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What to Expect From Doing Call Center Work

Far too often are we misled in what our actual job will be in a call center. This is about what to expect to see if it's for you before you get ready to think about working in one.

During My Call Center Time

One thing I can say to start this off is that working at a call center is not the life for everyone. If you don’t like tight spaces and demanding supervisors, it’s not for you. Let’s get started with the list of things I found difficult or lessons I learned during my time working in a call center.

1. The training will never prepare you for your job.

For the jobs that I’ve had working in a call center, I started seeing that the training they put you through doesn’t really put you in a good position to do your job. Most of them will train you based on the client needs; so, it could be a three-week training class, or it could be up to six weeks. It just all depends on what the needs are. So, it just depends on the needs of the client to be honest. If it’s a holiday season, it could result in rushed classes for production. When the training is rushed, you tend to miss out on so much of the meat of the training. When I say meat, I mean the details that you need to effectively do your job. It’s like getting fed at dinner time and you only get the bread and not the meat and potatoes.

2. Nesting

Nesting period? What is it really? I feel like it’s the survival of the fittest test. From my time working in a call center, you had about two weeks of the nesting phase. I witnessed so many great agents quit the job during nesting all because of the training not being enough to really get a good understanding on how to do the job. It also all goes with what kind of learner you are. Personally, I’m what is called kinesthetic or hands on. If I can’t touch it, you are speaking French to me. I must see it and feel it to get it down for me mentally. Then you have your learners that must either hear it (auditory) or they have to see it (visual). Once you get into the nesting period and you didn’t have that learning style presented to you in training, you suffer and feel pressured to do a job that you are not confident in doing. Personally, for me the nesting period was the training time. It allowed me to touch what I would be doing. I could soak in the notes about the product and everything all day long, but until I can touch the platform from which I would be working from, I couldn’t get down with being comfortable with the job itself.

3. Production Time!

It’s time for the actual job! No more someone standing over you giving you a response in your ear and no more being able to handle one thing at a time until you master it. It’s the real thing! This is it! You’ve crossed the finish line in nesting and you’ve made it to the big leagues. Well, at least you thought that’s what it was. Come to find out, it’s only more work for the same pay and now you are waiting for the client to introduce some horrible comp plan to give you a little “incentive” on liking your job. Once that is put out on the sales floor, the rules of the game change. You now have to make all these insane goals to even see that extra 40 bucks on your check at the end of the next month. It’s a game of give and take in the world of a call center. You either want to play along or you just have bills to pay and it’s all you’ve got until something else comes along.

Those are just the top three things I learned while working in a call center. I’m sure they vary from one location to another, but in the one I worked in, this was what I would tell people to expect. I stayed with the company and became a manager of a team for a while. Things only turned worse over time with more work, and the pay wasn’t good enough. My agents made more than I did with commission and performance bonus. It wasn’t something that was put in place for members of management. Which was sad given that we did so much work daily. Even when we left the office, work didn’t stay there with the doors shut, it followed you home on your phone and in your bags. Prepare yourself for the world of a call center by reading this and finding out more about the location. Always take the time to check the reviews on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor. They are reviews by real employees that you can take your better judgement from before walking in. 

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