A Look into the Daily Life of a Call Center Agent in the Philippines
A country known for its beautiful islands and home to hospitable people, the Philippines is also popular as one of the top countries in the world when it comes to BPO services and call center outsourcing.
As such, there’s a huge number of call centre agents in the Pearl of the Orient Seas. In fact, according to recent data, the country remains to be the world’s top destination for outsourcing services. BPO or business process outsourcing includes back office support as well as call centre services and online research services.
We’re pretty sure you have family, relatives, or friends in the call centre industry, and have thought about what they actually do, and what their daily life as call centre agents is like.
To satisfy your curiosity, we’ve come up with this blog that will introduce Cocoy and Nat, two call centre agents who have agreed to answer some questions about their daily life.
Meet the Agents
Cocoy’s work involves the healthcare industry in the US. His main task is to answer the questions of people who have concerns or enquiries about their insurance after they have been transported to the hospital due to an accident. Nat, on the other hand, handles insurance for houses and cars. She provides a free quote for callers to encourage them to check out what advantages they would get if they avail if her account’s services.
“My day starts differently sometimes. But, through the years, 11 years in fact, commuting to work despite having shifting schedules, I always come in an hour early for my shift,” says Cocoy.
Shifting schedules is nothing new for those in the BPO industry. For Cocoy, it has never been a problem. Agents like him can be assigned to a day shift for one month and can be transferred to the night shift the next. Even the team handling back office support services and online research services may have shifting schedules.
Despite the constant adjustments needed to survive a shifting schedule, it does have its advantages. For example, night shift employees save travel time by not having to face heavy traffic going to and from the office and can do recreational activities during the morning.
“I struggle with my insecurities because I just started with sales, but I have helpful and experienced teammates to answer my queries and they make work fun. They are my work day’s highlights,” says Nat.
There is an unpredictability with how an agent’s shift may start. One day it can be rather uneventful and the next day may involve a barrage of complaints from angry customers. The unpredictable nature of their work day is quite normal it seems. Complaints from customers can bring negativity to the team and may adversely affect morale and even productivity. Fortunately, in Nat’s case, being in a positive and fun environment can change all that and provides encouragement at work.
For Cocoy, it’s always a highlight if his customers are grateful for his service and gave him a good review—something that all agents want to receive.
Break Time Bonding
“Sleep, eat, drink coffee, or talk to people. Those four activities are what we usually do during breaks,” says Cocoy.
Nat shared that they would usually use their breaks to take a quick nap to regain energy, something that her company allows. This, for her, shows that the management cares for them. Research shows that one important factor that positively affects employee turnover in the Philippines is how a company responds to their employees’ needs. With that, some BPO companies provide shuttle services, sleeping lounges, spas, and even gyms located inside the office to show their organisational support and care.
After Shift: Work-life Balance
“After shift? I sleep. Ha-ha. I seldom hang out with my teammates but if it’s a Friday shift, we also have our own plans,” says Nat.
Whether they’re on a day shift or a night shift, an agent’s work-life balance is always important. Work-life balance allows agents to accomplish work tasks while also making sure that they have enough time for their hobbies, friends, and families.
Cocoy says that, “What’s good about the BPO industry is that you can leave your work responsibilities in the office when you log out.”
A Message to the Doubters
Currently, the average compensation offered by BPO companies is more than double that of the average wage in the Philippines. However, earning a high salary does not seem to spare agents from hearing stigmas about their work. Nat and Coco each gave their comments about this.
On call centre agents being labelled as dumb because some of them don’t have a college degree: “Which is wrong, I have met really smart and experienced people in this industry. Some may not have a sales degree but if you provide them a product, you’ll be surprised by how amazingly they can sell that item to you,” says Nat.
On the job being easy and not challenging: “It isn’t. No job ever is. In my case, relating to the caller and showing empathy is difficult especially if you cannot see who you’re talking to. To understand them just by their tone of voice and their words is not an easy task—patience is always the key,” says Cocoy.
On how being a call centre agent can never bring professional and personal growth: “Growth happens when we talk to people from different walks of life. Aside from having interactions, we have witnessed people who have no degree work hard and slowly climb up the corporate ladder. That is growth,” say Nat and Cocoy.
Being a call centre agent in the Philippines can be challenging, which is why we at Forward BPO make sure that we care for our employees and their professional development. After all, happy, satisfied employees are productive employees. If you’re in need of expert BPO services such as excellent customer support services to effective back office support, we’re here for you. We’ll provide you with a tailor-fit solution and work with you to bring your business to new heights. Contact us today to know more.
Disclaimer: The names of the interviewees for this blog were intentionally changed to protect their privacy. Blog image is for illustration purposes only.