn basic American or Australian cultures. In short, you get a taste of their culture. For example, the slangs they use or how Aussies spell certain words, dictate their dates (Australians write their dates with this DD/MM/YY format), and a lot more. This could be a great way for agents to build rapport to avoid dead air. This is proven to be effective in understanding the person on the other line.
- Product Training- after a week of getting to know the culture of your client and co-workers, the next set of training is all about product knowledge. This training requires you to soak up all information in just 3 weeks. This is pretty challenging, as you need to become an expert on that particular product for such a short period of time. Here you will learn the line of business of the account that you’re going to handle. The last day of Product Training would be “the judgment day.” The judgment day is where you will have a mock call. It is a role-playing activity where you will be tested about your know-how of the account that you are going to cater. This exercise gauges the trainee’s capability to handle an irate call, so you have to think fast! Otherwise, you’re out!
- Nesting- this is the final test. This is where you’d be thrown in the ocean with no life vest. Just joking. This is where you get to experience taking live calls. Although, there are SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) to help you, I am telling you, whatever you’ve learned from Culture or Product goes right out the window! I remembered when I received my first call; I forgot to say my name! Golly!
- Certification and Probation- usually the probation is 3 months. If your performance is good, you get to stay, if not, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!
Now tell me, is this what you call a no-brainer job?!