Tag Archives: Call Center Employee

What is the average age of someone working in a call center?

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Many people think that to work in a call center, you need to be under thirty and live in Manila. This is not exactly true, although there are probably a few hundred thousand individuals who match your description.

Roughly half of call center workers are thirty or younger, but there are older people as well. Only 10% of call center workers are over fifty which is another interesting statistic. There are more ladies than men in the industry, and the ladies often do not have a high level of education. Based on this information, I would tend to assume that call center work is entry level, and so unpleasant that nobody would want to do it into their old age unless they had been promoted to a higher level, or unless they actually liked the work.

Call center work doesn’t have to be an entry level job. With good training, and many years of experience on the job, a certain level of mastery is likely. Additionally, if management treats their agents with kindness and appreciation, why wouldn’t more people stay at the job for a longer period of time? A third point is that call center work seems to drive people crazy due to the long hours even if they enjoy it. But, what if your job consisted of only a few hours of calls, and you could do data entry, chat support, or something else during your other hours? It might be a whole lot more tolerable that way!

Some employers prefer to hire older employees who had more life experience who can establish a rapport with a wider range of clients.

Although most call center employees are young, you might be better off hiring older people who will really take care of the end-users attentively!

How to attract more clients to your call center part 2

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How to get more clients for your call center part 2
Part 1 of this series about marketing your call center was very nuts and bolts.  Basically, you contact companies who might need your services, be receptive to their questions and needs, and offer them a few hours sample of your work if you think they are serious about a long term relationship.  The several hundred dollars you lose giving a free sample could come back to you 1000 fold in the long run with repeat business and referrals.
Hiring the right staff
There is a spiritual law that says that if you have the right people, business will naturally come to you.  Isn’t it funny how some businesses grow without putting a dime, a peso, riyal, or rupee into advertising?   This always frustrated me as a child while I put endless hours in sweat equity marketing my lawn mowing business while other people just got the business while they were sipping iced tea.  Although, I eventually got referrals, and was good at certain tasks concerning the manual labor that I used to do, I did not have the refinement necessary to be someone’s first choice.  I also didn’t have a marketing system for getting referrals. Its much easier to build your business through referrals than it is by getting clients  through advertising.  What I learned later in life, is that it is not a crime to spend a fortune on advertising, but it is a crime not to have a good “offering”, and a good system for gettting referrals.
Hiring the right staff that comprises the perfect blend of personalities to handle your clients and future clients is imperative.  If you have a call center with a bunch of pushy salespeople, and customer service reps who mumble, you are going to have a hard time growing at any price.  Remember, that the cost to a company for losing them a client is much greater than whatever they are paying you! Outsourcing is a great way for companies to save money, but let them save money without the headaches that are associated with outsourcing.  Give them the best service in town and a great experience that they will remember
Can you imagine if XYZ company hires a call center, and the service was mediocre, but dealing with them was a pain in the neck? The manager at XYZ will have a bitter taste in his mouth with all of the bad memories of XYZ company.  It is a far better plan to give companies who work with you as wonderful an experience as you can while still maintaining a good price.  When all is said and done, and all of the numbers are crunched (analyzed), giving people a pleasant experience counts for 50% of their decision of whether they are going to use you again, even if your actual work is not the best.
Having polished staff members
There are call center companies where the employees speak clearly, are patient, polite, and explain things well.  These are the call centers that are going to get the repeat business. I spoke to a call center rep who was the most polite person I have ever encountered.  He worked for a fancy bank, and it is no surprize that they value that individual, as he brings professionalism to their already very professional organization.  On the other hand, there are nightmare call center staff members who hang up on clients, lose their temper, or are always transfering them to someone else who may or may not be there.  You could lose a million dollar account with behavior like that.  The quality of your staff = the security of your future success in business!
Training and mentoring
Nobody starts out perfect, except perhaps today’s call center rep from Well’s Fargo. Most call center emplyees just don’t have their act perfected.  It is critical to spend more money on middle level management who walks around and moniters people.  You have to make sure people are performing at an optimal level.  If someone is not answering questions clearly enough, give them a coaching session.  If someone is too quiet, or rough, give them a mentoring session.  If someone has a pronunciation problem, give them a training session in clear speech.  Nobody is perfect, but through molding, amazing improvements can be made. If you do not start out with assets, you can turn someone into an asset in a few months!
It’s the experience
My favorite experience with a call center employee was a young lady I talked to many years ago.  She was working for a credit card company and she was located in the Philippines.  She solved my credit card issue quickly and efficiently, but she also had a nice personality too.  We talked about my flight to India.  She commented, “Oh, you flew right over me.. next time you fly over the Philippines, say hi, okay?”.  I’ll never forget her.  If you have staff members who are so charming and pleasant that people would actually like to meet them and get to know them, then you are in business. You will be discovered soon enough.  You can have the best marketing department in the world, but a charming staff member is much more potent than the best salesman on earth!  Remember, you only talk to the salesperson at the BEGINNING of your relationshp with a company.  After the sale is made, you see the regular employees.  If they make your day, you will stay with the company forever!

You might also like:

Part 1 of how to get more clients for your call center

Finding a lucky feng shui spot for my office

Top employees get poached

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Top employees regularly get poached

This is a common theme in India, where highly skill employees are a commodity that companies will die for — or poach for.  One of the recent episodes of the television comedy “Outsourced” was based on the theme of poaching call center employees.  Someone got laid off at the call center, and someone new needed to be hired. There was a line of two-hundred people, but only one was well qualified, and was hired immediately.  This new employee was of Indian ancestry, but grew up in Texas and understood the American culture and American expressions well which made him a dream employee.  Unfortunately the girlfriend of the manager of the call center also liked this new employee and offered him double the salary.  The manager, Todd, who first hired this Texas raised dream call center employee decided to get even. Todd and his friend, a manager from American Hunter, found a way to get into his girlfriend’s office, find the resume and  salary information for the new employee, and forwarded it to another fancy company who was in the same building.  The fancy company who had very well trained workers who showed up in suits and had snooty attitudes quickly swallowed this new employee and got him in uniform immediately — a suit and a mobile phone which is permanently glued to his ear.

Outsourced is America’s most interesting and endearing television comedy, but the theme of poaching employees is a nightmare for Indian bosses.  India’s economy is growing so fast, that employees are getting better and better offers by the day.  Its common in places like Bangalore and Mumbai for employees to jump from company to company.  If they have a job at one company in Koramangala at a particular salary, they might jump to another company in Whitefield because they have a nicer looking office, better benefits, or nicer females working there.  If you heard the reasons why employees jump boat in this employees market, your jaw would drop.

It is expensive to interview, hire, and train new employees.  If an employee is so bad they need to be fired, or jumps boat prematurely, this causes a huge loss to the boss.  It makes more sense for the boss to think ahead.  If you hire someone good, its like having a really good looking girlfriend. You will not be the only one who likes her, and your offer is not likely to be the best offer either.  If the girl is not the loyal type, and girls these days rarely are, then she will quickly wander off with some guy who offers her more.  It makes sense to pamper a good employee.

Get to know them?  Sure!  If you get to know a good employee, and develop a good personal relationship with them, they will feel happier in that environment and be more likley to stay.  This is true with customers too. It pays to get to know your customers.  Don’t spend all day with them, but a simple phone call makes all the difference.  Give them some freedom.  If your star employee needs to have a dental appointment during business hours, let them go!  Just have them make up the hours some other time.  As long as they are on schedule, let them work from home a day or two per week two.  Find out what they like, and cater to them.  It might take a bit of research, but its easier than hiring someone new which costs lakhs in lost productivity! Giving raises every three months makes sense too.  Having regular evaluations costs money, but is cheaper than losing employees to poachers.  Or, giving employees an incentive plan giving them a percentage of their output. If the market is growing fast, their percentage will grow fast too.

Caring for your star employees will reduce poaching by leaps and bounds.  People today are obsessed with numbers and overworking.  This is important.  But, caring about relationships is even more important. Business is based on relationships.  People will spend money on a service provider they know and trust.  Nobody wants to do business with a stranger in any country.  People want to leave business relationships where the personal relationship is not good.  Emotions speak louder than rupees.

The authoritarian culture.  India and Arab countries have a very authoritarian culture.  Bosses often like to treat their employees as lesser and employees traditionally have to bow down to their employers.  As an American, I think that class and position is overemphasized in India.  It seems like it would be more helpful if less emphasis was put on position, and bosses treated their star employees with the same care they might a family member.  I am by no means suggesting that the boss let the employee run all over them, but a caring attitude without compromising authority seems like a super idea to me!