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.