Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Working in A Call Center

In my workstation as an agent with friends, 2006


Do you know that I spent eight long years working in a call center before I became a blogger, entrepreneur and an online marketing professional? I was only 21 years old when I joined the BPO industry. Let me tell you my story which started in July of 2005 until I took another path to go freelance in August of 2013. Eight years is eight years. Whoever that I have become now will always be a part of my old self who used to wear headsets while making a living.

I am a holder of a 4 – year Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree and a 2 – year Diploma in Computer Studies but when I  started finding a job that is related to the courses I finished I find it really hard. My first job was a data encoder in our hometown’s only Catholic college. I only stayed there for 3 months for two reasons: the tasks of typing students’ grades are very monotonous and I was looking to find a way out of my parent’s watchful eyes. In short I want freedom because I was so young back them. All I can think of is to find a job somewhere far from my family’s house.


With my QA teammates, 2011
I think everything was coming my way that time because a private college from Legazpi city visited our local municipal hall to look for computer-literate young ones who are willing to undergo a three-month scholarship call center training then be hired as the first batch of call center employees of an offshore in-house customer service company based in USA.

The products we sell are all kinds of parts and accessories of cars: Volkswagen,  BMW, Mercedes Benz, Toyota, Audi, Honda, Jaguar and my favorite Lamborghini Diablo. Just mention a year, make and model of a car and I am sure 99% we have it! I can’t believe I survived eight years working a call center for eight years when I don’t know even how to drive nor own one! I owe this to our trainings that we have to learn how to sound like a pro with the help of a ready-made script and spiels we read while we talk to the customers. Even now as a founder of an online travel shop who deals with all the customer service and sales inquiries of my tour packages, I never forget my knowledge in how to handle inquiries from a dumb-sounding to an irate question.

Working in a call center does not really mean the one who always wear a headset as portrayed to the usual interpretation we see everywhere. There are also a number of job descriptions within a call center department. I started as an email answering agent and a chat support representative during my first two years then I finally able to wear a headset for the next two years. When the company has expanded, they opened up a non – voice department. Since I belong to the senior group, I go the position who does not need to take inbound calls but act as a contact between our suppliers and the whole customer service teams for a year. When the QA (Quality Assurance) department  also opened its door, I took a leap as well.

When the US economy and its stocks went down, the company was affected so they decided to downsize. The QA department was dissolved. We had no choice but to transfer back as ordinary agents but our salary remains the same. Some of my fellow team members left the company because of pride. But I along with a few close friends, remained because this working in a call center particularly in this office has become our comfort zone. We swallowed our pride because we are supporting a family and that’s more important. It did not took long for me to adjust back as an ordinary agent because the tasks are more laidback compared to having a higher position.

Already in eighth year of working, I felt the job is totally fine. I am paid for a salary that is higher from my position. Who would not want that? Everything is tranquil that I cannot ask for more but another opportunity came along – something that I discovered I have a burning passion for so I followed my heart and left the call center industry. The knowledge and memories I got for eight years will always remain in my heart. And yes I still find the spiels and scripts applicable in my own business. I just have to rephrase it.

Note: This is an entry to Sykes E-Recruitment Blog Giveaway.

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