A call center as described above is merely a centralized office used for the business of incoming and outgoing phone calls. Each call center employee will have his or her own computer, phone, and headset. In general, the call center will be divided into incoming and outgoing sides. The incoming of course will be consumers calling in about payment arrangements, trouble with their account or to discuss some other aspect of their account. On the outbound side of things, the call center employee is making calls on delinquent accounts in an attempt to get them paid, either in full or through some sort of automatic payment arrangement.
Skill requirements for call center positions vary from company to company. Below you will find the basic requirements:
- Good oral communication
- Detail oriented
- High school diploma or equivalent
- Ability to work under high pressure
- Calling clients who are 60 plus days past due
- Teaching clients about payment options
- Sending letters to delinquent accounts
This is of course only the beginning in call center positions and educational requirements. To move up in any field you must apply yourself diligently and learn about as many aspects of the business as you can. Working in the collections department off any call center will take its toll; you will need to develop skills that allow you to keep your annoyance in check when dealing with angry customers whose goal it will seem is to give you a verbal lashing. The ability to not take this personally will take you far in the call center career arena. Along with personal skills, you will want to stay abreast of new technology and financial education especially as it applies to your position. New phone systems, computer technology, and changes in banking and credit laws will all be areas to stay currently informed about.
Jobs in call centers will range from the telephone representative to call center manager jobs. To become a manager some businesses may require the minimum of a bachelor's degree. A sample job description for a call center manager's job is below:
- Setting the performance goals for staff and meeting them
- Manage daily running of the call center
- Working together with other managers, human resources, employees and others to resolve issues
- Maintain ongoing education in the field
- Monitor representatives and their call for quality assurance
- Planning employee hiring, training, and time off
- Reviewing employee performance then addressing areas of lack through improved training
- Staying on top of supply and demand, ensuring proper staffing during high demand times
- Motivating team, setting up and ensuring performance bonuses, retaining employees
- Improving productivity, raising efficiency, implementing new technologies
A new idea in the call center collections field has recently become more attractive to both potential representatives and companies alike. Representatives willing to take or make calls from home are becoming a win/win solution for all involved. Companies are now offering performance incomes for call center jobs done at home. These will typically pay based only on the number of calls taken or made in a given period. The requirements for a work at home call center position will be specific equipment, internet type, and the representative's ability to schedule their time.
- Landline based telephone service, many times a separate line is required and no cell phones allowed.
- Relatively new computer equipment capable of running specific software
- DSL or equivalent internet, no dial up or satellite based service due to speed and privacy issues.