What's a Call Center experience like?

I have never worked in a call center, and am curious to know the real deal. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages in your opinion? I am going for an interview for this position tomorrow. I live in USA. Thanks a ton!

Update:

Also, what's the typical salary like?

Update 2:

Well, this is certainly not my dream job :). But at this time, I'll take anything to make ends meet. Looking forward to more answers.

7 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Call center work is very rewarding if you like working with people who need help. On the other hand, customers who need help are usually frustrated and emotional. If you are the type of person who does not like comforntation, call center work is not for you. You can read a lot more about call centers, their work environment the job challenges, etc at www.callcentercomics.com. The site pojes fun at all the issues that you will encounter as a all center employee. There's also a long list of interview questions available.

    Source(s): www.callcentercomics.com
  • 1 decade ago

    OK, now that all the sob stories are over... let's talk the truth a little bit.

    Here's what you should expect from most call centers

    1) your performance will be measured against a metrix. they will measure things like

    * Availability - for the 8 hours you were logged into the ACD (Automatic Call Distributor), were you ready and available for x% of the time?

    * Hold Time - for the time you were on the phone with a customer, how much of that time did the customer sit on hold whil you researched an answer

    * First Contact - For the customers that you spoke with, what % were you able to resolve their question or issue on the first phone call

    * Attendance - Were you signed into the ACD on time at the beginning of the day, on time for breaks/lunches, and did you log off at quitting time, or did you shut down 15 minutes before you were supposed to

    * Talk time - of the customers you spoke with, how longer was the customer actually on the phone with you

    2) level of knowledge - are you providing accurate answers to customers

    3) professionalism - are you professional and representing the company well

    4) are you a team player - when it's cruch time and you have a dozen calls waiting to be answered, are you answering them or goofing off?

    5) quality assurance - if your job consists of transactions in the system, are you accurately entering the transactions

    Now, as for how the call center is run, here's the kicker: It depends on the management. I've worked in 4 call centers, 1 run very well, 2 that were OK, and that was horrible. What's the difference between the two? Let's answer that.

    1) Leadership/Management: Are they slave drivers or professionals? Do they focus on talk time and processes or relationships with customers?

    2) How do they administrate their quality assurance program? Do they focus on hard skills (ability to perform the task) or soft skills (how well you interact with the customer)

    3) What do they do to motivate you?

    Really, it all comes down to your gut feel. If you get a good impression during the interview, ask to speak to some current employes, and get their prespective.

    Not all call centers are disaster scenes. Many are run effectively, efficiently, and have fun while doing their job.

  • 1 decade ago

    DO NOT DO IT!

    I worked in 2 call centres in Leeds some years back, and both times I ended up being escorted off the premises by the security goons. They are run like concentration camps - I couldn't handle that environment.

    Just to give you an idea of the pettiness - the 2nd time I was fired for walking on a stretch of carpet that was not a "designated walkway".

    (The first time I was fired for throwing a cup of water in my supervisors face after he spoke to me like a subhuman one time too many, so I guess being escorted WAS justified that time!)

    If you are depressed, have no hopes or dreams, have no personality, want to act & behave like an automaton then go for it.

    If not, do yourself a favour and get another job - anything! - but just do not do it!

    This does not apply for Indians - I understand that jobs in call centres there are very well paid, comparatively, and they are probably not as insanely petty in India either.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is not fun. I did it for two days and I couldn't take it anymore. I am now working from home doing direct sales. It's the best move I've ever made. Visit www.yourlbri.lbri.com to see if it's for you.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Don't know much about call centers in the US. I just came to say hi.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    IT'S OK, IM IN ONE RIGHT NOW, I WORK AT AAA, I MEAN ON SLOW DAYS IT'S FINE BECAUSE U CAN SUR THE NET ALL DAY AND TALK TO THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU, AND ON A BUSY DAY U GET TO TALK TO A LOT OF INTERESTING PEOPLE. THE DOWN SIDE IS I GUESS SOMETIMES U GET IRRITATED LISTENING TO PEOPLE COMPLAIN ALL DAY AND SOMETIMES CUSTOMERS ARE REALLY SNAPPY WITH YOU. BUT ALL IN ALL ITS AN EASY JOB!

    Source(s): PERSONAL EXPERIECE
  • 1 decade ago

    not much lead time, if going tomorrow ! takes a special type to do it, you can't have an ounce of creativity in your soul and you have to enjoy smoking, love worn out old stockbrokers as friends.

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