Call centers in the Philippines maintain their top status despite uncertainties brought by Donald Trump’s victory. With the increasing levels of investments and support from the local government, more and more job seekers want to enter this industry. If you’re one them, here’s what to expect working in a call center in the Philippines.
1. You work when everyone else is asleep.
While others are lucky to work normal hours, most call center agents “work and live” in another time zone. Night or graveyard shift agents work at wee hours because they must answer calls from clients halfway across the globe. A few firms have shifting schedules while others enjoy fixed shifts until they move to another account or firm.
2. You spend weekends and holidays at work.
Call center life means spending weekends, Christmas, and New Year’s Day at work. Agents assigned to foreign accounts follow international instead of local holidays. Most contact centers in the country celebrate American holidays including Independence and Thanksgiving Days.
3. You must be nice even to irate callers.
Clients often call customer service to complain about a product or service. Agents should empathize with, be patient and ready to listen to, and appease unhappy callers. For faulty products, they can offer replacements or a free service. As for technical issues, agents must explain the steps in easy-to-follow language.
4. You sacrifice family and “me” time.
Since most call center agents don’t have fixed work hours and rest days, mingling with people outside work maybe next to impossible. It’s hard to go to birthday parties, family dinners, and get-togethers making them feel isolated.
5. You earn more pay than other jobs.
While downsides take place, most agents living the call center life say returns outdo them. Entry-level workers can earn between ₱10,000 and ₱14,500 per month sans bonuses, allowances, and incentives. This earning is huge compared to that of other non-BPO firms.
6. You receive full work benefits.
Aside from the large pay and allowances, most agents receive optical, dental, and health coverage. Their firms pay their SSS, PAG-IBIG, and PhilHealth contributions from the day of their hiring while others wait until they become regular workers.
7. You enjoy high-end facilities.
If you work for a multinational firm, most likely you’ll be in a high-rise building with air-conditioned workplaces and sleeping rooms, and well- equipped pantry and gym. A few even offer vending machines, recreation rooms, and an unlimited supply of coffee.
8. You delight in a laid-back dress code and get overtime pay.
Unlike other jobs where staff needs to wear uniforms and take their work home, call center agents wear stylish outfits and get overtime pay for long calls. They can wear casual clothes on weekdays, and open shoes and short pants on washdays. They can enjoy night differential pay, double pay on legal holidays, and rest day overtime pay, too.
Tips to Survive Working in a Call Center in the Philippines
The call center working environment can be too much to handle. If you’re having a day like this, here are some survival tips from SpunOut.ie.
1. Talk to the people around you between calls.
Instead of sitting idly waiting for your next call to come in, try to talk with other free people around you. Especially after a dealing with an irate client, it’s comforting to know you can confide in someone who can relate.
2. Add something that cheers you up on your desk.
It may sound childish but it really works. Whether it’s a loved one, friends, or pets, seeing that positive image can boost your mood even for a while.
3. Don’t take it personally.
There’ll be lots of time when you’ll encounter irate and frustrated clients. Stay calm and don’t take their words personally. As long as it’s not a personal insult, remember you’re representing a company and not yourself.
4. Don’t dwell too much on performance targets.
Remember that the work pressure from your team leader to reach your quota is not an attack on you. They also have their own targets so it’s stressful for them too. Listen to their advice, exert an effort to improve, and you’ll find that they’ll ease up on you.
5. Go for a walk during your break.
The dullness of your workstation and the noise of people talking can add up to your stress. During your lunch break, try to detach yourself and go for a walk to get some fresh air and gather your thoughts again for the rest of the day.
Living the call center life has its own pros and cons. If you’re planning to become a contact center agent, then this list will help you understand their lifestyle. If you think working in a call center in the Philippines suits you, we’re open to applicants. Visit our virtual assistance services page to know the various positions in our firm.
Sources: Jobstreet | Business 2 Community | Al Jazeera Media Network | Jerome Herrera | SpunOut.ie