A female call center agent working on her laptop at a call center in the Philippines

What to Expect Working in a Call Center in the Philippines

The Philippines remains one of the top call center outsourcing locations in the world. With rising levels of investment and support from the local government, more and more job seekers want to join the Business Processing Outsourcing industry or BPO, especially call centers. If you’re one of them, read on to know what to expect working in a call center in the Philippines.

Working in a Call Center

What are the duties of a call center agent?

  • Relay more custom solutions to clients.
  • Attend to inquiries and feedback across multiple channels, such as phone, social media, e-mail, and chat.
  • Create a tailored customer experience.
  • Note and report recurring customer issues and feedback.

On top of these tasks, agents also deal with other factors. With that, here’s more of what to expect working as a call center agent:

1. Shifting schedules.

A wall clock depicting the shifting schedules in the BPO industry in the Philippines

Agents experience working while everyone else is asleep—and end their shifts almost in broad daylight. Night or graveyard shift agents work in the wee hours because they attend to clients from halfway across the globe.

Also, shifts in Philippine call centers are flexible. A few firms have shifting schedules while others enjoy fixed shifts until they move to another account or firm. For agents, it’s not the usual 7 AM-4 PM, 8 AM-5 PM, or 9 AM-6 PM workday shift they get to experience consistently; call centers assign them to a day shift for a month, then to a night shift the next.

On another note, some agents also spend weekends and holidays at work to serve customers and clients in different time zones. This means they have to sacrifice their quality time with themselves and their loved ones.

2. Unpredictable clients.

While it’s the agent’s job to assist clients and customers, it’s also a common rule that they should be nice even to irate callers.

However, agents must note that they shouldn’t take all calls personally. Besides, they represent and answer for a business, not for themselves. In the BPO industry, unpredictable clients are inevitable, but they are part of the whole business.

3. High-end facilities.

One reason companies outsource call center services to the Philippines is due to cheap labor costs while maintaining notable, high-quality outputs. Most BPO companies in the Philippines invest in high-end facilities to deliver such world-class services.

4. Laid-back dress code and overtime pay.

Two male agents with casual office attire at a call center in the Philippines

Unlike other jobs where staff must wear uniforms and take their work home, call center agents don casual outfits and get overtime pay for long calls. They can wear relaxed clothes on weekdays and open shoes and short pants on washdays. They can enjoy night differential pay, double pay during legal holidays, and rest day overtime pay, too.

We also know call centers for having offices with maintained high room temperatures. This is to keep computers from heating, so employees often wear jackets or bring shawls or blankets to keep warm while working.

Common Call Center Challenges

Like in any industry, challenges in call centers are inevitable and somewhat vital to business growth. That said, here are some of the most common problems of call center agents and business owners.

1. Lack of employee engagement.

It’s well known that call centers have one of the hardest working environments, given the workloads and shifts employees experience. Add to this their monotonous and sedentary work situation. These add to the long-time issue of agent attrition.

To keep call center employees engaged, firms should plan and implement more activities such as more training sessions that both boost their productivity and enhance their work performance.

2. High rates of employee turnover.

With heavy workloads, tedious tasks, and high sales quotas, not everyone can easily handle the demands this job requires. Not to mention the possible stagnant work growth a call center agent may experience.

3. Changing work shifts.

Employees’ schedules must be flexible to meet client needs and attend to customer demands. Also, some agents report to work on weekends and even holidays.

4. Misconceptions on higher pay and more work benefits.

How much does a call center agent make in the Philippines?

While it may be true that the average call center agent salary in Manila is relatively high (₱17,000 a month as per Glassdoor), this doesn’t apply to the whole of the Philippines. Call centers outside the Greater Manila Area don’t have the same average pay and work benefits for call center agents.

Survival Tips for Working in a Call Center in the Philippines

Like in any field, tough times at work may be inevitable. With that, heed these tips to survive a life in a call center.

An aspiring call center agent taking down notes on the best tips for surviving a work in a call center in the Philippines
  1. Be prepared for changing shifts. Get ready to adjust to flexible shifts.
  2. Learn how to deal with different customers and clients. This helps you further improve your work performance. Plus, you’ll be able to deliver a greater customer experience, thus helping enhance the company’s reputation.
  3. Find what works best to boost your productivity. Add something that inspires you—may it be a motivational quote as your desktop wallpaper, or even a simple note on your desk to keep that drive and passion burning.
  4. Talk to those around you during idle moments. A little downtime can cause boredom and even shift your focus and lessen your productivity. Instead of waiting for your next call to come in, talk to free people around you to take some rest from your tiring work.
  5. Regard the call as your duty and not as something that’s against you as a person. Often, you’ll meet irate clients. When this happens, stay calm and don’t take their words as a personal attack on you. Remember, you’re answering for a business and not for yourself.
  6. Walk during breaks. Working as a call center agent means sitting for a long period in front of a computer. This can lead to higher chances of illnesses and body pain. Use your breaks wisely by taking a short walk to refresh your being.

Living the call center life has its own pros and cons. If you think working in a call center in the Philippines suits you, then be a part of this thriving field! Contact us now for queries on how you can join our growing team.

Sources: ChaseData Corp. | HubSpot | PlayVox

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