There are two types of call center representatives: inbound and outbound. Inbound, or customer service, representatives are responsible for taking phone calls that come into a call center that may involve customer complaints or processing product orders. Outbound call center representatives usually provide sales support by contacting potential sales leads by phone from a computer-generated list of contacts.
Most call centers don't require a college education from prospective employees, but nearly all require a minimum of a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. All training is paid, occurs on-the-job and often involves a short probationary period.
All call center representative positions require an outgoing and upbeat personality. Since the majority of a call center representative's workday consists of talking on the phone, it is imperative that a call center employee maintains proper phone etiquette. Potential clients or existing customers do not see a representative's appearance, but they will respond positively or negatively depending upon how they are treated over the phone.
Some call center positions, especially outbound sales, are fast-paced and high-stress work environments. There may be a large fluctuation in the pace of calls in inbound call centers, especially in computer or electronic technical support call centers. The positions require flexibility from the call center representative. Call center representatives also have to deal with a lot of disgruntled customers. This is especially true in outbound sales positions.
According to Glassdoor.com, the call center representative's earnings range from $30,000 to $40,000 annually. Call center representative compensation fluctuates significantly from industry to industry.
Call center employment is expected to grow by 18 percent through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook. This is reported to be a faster-than-average growth for all occupations surveyed in the handbook.
- Photo Credit call center image by Kurhan from Fotolia.com
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