Prerequisites for a call centre job

The call centre industry in India seems to be calling the shots. A research organization, Forrester Research, predicts that almost 3.3 million US jobs are likely to be outsourced by the year 2015. Director, Career House, estimates an annual growth rate of 60-70% in the BPO sector. The salary structures in this industry are at par with the best; in fact the reason why most fresh graduates gravitate towards call centers is because the average salary package starts at Rs15,000.

However, because of the monotony of repetitive work, health issues and a pressure cooker environment, call centre experience a high rate of employee attrition. Employees need oodles of patience to last in the mundane, closeted environment of a call centre. Clearly not everyone can survive in that atmosphere. So we help you figure out whether you are cut out for a call centre job:

Someone who has good communication skills, clarity of voice, is people friendly and flexible. Moreover a person should be self motivated because there is very little opportunity for managers to motivate their agents when they are working on such tight schedules. BPOs need people who can speak fluent English in a neutral accent. When referred to communication, we are not just speaking of a person’s vocabulary. It has to be solution based communication. We require people with an analytical mind who are geared to provide customer solutions.

The one thing that call centre employees need to constantly bear in mind is that they are representing a big brand and company. Since you are the first voice that the customer will associate with the brand, you need to sound impressive. You also need to know your telephone etiquette. Sweet talking all the way.

In order to establish a good working relationship and comfort zone with the customer call centers train their staff to learn the accent of the country they are calling and also attune themselves with the culture. Build relationships.

Some call centers encourage the staff to follow current events in that country so that they can relate a particular event as an example to the point they are making. Essentially if you have the basic English speaking capacity in place, a bit of industry and practice should make it possible for you to establish a good rapport with the customers.

When it comes to psychological make up, call centre employees need to be able to take pressure, not indulge in self pity and have a positive attitude. The ideal psychological profile of a call centre employee would be one who likes to follow procedures, hates change, is accurate and dependable. For out bound call centers, they would also need to be self motivated, extroverts and capable of handling rejection.

Many speak of the lack of vertical growth and promotions in a call centre. Even an agent with less experience can become an acting team coach; one can have friendship sessions with new joinees.

To be a good agent and have greater promotion prospects one should also study the competition. Have a USP vis-à-vis the competition to establish a better relationship with the customer and thus increase your success rate.

If you fit the bill, a call centre job can take you places. All it takes is a bit of initiative and a bit of flexibility to make yours a success story.

Prerequisites for a call centre job:
* Familiarity with computers and basic applications
* Good spoken English
* Clarity and a pleasant voice
* Flexibility with timings and night shifts
* Dependability
* Willingness to follow procedures
* Ability to meet targets
* Ability to handle rejection
* Ability to remain calm in volatile situations

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