Many people associate call centers with those pesky telemarketers who always seem to call around dinnertime. Contrary to popular belief, most of us willingly interact with call centers quite often. Have you contacted technical support about a particular product or service? Placed a telephone order? Participated in a live chat with a customer service representative? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then you like have had contact with a call center.
Call centers have evolved to provide a variety of important services for name brands. For instance, Global Response is an example of a major call center offering everything from inbound services and e-commerce customer care to social media monitoring, quality assurance and order fulfillment. If you have had any telephone or online dealings with a major name brand, chances are skilled representatives at a major call center handled your interactions.
In addition to brick and mortar call centers, virtual call centers have become popular for people desiring to work from home. Call center work can be more than just a “job”. There is usually a lot of upward mobility so it can become a rewarding and lucrative career. For those not wanting to work for a call center long term, the job offers hands-on experience and the opportunity to develop desirable and valuable career skills.
Let’s examine some ways call center jobs can help take your career to the next level.
Improve Customer Relations Skills
You can read all the books in the world on customer service, however, not much compares to being placed in a situation where your sole job is to interact with hundreds of people a day. Working in a call center allows you to talk with people you may not otherwise choose to deal with outside of work. You will definitely experience a multitude of personalities. Some customers may be frustrated, others may be happy, and then there are those who will consider you the bane of their existence, at least for that moment. Every day is literally a customer service “boot camp”. Having a hands-on opportunity to better understand and successfully interact with a variety of personalities will help make you more of an asset in the career marketplace.
Attention to Detail
If you were not a detail oriented person prior to working at a call center, you will soon become one. In addition to being able to listen, log and evaluate what each caller is saying, you may have to perform additional tasks such as trouble shooting, technical support and customer service. Attention to detail is crucial if you are taking credit card information, issuing a refund or walking a customer through steps to troubleshoot a product. Since missing a single detail can be detrimental in a call center setting, many employers understand and value this type of experience when they see it on a resume.
Whether you are taking orders or offering some sort of technical or customer support, unexpected problems will always arise; in fact, you may face several during a single shift. Working at a call center helps refine your ability to think quickly on your feet while thoroughly evaluating an issue and finding a solution. Being able to rapidly and creatively resolve problems is a skill coveted by most employers.
Customer interaction is only part of a call center job. One of the first things you will learn is how to multitask. While talking with a customer, you may have to also perform several tasks, including searching an online manual for troubleshooting instructions, connecting the customer to another representative, running a credit card and inputting orders, among others. Working at a call center will definitely help you “master” the skill of multitasking.
As you can see, working at a call center – even part time – offers a hand-on (and paid) opportunity to develop skills that can help you advance in almost any career. The compensation is generally pretty good and most of the time, hours are flexible. Virtual options are especially attractive for people with 9 – 5 jobs who want to work evenings and weekends but still be at home. If you are looking for a paid educational opportunity that allows you to advance and refine your skills to become more of an asset in the marketplace, a call center job may just be the perfect opportunity for you!