Did you now that 66 percent of all call centers for businesses in the U.S. are actually located in the U.S.?
Many people believe call centers are being outsourced overseas, and while this is true to some degree, a large number of them are still located domestically.
This means hundreds of thousands of people are employed by a call center. Have you been considering a job like this? If so, you may wonder - what's it actually like working in a call center?
This is a common question and one that's answered here.
Keep reading to learn about call center work and discover the truth about this working environment.
The Role of an Inbound Call Center Agent
As an inbound call center agent, you are responsible for answering customer calls coming into the company. You may represent insurance providers, retailers or even a utility company.
Since you are the initial point of contact for customers, it's your responsibility to handle customer complaints and inquiries.
You are going to encounter angry, disappointed and even happy customers. It's your job as the agent to hear their concerns and issues and do your best to resolve them.
Some of the additional responsibilities you may have include:
- Providing information about the services and products offered by a company
- Troubleshooting and resolving product concerns and issues
- Developing and documenting the customer relationship in the CRM software
You may also need to use additional tools, such as GoLookUp, if you lose contact with or need to find a number to pass on for a customer.
The Role of an Outbound Call Center Agent
An outbound call center agent is tasked with making calls to customers or prospects. They do this on the behalf of their business.
This often includes making calls for telemarketing, fundraising, sales, or even for surveys. Because the majority of these calls are "cold calls," most outbound call center agents spend more time on the phone than inbound agents.
In addition to making a call to a customer, the role of an outbound call center agent may include:
- Have a thorough understanding of the company's services and products
- Recommend or pitch new products or services to customers
- Schedule a sales appointment for customers
While this position may seem more difficult than an inbound agent, they both have their own, unique set of challenges to overcome.
Experience Needed for Call Center Work
As with any job, having previous experience in a similar industry is preferred. However, many of the experiences and skills you have had in other sectors and jobs, and your ability to learn and master new things, can help you be a great fit.
For example, if you have past experience in sales or customer service, this can be a huge benefit. Other skills that may help you acquire a position at a call center include:
- The ability to prioritize tasks
- Professional and positive attitude
- Superior written and verbal communication skills
If you possess any of the skills or experiences found here, be sure to mention them when interviewing for this position.
The Stress and Challenge of Working in a Call Center
The call center is at the frontline when it comes to customer interaction. As a result, this can often create a stressful environment.
You may face all types of complaints and inquiries when taking inbound calls, or face rejection after rejection while placing outbound calls.
Anyone who works at a call center and states their job is never hard or stressful is lying. Every job has its stressful moments.
While call centers get the majority of upset and angry customers, they are rewarded each time an unsatisfied customer is turned into a satisfied one.
As a result, even though working at a call center is stressful and hard, it's also extremely rewarding.
Opportunities for Growth at a Call Center
Today, a large number of C-level executives and CEOs began their careers as a call center agent.
The fact is, call center agents need to learn in-demand skills to provide a superior customer experience. This makes them the ideal candidates to move up in the company.
After successfully acquiring an entry-level position as an agent at a call center, there are several positions you can be promoted to.
For example, you can become a lead agent, and train or assist team members. You may also move up to become a supervisor, eventually managing the entire call center.
The Truth About Call Center Work
The bottom line is that working at a call center is just like any other sales or service job. The main difference is that all of your interactions with customers occur on the phone.
Because there's a distinct routine to follow if you work as an agent at a call center, you need to focus on all customer interactions. This can help you avoid feeling discouraged by the monotony you may feel from time to time.
Even though working at a call center is challenging work, you have the opportunity to gain valuable experiences and learn new skills. As a call center agent, you can easily propel your career forward, too.
Working in a Call Center - Is it Right for You?
Working in a call center isn't for everyone. However, if you are up to the challenge, it can offer you a rewarding opportunity with growth possibilities.
There are thousands of call centers operating in the U.S., giving those interested in this career ample opportunity to acquire a job.
While there's no such thing as an easy call center job, as they are all challenging in their own way, this position is extremely rewarding.
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