Saying that working in the call center industry in the Philippines is quite popular is a big understatement. It has become a culture—a way of life and a socio-economic phenomenon that is continuing to shape the post-2000 era and the country’s overall economic landscape.
However, as always, with immense popularity comes misconceptions, and being a call center agent in the Philippines is no exception.
To give you a more accurate idea of what it’s like to be a call center agent, we have listed below some of the most common misconceptions regarding this line of work, and why they are not necessarily true.
That One about the Job Being Easy
Misconception: This one revolves around the idea that, in terms of the job, being a call center agent is very easy. Many still believe that all call center agents do at work is sit all day, chat with their colleagues, visit social media sites, and answer the phone every once in a while. However, this is simply not true.
Fact: Call center agents are trained for many weeks, even months, so that they’ll be able to have enough expertise to handle the demands of their job and communicate the right way, may it be for inbound or outbound call center services. Additionally, being a call center agent involves doing research about the product, service, or brand you’re handling, helping clients or potential customers with their queries or issues, and having a true understanding of what their account is all about. This means that creativity and critical thinking are major factors in succeeding within the industry. And, since they always communicate with people through different means, patience and the ability to remain composed are needed at all times. So, no, being a call center agent is not easy.
The One about the Lack of Career Growth
Misconception: You’ve probably heard about this from the ill-informed. With the job supposedly being too easy, there’s no career growth to be expected for call center agents .
Fact: It takes a lot of hard work, vigilance, expertise, and persistence to survive and develop a career within the call center industry. These are key traits that all businesses look for, regardless of the industry. If you’re able to perform at an exceptional level, the BPO company you’re in may notice you and promote you to a higher position. Or, you could also be noticed by the business account you’re handling. For example, if you’re handling customer service for a telecommunications company and doing a great job, that company might look at you as a good prospect if ever an opening within their ranks comes along. Or, at the very least, with the skillset and experience you acquired, you’ll have the tools to excel in that industry, maybe as a part of another company.
The One about it Being the Most Stressful Job in the World
Misconception: On the flipside, some people also believe that being a call center agent is the most stressful job in the world. This is due to several key work factors and arrangements that characterize work within the industry, such as an unpredictable shifting schedule or the constant need to verbally communicate at a high level.
Fact: Yes, being an agent is stressful, but what job isn’t? In fact, many jobs rank much higher in terms of stress levels. That being said, each job or career trajectory has its own set of requirements and demands, and it’s up to the person to handle the pressure and stress involved. The question of which job is truly stressful could be a subjective one. Whether we like it or not, there will always be people who are expecting you to do your job effectively by meeting quotas and exceeding expectations. So, probably, whoever started this misconception has never worked a day in his or her life.
The One about Education
Misconception: This one relates to the idea that call center agents are mostly uneducated individuals. One contributing factor here is the fact that many call center companies welcome people who have not graduated from college yet.
Fact: While it’s true that there are agents who haven’t finished their college degree, that certainly doesn’t mean that they are uneducated. On the contrary, we should praise them for their initiative and bravery to start early or defy the odds despite not being able to finish their schooling. And, as we have mentioned earlier, getting in a call center company isn’t that easy. Agents have to learn technical things, the ins and outs of the product, brand, or service they’re handling, being good with technology, and communication skills as well as have a basic understanding of marketing. In other words, while some may have not finished college, the learnings they have while being in the industry are more than enough to shatter this misconception.
The One about Having an American Accent
Misconception: This is one of the most common misconceptions about being a call center agent–that one should have or acquire an American accent in order to be accepted or succeed. This misconception stems from the assumption that an agent is expected to speak perfect English all the time when taking calls.
Fact: While speaking good English is a big plus and often a requirement, agents usually don’t need to have an American accent. This is because not all clients are from the US—some will be from the UK, Australia, or even non-English-speaking countries, which will require a different accent or language altogether. What is more important is that agents should have a deep understanding of the account they handle and are able to understand and communicate well, whatever the accent, in English.
What’s perhaps more remarkable is that call center agents don’t let these misconceptions affect their work. If they did, there would be a lot less local call center agents and the Philippines wouldn’t be such a preferred destination in the BPO industry. They continue to work effectively, giving their company the results they are expected to give while striving to elevate their expertise to the next level.
Speaking of call center agents, we at Forward BPO offer top-notch talent and skilled agents to help you with your business needs. We are a business outsourcing company in the Philippines that provide clients with exceptional call center agents as well as other outsourcing services and business solutions such as live chat support services, after hours call and answering, market research, and digital marketing. Our top-notch employees are always ready to help you move your business forward.
If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.