A customer service position in a call center might be a good choice for someone looking for a job with low entry barriers, work-life balance and lots of growth potential. What is the current state of call center jobs? How many hours do call centers work? Is it possible to contact call centers via chatbot, email, or social media? Check out the experience of working in a call center before you submit your resume.
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What is the Hours of a Call Center Representative? Call center jobs require you to work between 30-40 hours per week. Flexible shifts are available, which is great news if you have children or go to school. You can work as many hours as you like because call centers are open 24/7.
Many companies offer 24/7 customer service. To be able to do this, agents must be available to customers at all times. Call centers require at least three shifts of staff to function.
Schedules can be as long as 5 days. Some schedules take 4 to 4 days and a half days. You will need to work for 40 hours, plus mandatory overtime. Flexible hours are possible. Flexible days are available for 3 or 4 day work weeks, as well as 5 or 7 day work weeks.
Call center training takes on average 4-10 weeks. This includes classroom training, shadowing and nesting. The goal of the training is to have agents proficient in handling live calls. This means they can take care of real-life calls confidently and accurately. However, in some call centers it can take up to 6 months or longer for agents to become proficient. This all depends on your training criteria and circumstances.
Call centers place customer service at the top of their priority list. To provide the best customer experience, call centers must have a large number of talented and qualified agents.
These are just a few reasons they are always hiring.
Some employees may find the job too stressful. Some employees might not like the work environment or the hours. High turnover rates mean that call centers need to constantly hire new agents to replace the ones who have left.
They also need to handle a high volume of calls. They need to have a large number of agents that can handle the calls.
Call centers can receive thousands of calls each day. To ensure each caller receives their assistance, call centers require a large number of agents.
Call centers must be available to customers 24 hours a day. They need staff that can take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call centers must have many agents who are willing to work various shifts in order to provide this level of service. This includes weekends, holidays, and nights.
Agents with special skills are also needed for call centers. Some call centers may require agents to be fluent in multiple languages. Agents who are specialists in a specific field might be needed by others.
The call center is a key component of customer service teams. They are often the first point of contact between businesses and their customers. You must be driven by customer success to work in a phone center. Call center agents are problem-solvers with tenacity who want to improve customers’ experience with the brand.
Call center agents work fast and have to handle many responsibilities. Agents need to be flexible in their workflow and able to handle unexpected roadblocks. Although their workdays may look different every day, agents still have to perform the core functions of call center operations regardless of what task they are completing.
BPO call centers can handle either outbound or inbound services. The first refers to answering customer messages and calls, and the second refers to actively reaching out and contacting potential and existing customers. The following are some of the most important inbound services offered by BPO call centers:
Customer service is the first line of defense for call center workers. Customers expect agents to go above and beyond to deliver the best customer experience. Bad news: It’s not always easy to provide excellent customer service, especially over the telephone. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to customers, a call center might not be the right place for you.
Highly productive and successful call center agents have the following:
Customers are always the most important thing to customer service representatives. Each call is a memorable experience that creates loyal brand ambassadors. If the customer is happy, you’re not satisfied.
About 25% of all call center jobs involve post-call data entry or computer admin work. You will need to have experience with software, mobile apps, or other systems.
The rule of thumb is that you will be able to access customer information screens quickly and type quickly.
Callers expect a quick resolution to their problems. Callers want to be able to answer their calls immediately.
However, it can be difficult to work in an inbound call center. There are no two calls or callers ever the same. Have you ever had to make a relay call? Sometimes, it is difficult to follow protocols for situations outside of the box. You need to be able to think quickly and come up with quick solutions for callers.
Agents in call centers may have to manage multiple outreach channels simultaneously. You should be able to switch between email, live chat, phone calls and other outreach channels.
Each day, you may interact with more than 50 customers. To keep it all together, you will need to be laser-focused and organized.
It doesn’t mean you have to know everything about the company’s products and services. You don’t have to know everything about a company’s products or services. But you do need to be able to quickly find the answers if you don’t.
Call center work may require you to be available outside of normal business hours. You may work weekends and nights, as well as overtime, if there is a recall or other significant event that requires all hands to be available.
Call center work can be extremely demanding but rewarding. Every day, call center agents are learning something new and facing new obstacles and challenges.
These pros and cons may be the motivation you need in order to make a decision.
Pros of Call Center Jobs
You’ll gain transferable skills.
A shift is happening. Between advances in technology and 76% of customers calling to address questions and concerns, companies can see the value of providing the best service for their customers.
That means you get the chance to be educated in everything from product training to customer service to program and computer skills. Whether you want to move up in the world of customer service or are a recent graduate looking to gain some entry-level knowledge, the skills developed inside a call center will help you in every job that comes your way.
You’ll learn excellent communication skills.
By this, I don’t just mean knowing how to talk to someone. I mean the entire spectrum of communication skills. Every customer is looking for a quick, efficient, and pleasant call. Agents need to master the art of communication styles, engaging listening skills, and asking quality questions to get to the root of the problem.
You’ll get great compensation and benefits
For a job that doesn’t require a formal degree, call center reps can earn a lot in exchange for the impact they have on a company. How would you feel about generous paid time off, paid holidays, and monthly incentives and bonuses?
Between starting salaries of around $30,000 and major perks and promotions, the journey is only upwards for agents. And, many call centers are quick to promote talented employees, whether you’ve been around for a while or not.
Cons of Call Center Jobs
There may be unpredictable hours and stress.
Since most companies have global audiences, being in different time zones can sometimes mean you have to be prepared to work nights or weekends.
That also means working with different customers from around the globe. But through these experiences, you develop major problem-solving skills and learn how to work independently despite the stress.
After a point, you’ll be able to provide exceptional customer service, even when you feel the need to recharge. This will ultimately prepare you for future challenges and leadership positions.
Your team may experience high turnover.
One of the biggest challenges faced by call centers is increasingly high turnover rates of 30–45% on average. It could be a lack of training, experience, or even the many students applying for an entry-level job.
You may be faced with the dynamics of unstable teams, which can lead to difficult change management.
However, building trust, growing your teams, and keeping the service consistent within a constantly changing environment also trains you for different work environments — and most importantly, an ever-changing world.
You may feel stuck in a sedentary position.
Considering the work of an agent is primarily phone-based, most call centers require agents to work eight- or nine-hour hour shifts, depending on company policy, state law, and location.
Before you know it, you’ll likely be sitting for long periods of time, swiveling around in your chair as you talk to multiple customers throughout the day. Sitting all day can lead to body aches and pains, so don’t forget to check your posture, drink water, and take short breaks.
The turnover rate for call centers is also high. It can range between 30-45% and more than twice that of all other occupations. The average life expectancy of a call center agent is only three years.
Call center jobs have ups and downs, just like any other job. You can enjoy your job by learning the skills and understanding the responsibilities.