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CALL CENTER SERVICE 101; WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE APPLYING TO BE AN AGENT

Smiling lady with a oyinbo behind

 

ESTHER. A. Omomogbe

 Call center agents are customers’ first point of contact for inquiries and complaints. They have the daunting task of being the voice of the company. As a prospective call center agent, you should know that while receiving positive customer feedback and serving customers will make your day, there are sides to life in a call center that prove it isn’t for everyone. With this, there’s no denying that being a call center agent is an important job 

There are some particular sets of skills that you need to thrive in an inbound or outbound call center. unique set of skills such as patience, adaptability, great listening skills, and more. A call center is a tough environment that doesn’t have much downtime with hundreds of phone calls being answered or dialed each day. But considering that call center representative jobs are in high demand and expected to grow 39% between 2014 and 2024, it’s a position that could make a great career move. 

Here at DelonApps, we are the #1 Call Center service provider in Nigeria with over 14years of experience in providing technological solutions in Nigeria and helping job seekers find the right job for them. We will walk you through the process of making you qualified for call center jobs in Nigeria and help you decide if working in a call center is right for you, by answering six burning questions you probably have about working in a call center. 

 

  1. WHAT EXACTLY IS A CALL CENTER? 

A possible call center interview question is; tell me what you understand by call center? A call center is a concentrated department to which calls from both existing and potential clients are being directed and handled. They are mostly used by large organizations to provide customer service functions. A call center service can be carried out by a department in a company or it can be outsourced to other companies that offer business process outsourcing services 

 

2 WHAT DOES A CALL CENTER AGENT DO? 

There are two major services carried out by call center agents and they are; inbound and outbound call services. inbound call center agents answer customer calls coming into a company. As an agent, you might represent retailers, insurance providers, or a utility company. Because you are the first point of contact for customers, the most important responsibility of inbound agents is handling customer inquiries and complaints. Happy, disappointed, and angry customers will cross your path, but it’s your job as an agent to hear their concerns and do your best to put them at ease. 

Additional responsibilities of inbound call center agents might include: 

  • Provide information about the company’s products and services 
  • Develop and document the customer relationship in the company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software 

 

  • Troubleshoot and resolve product issues and concerns 

On the other hand, outbound call center agents are responsible for making calls to customers or prospects on behalf of the business. This can include making calls for telemarketing, sales, fundraising, or even surveys. And because most of these calls are cold, outbound call center agents tend to spend more time on the phone than inbound agents. 

 

Beyond making calls to customers, outbound call center agent duties may include: 

 

  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of company products and services 
  • Pitch or recommend new products and services to customers 
  • Schedule sales appointments 

 

3 IS WORKING IN A CALL CENTER HARD OR STRESSFUL? 

 

Call centers are the frontline of customer interaction, creating a naturally stressful environment. It is either you are bombarded with inquiries and complaints if you are taking inbound calls, or often be faced with rejection when placing outbound calls. But anyone who says their job isn’t stressful or hard at times is lying—every job has its moments. And while call center agents receive the brunt of angry and upset customers, they are rewarded every time they turn a sad customer into a happy one. So even though working in a call center is both hard and stressful, it is also very rewarding. 

 

4 DOES A CALL CENTER JOB NEED WORK EXPERIENCE? 

Don’t worry, you don’t need years of experience to get a flexible call center position. Many call center reps have a high school diploma, and usually, no higher education is required. Even with minimal work experience and no college, you could be the perfect call center agent, all you need is a couple of training on-the-job and off-the-job. Apart from the other common interview questions, you might be asked why  you want to work in a call center especially since you do not have previous experience in the job. You should be able to think of times when you have demonstrated the skills necessary for this position: a strong customer service orientation, good conflict/dispute resolution talents, and patience even when under pressure. 

 

5 ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROFESSIONAL GROWTH AT A CALL CENTER? 

    Absolutely. Many of today’s CEO’s and other C-level executives got their start in a call center. For example, Andrea Ayers started her career as a call center trainer and became the CEO of Convergys, the world leader in customer experience outsourcing. The fact of the matter is, call center agents need to flex and learn hard, in-demand skills to provide a stellar customer experience, making them ideal candidates to move up in the company. 

Following the entry-level position of a call center agent, there are several positions you can be promoted to. For example, you might be promoted to lead agent where you have the added responsibility of assisting or training your team members. And once you have demonstrated your leadership skills as a lead agent, you might move on to become a supervisor and eventually, manage the whole call center. 

 

6 WHAT’S IT LIKE TO WORK IN A CALL CENTER? 

 

Working in a call center is just like any other service or sales job. The primary difference being that all of your customer interactions happen on the phone, either through dialing or answering calls each day. And because there is a distinct routine to working as a call center agent, you need to focus on each customer interaction to avoid getting bogged down in the monotony. 

Call center life is hard work, but the hardest things in life are usually the most rewarding. “You don’t want an easy job. Easy means you don’t get better, you don’t acquire skills, and you’ll never reach your full earning potential.” 

                                                                        – Paul Rivera, now co-founder and CEO of Kalibrr, 

 

While it’s tough work, you will learn coveted skills and gain valuable experiences as a call center agent that can propel your career forward. 

Tech predictions based on reviews

Not very much in 2020. A star disappeared, a bunch of stuff was caught on fire, Vue.js 3.0 was finally released, BARU* EXPLODED, Slacks sold out, Donald trump starts his 2nd term in January, SpaceX Dragon used web components, etc. 2020 has been a defining year for tech; there have been big winners and big losers. A lot of events and trends from 2020 provided a roadmap for developers that relating to a web, backend, mobile, AI, and more. 2020 forced many companies to embrace and implement remote work. Big companies like Microsoft and Facebook now permanently allow their staff to work from home.

Technology is ever-evolving regardless of the current market conditions. New technologies are evolving with groundbreaking innovations to tackle world issues. The fun part is that these innovations are what make life easier in the coming years. From systems that could predict the risk of virus transmission, to drones that could deliver essentials to your door. The tech industry is transforming our lives which is why we bring you the predictions in the tech industry as “Prediction is saver than following blindly” Coding Tech, 2019.

 

 

TYPESCRIPT

TypeScript will continue to dominate and it is already used by almost everybody for big complex projects but it is my opinion that there will be even new adoption since the invention of DENO which is a brand-new Java Script that came out in 2020 and runs type script notably. It is an alternative to new JS and we will see a lot of growth in Deno over the next few years. There is also a newly built tool called Snowpack that makes it fast and easy to start a new project with Typescript in your preferred framework and the most exciting is that it has nothing to do with JavaScript. By the end of 2025, there will be more people writing typescript daily than JavaScript without typescript.

 

 

WASM + PWAs

Web apps and native apps such as delon.ng, jobs.delon.ng, jiji.ng etc will become more indistinguishable than ever and there are two main reasons for this: Web Assembly and Web Platform (or a collection of features we call Progressive Web Apps). Web Assembly is a common target that multiple languages can compile to which means you can now build high-performance languages other than JavaScript. It is a way to run “almost-machine-code” in the browser and it is essential if one can build applications that can run faster than JavaScript. Also, the Web platform or browser now has most of the features that used to be available only on native apps such as push notifications, offline mode, background sync, Bluetooth, and more. What this means as a developer is that you can deliver a fully native app experience entirely to the free and open platform known as the web. Another possible use of web assembly is that one can use it to improve perf of JS apps and libraries and one example that Lin gave is that you can use it to react to reconciling faster. It is also a prediction that Web Assembly is going to expand the Web App Pie. Web Assembly will make no difference to the makeup of the web, but by 2025, there will be a new niche of heavyweight web apps that are made of apps distributed in the browser.

 

 

NO-CODE

There are a variety of tools out there now that makes it easier for people without engineering skills to develop apps. There are tools like Web flow for building websites, Amazon has honcho then google has App sheets for building mobile apps. Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of return on investment flowing into the No-code Apps. Another good thing about it is that for a developer, The No-code Apps are more valuable because they obstruct the way of some of the most annoying parts of being a developer. For example, you might use a no-code app to … quickly instead of taking a week to build a baseline prototype. You now have one under a few minutes and can now move on to the exciting features that No-code tools cannot handle. If you are a developer working on something repetitive, that can be represented with a drag and drop UI and you probably have a great idea for a start-up in your hands.

 

 

SERVELESS

The growth of serverless computing has been accelerating for the last few years with tools like AWS Lambda, IBM Cloud Functions, and Google Cloud Functions leading the way. In the past, they could have been a few reasons why you did not want to use this platform. One of these is their high latency when they initially start. But in 2020, we have a new feature from AWS called Provision Concurrency which ensures you always have a hard function available to give you a predictable high latency known also as Cold Start. Another drawback with the serverless is that you cannot control the runtime with a docker container. The bottom line is that serverless functions are becoming suitable for more use cases. On top of that, we are now starting to see more serverless databases like Firestore, and Fauna. In the not-so-distant future, it will be rare for a developer to have to think about how they will maintain backend infrastructure. Everything will just magically work in the cloud.

 

 

Compile-to-JS

Back in the day, if people did not want to write JavaScript in the browser, they replace it with Java Applet or Flash. These days, the most popular ways to compile to a JS dialect to JS are CoffeeScript, Dart, Barbel, TS, and Svelte. All these are fundamentally the same upsides and downsides as JavaScript and other options are not JavaScript but pretty have the same upsides and downsides as JavaScript, for example, Clojure Script, ReasonML, and Elm. JS alternative will stay niche and age well. A lot of people who go betting on these technologies and they are going to continue being happy with those bets. There will still be continuous growth in compile-to-JS languages but none will be fast as TypeScript. TypeScript is taking over the world and by the end of 2025, they would have aged well although TypeScript will continue to grow and will be ever popular.

 

 

NPM

When you run NPM install, it automatically executes arbitrary code on your machine from thousands of machines and this is worse than running a bash script. This execution is as a result of a thing called the “post-install” that any package can put in a package.json and would just execute any arbitrary no JS code which is the same arbitrary code on your machine every time that package gets installed. NPM ends up surviving further problems and by 2021, at least, one NPN security incidents make the headline. By 2025, they will have been a virus outbreak and someone would have successfully distributed the virus through the NPN package. By then, at least one malicious NPN package would have infected many development machines.

 

These are my recent reviews garnered on predictions and new developments in the tech industry. Feel free to comment share with me more developments that await us in the future.

 

Reference:

Fireship https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHtR5YSPLjo

Coding Tech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24tQRwIRP_w&t=1124s

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