Traditionally, call centers have offices in buildings equipped with the technology and gear to field all kinds of communications coming in. Companies and corporations have their own call centers for technical and other support. There are government call centers for help and information, there are helpline call centers, bank call centers, brand product call centers etc. A more modern form of this is the online, or virtual, call center which operates 'without walls' so to speak. It is essentially a team of operators or call center agents from many different locations that log in via Internet either from home or a makeshift office of sorts and field communication in this way.
Increasingly this communication function for many companies and services is being outsourced to other, mostly South Asian, countries where operators are paid much less than their North American or European counterparts. This means that there is a mushrooming growth of call centers in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and so on where multinationals can get labor for much cheaper – at set pay rates as opposed to per-hour rates – than in the UK or US.
As with any other service or company, call centers need the usual army of trained and dedicated employees as well as managers, assistants, administrators and other kinds of staff. Call center jobs are not too hard to find and are even easier to prepare for at the interview stage. In fact, finding a job as a call center operator gets easier and easier as traditional forms of call center give way to virtual call centers that exist almost entirely on the Internet. Looking for a job in a virtual call center online is a virtually guaranteed paycheck every month!
But before we get ahead of ourselves, you first have to decide whether you want to work at a traditional call center or work from home at online call center jobs. There are pros and cons to both and weighing them up honestly in your mind is important before going out to find a job at a call center.
Working at a center itself means you don’t need to buy any kind of sophisticated equipment or software that may be in use and you get to know your co-workers and bond with them. However, it can mean significant fuel expenditure in getting there, and complications getting to work during bad weather conditions. Working from home is convenient and comfortable and doesn’t incur any fuel costs. The downside normally is if the Internet stops working for whatever reason, or there is a blackout in your neighborhood, then ‘getting to work’ can be an inconvenience.
A job in either type of call center, however, follows the same basic principles and requires the same basic skill set. Good English, excellent communication skills, a great service attitude and, quite often, the ability to fake other accents. For example, when applying for a job at a traditional call center, you are most likely to be asked about faking other accents during your interview. Questions about previous client or customer care experience, ability to work in a team, use a computer, the Internet and MS Office will be asked, along with more general stuff about your hobbies, interests, favorite TV shows and whether you even know what a call center is.
The main reason they ask about hobbies and so on is because most call centers are about generating revenue, which is done largely by keeping existing customers and enlisting new ones. And the best way to engage in this kind of proactive customer care is by relating to the customer. So if you can talk the customer’s language, understand them, their interests and their needs then you are doing your job right. This is where the call center manager jobs come in. As a call center manager, you have much more responsibility in terms of keeping your staff on their toes, keeping them up-to-date on customer care techniques and making sure they are always doing their personal best to keep the customer satisfied.
The two best ways to find jobs in call centers depend on the kind of call center you want to join. At a traditional setup, your most viable option to getting the job you want is through word of mouth . It is best if you know somebody who is already working, or has worked, at a call center you want to join and, importantly, is considered a good worker there. This is just a foot-in-door strategy to get to the interview stage where you can really impress them, and works especially well for bank call center jobs. For banks it is essential to keep their customers happy so you can expect to be trained well and paid well. You have to demonstrate an ability to speak English well, communicate effectively and . A quick learner will always be welcome in any organization.
For a virtual, or online, call center your best bet is applying online through online job sites, job databases (like the Internet’s version of newspaper classifieds) and by targeting specific call centers that you may know of. If you can tell a company that you are applying to them specifically for such-and-such reason it makes your application all the stronger. You can then expect an interview online, through VoIP services, and a small test as well. This is done in order to ensure that both you, and the equipment you’re using to field calls, are up to the job.