The ramblings of a self-proclaimed call center veteran - on surviving the Philippine Call Center industry.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

TIPS ON - THE PROPER CALL CENTER ATTITUDE



Surviving the Call Center Industry is not just knowing the in's and out's of your job, you also need to have the right mindset when working in this challenging environment.

1. Have a servant's attitude.

No one really wants to waste precious time to troubleshoot problems, and it also takes time to contact support for assistance.

That is why you should always note that when a Customer calls you - it means that they really need help with a problem. Have a helpful attitude and be there for them.  That's what you are paid to do.

2. Customers are human.

People are people, and sometimes we have our bad days. When you are faced with an annoying caller, try to recall the days you were in a foul mood, and extend understanding.

"Pag pasensyoso ka sa iba, pag papasensyahan ka din nila."

3.  Placing yourself in the Customer's shoes.

Remember the last time you called customer support or asked help from a service crew? When you get those calls, try to place yourself in the customers shoes. Treat them the way you want to be treated if you were a Customer.

4. Control your emotions.

If you get an Irate caller and someone yells at you over the phone, breathe and just pace yourself accordingly. Be calm and professional, note that the Customer is miles away and this is part of your job. Stick to your spiel and be cool.

"Ginusto mo mag call-center, kasama yan sa trabaho. Wag mag inarte."

5. Calls and work = job security.




If you have no Customers, then it means support is not needed and this leads to slashing costs and workers.


"Walang ginagawa masyado?  Humanda ka na magsara ang account niyo."

Care to share other ideas?

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

TIPS ON CALL CENTER INTERVIEWS


Since this is technically a call center survival blog, I assume that my readers already work in a call center.  But since I got some search hits about getting into call centers, I thought it would be kind of helpful to get some "passing that interview" tips. 


*Thanks to my HR friend for this.*


1.  Tell me something about yourself?


When this classic question is asked, try not to give a telenobela of your life.  Stick to the details that will give the interviewer an insight of your professional skills and capabilities.  Keep the personal stuff personal.  Stick to your previous work experiences and your job duties and responsibilities.

2.  Tell me about your last job?

No one wants to hire someone who badmouths previous companies, it shows immaturity and your inability to be professional.  Your previous employer may be hell on earth, but the interview is not the place to air out your grievances.  
Focus on the positive.

3.  How do you handle pressure?

The technique here is just to prove that you can handle pressure.  Go with answers that state that you use your brains before unleashing emotions.  Be wary of BS such as "you never get pressured or such type of answers."  

4.     How do you handle Irate clients?

The usual answer for this one is that you know how to listen and you do not take it personally.  Just remember that a call center is a job that mostly deal with irate clients - not for the weak of heart.

5.  Give your strengths and weaknesses.

A common trick is to make a weakness still benefit the company.  "I tend to overwork, and I take work home" are some of the usual answers.

6.  How do you see yourself 5 years from now?

The goal of this answer is to establish that you want to stay in the company that you are applying for, that you will not be a call center hopper.  Give answers such as you are looking for stability and you want to work for years in that company. 

Any other interview tips you can think of? 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

TIPS ON - MAINTAINING YOUR SOCIAL LIFE WHILE WORKING IN A CALL CENTER




Working at night is natural if you’re a call center agent who serves clients from abroad. But don’t think this means compromising your social life altogether. Of course you’ll miss a few nights out with friends, but you don’t have to be missing in action all the time. It’s hard to survive in a high-stress environment such as a call center if you can’t socialize.

If you want to continue enjoying the company of other people while working at night, here are a few tips you should know.

1.  Learn to prioritize and manage your time

Since you have limited time to go out and hang out with your friends or loved ones, learn to prioritize and manage your time. Keep a mental list of people you’d want to see regularly, and continue making plans with them. Evaluate all the activities you do during your free time and think of the things you can slash out to make time for socializing.

2.  Plan breakfast with your pals

Although it’s difficult to enjoy dinners with people from your social circle, having breakfast with them your call center shift is possible. Plan ahead and go out with your friends or relatives in the morning. The key to maintaining a healthy social life is mutual compromise. You could hang out with your friends before your shift starts one week or you can ask your friends to wake up a little earlier so that they can have breakfast with you.

3.  Look for day shift opportunities

To lighten the load on call center employees, BPO companies like Stellar Philippines rotate schedules. Aside from this, the company has accounts that offer day shift schedules. This way, you can easily maintain work-life balance and continue working as a call center agent. Look out for call center hiring ads that mention day shifts as one of their offerings.

4.  Use the Internet

If maintaining physical contact is too difficult for you, use the Internet to communicate with your friends and relatives. Leave messages to each other in a private channel or organize Skype parties. Don’t leave short, nonsensical messages. As much as possible, exert effort in composing your messages and make them worthwhile. Include interesting details like your favorite call of the day.  If you’re not comfortable with writing your messages, you can leave voice recordings or voicemail.

5.  Participate in day time activities

One of the advantages of working at night is being able to attend activities during the day. If your kids have activities at school, you can start attending these activities without having to take a leave from work. You can also join activities like fun runs during the morning. There are plenty of activities and social events that you can join when it’s daytime that you can’t attend if you’re working on a day shift. To learn more about activities you can attend, try to regularly check your Facebook calendar for events you’ve been invited to.

Conclusion

Working as a call center agent shouldn’t mean the death of your social life. Learn how to manage your time, plan accordingly, and look for opportunities to maintain work-life balance. By doing this, you can maintain contact with your social circle despite working in a call center.



This article is brought to you by Stellar Philippines.

Check out and like Stellar's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/StellarPhilippines


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

TIPS ON - CALL CENTER FRIENDS



“When you have an authentic friend at work, you have a support system right there,” -  Susan Shapiro Brash

Let me start off by saying that I have no idea who Susan Shapiro Brash is, but her quote is perfect for the next tip I am about to discuss.  Having Call Center office friends can make or break your call center life.  They can either pull you up or bring you down. 

So here are a some tips on finding call center friends.

1.  Friends are not the priority.

I have mentioned in my previous posts that you go to your office to work and not to make friends.  Prioritize work above everything else.

2.  Keep it Professional.

Regardless of how nice or great that co-worker is, remember that these are people who you only got to know during your training, or at the office itself.  You do not have a history together.  You do not know their personal life.  Keep the relationship professional.

"Wag na ikwento ang past mo na nag d-drugs ka, o mas ma-"kati" ka pa sa higad..."

3.  Avoid the gossips, and slanderers.

There are just co-workers who badmouth everyone in the office.  And as much fun as it is to know the latest office chikka, be wary of these people.  

"Baka ikaw naman ichismis bukas makalawa."

4.  Be sensible to attract sensible people.

If you want sensible friends, then show a sensible image as well.  You will attract the type of people you respect.

5.  Avoid the complainers and the lazy ones.

If you want to be promoted or you have a goal, then disassociate yourself from those who have a tendency to complain or those who are lazy.  Management will identify you with the known crowd that you stick with.

6.  Office-mates are competitors.

Face it, in a call center environment all your colleagues are your competitors.  Everyone is goal driven and your co-worker today may be your boss tomorrow.  As cynical as it may seem, do not get too attached, nor should you expect too much from office friends.  Work is always the priority.
  
Do note, that there are scenarios when you get to find genuine friends - so consider yourself lucky if you do.  But always remember, you should seek friends outside the office, the office is a place to earn money...period.

Do you have other tips on making office friends?