Call Center Positions and Job Description

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When you think of call centers, most people will be reminded of those annoying phone calls during dinner where the person on the other end barely speaks English and yet wants to sell you something. While a call center can have this type of department, it is by far not the only application. There are call centers that deal with customer service on a particular product, debt collection call center jobs, and of course the ever-present telemarketing call center.

For the purposes of this article, we will look only at the call center careers centered on collections. Here we will discuss the job profile of call center collections as well as potential advancements like call center manager jobs.

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:
  1. Good oral communication
  2. Detail oriented
  3. High school diploma or equivalent
  4. Ability to work under high pressure
The job duties of a call center collections position include but are not limited to:
  1. Calling clients who are 60 plus days past due
  2. Teaching clients about payment options
  3. Sending letters to delinquent accounts
For these basic skills, you can expect a salary that begins in the eleven to twelve dollar an hour range, coupled with a variable work schedule. Most centers will have two shifts available and in the beginning, you may be required to be available for both. In addition to the base salary, call center positions will usually be compensated with performance-based bonuses as well. This should translate into a bonus that is calculated on a percentage basis of accounts collected.

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
This is merely a sample of what a call center manager jobs might look like. As you can see there, is a lot more responsibility and is most certainly a higher stress position than call center representative.

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.
Beyond basic equipment will be verification of job skills. This may be accomplished through a phone interview with a call center manager or through an online testing session. Overall, it is a great alternative for many stay at home parents, and the decreased overhead makes it an attractive proposal for call centers.
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