A day in over six years working in the call centre (customer service) industry

I often get asked this question – what is it really like to work in a call centre? 

“The role definitely has it’s fair share of challenges, but that is what makes it so fulfilling.”

Well, I can understand why. Back when I first applied for a customer support role, I definitely had many questions of my own. I had zero experience and knowledge about working in a call centre back in 2013 but hey, I’ve been in this industry for quite some time now. 

Everyone you speak to will have a different opinion of what working in a call centre is like, but believe it or not the negative stereotypes aren’t always true. Working in a call centre can be rewarding and fun. There’s more to the stereotypical statement that we just answer calls and it ends right there and then. This role has always been challenging. It will push you out of your comfort zone and beyond your limits. Let me walk you thru on my daily routine as a customer service specialist.

The Day-to-day task:

  1. Customer makes a call

The calling process begins when a customer either calls or requests a call from a customer service team. Calls can either be made directly to the call center or an outbound call request via the website or an email. Once the call is connected to the phone line it may be filtered and transferred by a proactive support service. The filter can be a software or even a live operator that assesses the customer’s problem then transfers the call to a designated specialist. This comes in handy for call centers who use specialists to address complex or specific issues. Getting calls to the right agent is a great way for customer service teams to boost case resolution times and improve customer experience.

2.Working on customer issue

The customer service specialist will work on finding solutions to the customers’ uncertainties. Successful specialists possess a combination of experience, product knowledge, and communication skills which helps them deliver and resolve the customers’ needs. Customer service isn’t always as simple as just finding out the right answer — and sometimes you need to rephrase solutions a few times to make sure your customer understands or believes it. The goal of the phone call is to resolve the issue during the first interaction. This is because first-call resolutions demonstrate that you can provide customers with timely solutions when they need it most.

3. Follow up

While the agent aims to resolve the problem during the first call, that goal isn’t always attainable. Sometimes customer service specialists needs to work with cross-functional teams to find answer or solutions on the customers’ problem. You may think this risks the potential churn that we discussed earlier, but this step is done for the benefit of both the customer and the specialist. This will allow the specialist some time to investigate into the issue and make sure that we provide the customer the most feasible and effective solution to their problem. 

Projects

Working in a call centre environment allows you to go above and beyond your role. Delivering an extra mile to better the processes within the department shows your passion and dedication towards your role. You’ll often find your self being involved in projects that will evaluate the current workflows and making it better, projects that helps the department increase productivity, and staff engagement. 

Thru these wide array of projects, you get to develop your skills and talents that you are not able to use when answering calls. This will allow you to do the things you love doing. You may also include these projects in your resume for you to catch potential employers attention. 

How was the last six years been for me working in the customer service industry?

Working in a customer service industry has been nothing short of fulfilling. In the short span of time, I improved my customer communication skills, understood the importance of empathy and also developed deep understanding of the product. It has always been an amazing experience when you are working with a company that does not just believe in the product but also aiming to make it better.

The role definitely has its fair share of challenges, but that is what makes it so rewarding. When I first started out, I was so nervous about speaking with an upset customer. However, along the way, I realised that customer frustration usually stems from a reasonable cause. It could be frustration with the product or other stressful events, but what’s important is being able to see things from their perspective and to always communicate with empathy. You will always find yourself out of your comfort zone when working a customer service environment. From my personal experience, this has allowed me to see myself develop in ways that I never thought was possible. 

I’ve worked in this industry for over six years now. This role has provided me plenty of opportunities that I’ve never imagined — I’ve started my career in the Philippines, hired to work in a prestigious bank in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and now working here in Lion City, Singapore. The skills, competencies and positivity that I have developed in this industry will surely prepare me for my next career stint. Thankful.

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