Getting hired in a call center is not easy.
There are many reasons why you should consider not continuing.
Here are reasons why you might want to skip working in a call center.
If you finished college and have access to a good job, perhaps you can just stick with that and use your income to go after your dream job or slowly build the resources for your business instead.
You will speak in English all the time. Eight hours a day, five days a week, you are on the phone speaking to an American or another English speaking person.
Other than your fifteen-minute breaks and limited ten-minute restroom break, the call center company expects you to talk to a customer in English every minute of those eight hours and accidentally speaking in Tagalog has negative consequences.
If you’re comfortable with this read on.
You don’t have any right to get angry.
If the customer did something wrong or stupid, you apologize they are experiencing an issue and understand why they feel frustrated with the specific bad experience.
They scream at you, call you demeaning words, give you racist comments and use profanity, you take it like a champ, smile, apologize and solve their problems.
You’ll be modern-day phone Jesus.
Turn the other fucking cheek.
Bless those who curse you.
Pray for those who say nasty things about you.
You’ll be Jesus in almost every way.
Clients you talk to will require that you perform a miracle.
You will be expected to do the impossible.
You are required to be emotionally detached and remain objective.
You are the savior.
You are the messenger of the company.
You bring good news.
And you bring bad news.
Someone else made the mistake, whether the customer or someone else in your company, you’re responsible for apologizing and finding a solution.
You are the company.
If the product didn’t work, you will need to apologize and offer a replacement or whatever it is that your company offers.
Other employee promised something that isn’t in the policy. Apologize and explain the policy.
Take the hit.
That’s your job.
Many call centers offer incentives and/or performance bonus to make their compensation packages more attractive.
If your company wants sales, you get paid extra every time a customer buys or every time enough customers buy depending on policy.
In a lot of situations, not hitting your sales quota can get you fired.
If you’re in customer service or tech support, how well you follow the script is graded and a high score may lead to an incentive this is often referred to as the QA score or Quality Assurance score.
There are people who listen to your calls and grade your calls based on how many lines that you say well and give you a negative every time you make an error or forget something.
If your customer values speed of processing customer requests then completing calls as fast as possible while keeping the customer satisfied.
This is often called AHT or Average Handling Time.
If your calls are long, expect your TL to stand behind you giving you reminders to speed up your call and the TL’s boss to yell your name alerting everyone that your calls are too long.
Your customers, at the end of the call is often asked to do a survey.
They’ll be asked how happy they are with the company, the service and you.
If they say no to two of five questions you failed already.
Where I worked this is an extra 4K a month.
Failing this because an unhappy customer gave me a poor score will mean me not receiving any extra income.
Some call center companies offer an attendance bonus for perfect attendance. Often, this only applies to perfect attendance.
So if you arrive on time and never late or absent, you get paid extra.
This is often, an all or nothing monthly deal usually and that means if you are absent once or late once, you won’t receive any money for your near-perfect attendance.
Majority of call center work happens at night.
Big companies who outsource their work to the Philippines are in the US.
So office hours there will be evening here.
For example, I work 8-5pm Eastern Standard time, that will mean that I’m online 8pm till 4am here in Philippine Time.
In some situations, I’m part of the closing shift.
I work from 2pm to 11pm Eastern Standard Time.
That means 2am Philippine time.
Holidays in the Philippines do not match holidays in other countries.
That said, if it’s Ninoy Aquino day here, the US doesn’t care, and you still have to go to work.
You usually get paid extra on holidays.
Also, notice that malls are open on weekends and holidays?
That’s kind of how you will work.
You are likely going to work on weekends and holidays. Weekends, holidays and the day before or after your payday is often considered a critical workday, and not going to work on one of those days can get you fired.
Many call center companies follow a shifting schedule.
Companies what to be available for their customers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
So your schedule may change.
Your rest days may change.
Your start time and end time may change.
This also has something to do with your performance at work.
If you are a top performer, then you have the opportunity to pick your preferred option in the schedule.
If you are a bottom performer, you are only allowed to pick from the available slots.
So we talked about attendance policy, English only policy, there’s compliance to the rules and often failing to follow the rules can get you fired.
There’s a reason why management is extremely strict with the rules.
That’s because call center jobs are not as stable as you think it is.
If the client is unhappy, if they lose money, if their customers are not satisfied, the client can give the job to another call center or they will hire their own internal staff.
There’s also the risk of technology replacing call centers.
Instead of having to call someone, you can transact or send requests through an app although it may not happen soon, gradually there will be less job openings or less opportunities for promotion.
Call center managers do everything in their power to keep clients happy, so everyone gets to keep their job and that’s why you have to do your part.
Arrive on time, don’t miss work and follow the rules even if you don’t feel like it.
If you keep your customers happy, you’ll keep your client happy,
Advancement and promotion and incentives in a call center is based on merits and the good things that you do.
It is important to remember that different people have different goals.
In order for you to get your goal, you need to HELP YOUR BOSS achieve his or her goal.
It all starts with you.
You are not allowed to complain about your team leader not helping you.
Everything that you want to happen should start with you.
It is nobody’s job to help you.
You have to help yourself.
It is nobody’s job to teach you.
They hired you to help them.
They pay you to help them.
You help you.
So you can help them.
So they can continue paying you.
Cooperate and you will receive support.
Don’t be late.
Don’t be absent.
Don’t be a smartass.
Use your free time to study.
Use your notebook to remember what you need to remember.
Study your notes.
Rewrite lessons as you improve yourself.
You have to do it.
Nobody will do it for you.
Some Filipinos have negative things to say about call center agents.
If you’re female and you work nights, they might think you’re doing immoral jobs.
If you’re a call center agent, you’ll be criticized for buying gadgets, eating at restaurants, traveling and drinking Starbucks coffee.
Criminals somehow think it’s okay to rob call center agents since THEY EARN A LOT OF MONEY.
Family members and friends also think it’s okay to borrow money from call center agents and NEVER PAY THEM BACK.
You will have to say no to your friend’s requests to meet up.
You won’t be able to go out during the usual times or the times you are used to.
You are going to say no to most invitations.
You will make lifestyle changes to make sure that you are getting enough sleep.
You will need to quit alcohol, smoking and junk food.
Unless you hate your family and you want to give them a giant “fuck you message” in the form of a multi-million peso hospital bill and a funeral bill when you die.
When you work at night, and if you are only getting less than seven hours of sleep, your immune system goes down to zero.
You’ll need to spend a couple of thousand pesos to buy nice curtains.
You’ll need to spend less time on games and social media.
You’ll be helping out less with the chores at home.
You’ll need to set aside money for yourself.
You can’t give your money to someone else and expect them to manage things for you.
You’ll need to manage your time responsibly like and adult.
There’s a regular rejection problem in call center work.
And rejection is not just limited to job applications.
Usually, 30% of trainees get rejected because they didn’t pass training.
The other 30% will fall off during the OJT part of call center work.
When you talk to a customer, you will reject customer’s requests on a regular basis.
When you process customer requests, many of those requests will be rejected.
And the customer will reject your news of them being rejected so you’ll need to go back to your supervisor and tell them what happened.
You’ll go back and forth from rejection to rejection.
You will get rejected when you request for leaves, to take lunch breaks and sometimes restroom breaks.
You will need to find a way to deal with all the rejection.
You will need to learn to take rejection gracefully.
You have to accept and love the fact that rejection is part of daily call center life.
When you work in a call center, you usually don’t have complete information.
Rules change on a regular basis.
Client promos change.
Incentives and bonuses changes.
The only thing constant in a call center and the only thing you can always expect in a call center is that EVERYTHING is set to become MORE and more DIFFICULT.
You will need to do your own research.
You will be using your free time to study.
You need to make decisions on your own.
And you will be responsible for all your decisions.
The customer is always the priority of the agent.
The business is always the priority of the client.
The client is always the priority of the call center company.
So the BPO is doing everything to keep the client happy.
Your stats, your performance gets closely monitored.
Do well and you get praised or receive a bonus.
Do poorly, and you will get pressured and eventually fired.
The call center company will implement stricter policies and rules in order to keep the client.
You have to be okay with that.
On your journal, write down the following.
Call center work can be done by anyone.
But not everyone can work in a call center.
It is a high paying job that requires me to be physically, emotionally and mentally disciplined.
It is an opportunity with a personal cost.
Am I willing to change myself to get the job?
What areas of my life do I need to work on so I will qualify for call center work?
Thank you for reading this far and thank you for your attention. God bless.
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MY LESSONS ALREADY HELPED HUNDREDS OF FILIPINOS GET HIRED IN A CALL CENTER.
CHAMPIONS are willing to experience temporary discomfort and VOLUNTARILY face difficult activities that LOSERS are NOT willing to do. And this is the reason CHAMPIONS are able to BUILD the life and enjoy benefits and SUCCESS that LOSERS will never have.
We may never meet but I'm happy I am able to contribute to your life through my work.
I am always praying for your success.