What is a Call Center Job?

A call center job is customer service work that is done over the phone or on a computer from a remote location. In this industry, there are two types of jobs: inbound, which involves receiving calls, and outbound, which involves making calls. Although either type of job can be done from home, many call centers have a physical location where hundreds of people work.

Companies like cable and Internet providers, credit card companies, airlines, and others frequently outsource customer service to call centers because their employees don’t have the time to deal with complex customer issues. Call centers can be found all over the world, but India is a popular choice for many businesses because Indian call centers are known for producing high-quality work at a low cost. By 2004, India’s information technology (IT) sector, which enables call center technology, had grown an incredible 54 percent.

In most countries, including India, a call center job is usually done in a relaxed but professional environment with air conditioning and a lunch room. Some call centers are quite sophisticated, with on-site gyms, cafeterias, and break rooms equipped with computer games and/or televisions. A few call centers even provide their employees with a shuttle service. Shifts can be long, and employees may be required to work anywhere from early in the morning to late at night.

Workers in an outbound call center must use a list of contacts and a written sales script to make calls. Telemarketing is the term for this type of work. Outbound call center employees may engage in direct sales activities such as soliciting donations, or they may provide information to call recipients and attempt to schedule appointments for outside sales representatives to follow up on. Upselling or promoting additional products and services may be requested of outbound call center agents.

Workers in an inbound call center job must answer incoming calls from customers. Because the worker has no idea who will call with what problem, complaint, or information request, this work can be more unpredictable than outbound call center work. The inbound call center representative must have a thorough understanding of the company’s products, services, and policies. Technical Service Representatives communicate with customers to troubleshoot problems with the product or service, and some call center jobs require extensive technical knowledge of the product or service.

A call center job title might include Customer Service Specialist, Contact Center Representative, or Account Service Retention. Although it may appear simple to sit down and talk to people on the phone, even for the long shifts typical of this type of job, call center work has many different aspects to it, and not everyone has the skills or wants to do it. It can be very stressful to speak with people who have the same calling script or to hear nothing but complaints and problems day in and day out. Also, people in these jobs must never be rude or lose their temper in any way during calls, which necessitates a great deal of patience.

A call center job, on the other hand, can provide valuable experience for those interested in working with people. A cal center entry level job usually requires no experience, so it is a good opportunity for those with good communication skills and patience but no office or job experience. Pay varies, but it is generally low, with most starting at or near minimum wage. However, if call center employees are promoted to team leader, supervisor, or manager, their starting wages can double or triple within five years.

Large companies may have call center jobs available for those with patience, good communication skills, and the ability to handle a large volume of calls per shift. Work-at-home ads that seem too good to be true, or companies that demand payment for training, should be avoided. To check the legitimacy of call centers, contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).