Common myths about working in a call centre
Having spent my entire career around headsets there are a lot of myths about working in a call centre.
I’m grateful for all the opportunities that it has afforded me.
From overseas travel, stable income, continuous learning and some life-long friends I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have ‘stumbled’ into a call centre in my early 20’s.
Yet so many people in our community don’t have a positive view of our industry.
So I’m determined to try and bust a few of the common myths about working in a call centre and have pulled together my top 8 myths.
Top 8 Myths About Working in a Call Centre
1. It’s a dead-end job
Contact centres offer numerous opportunities for people that are prepared to work for them.
While that can be typical of most industries, what’s different in the contact centre industry is that opportunities typically come around frequently and we normally provide a lot of support in preparing staff to take the next step.
As well as a career path within contact centres (that many choose to stay in for their whole career), having worked in a contact centre is a sought after skill and contact centres are typically used as an internal resource pool for broader opportunities within an organisation.
There are some very successful people who all got their grounding in contact centres!
2. It’s just full of young people out of school
Contact centres cater to people at all stages of their life, from new job starters where working in a contact centre teaches them a range of professional skills through to mums returning to work, retirees looking to get back into the workforce for a little extra income and even actors in-between work (a common occurrence!).
The bottom line is contact centres contain an amazingly diverse workforce.
Why? Because age and background is not a barrier to your success.
3. You just get flogged all day and treated like a piece of meat
Contact centres are typically at the forefront of staff management.
With comprehensive Reward and Recognition programs, regular coaching, a strong commitment to training and a focus on a positive culture you would be hard-pressed to find a workplace that invests more in their people.
It’s not necessarily because we think its a nice thing to do (although it is!) but the reality is turnover of staff is expensive and more importantly, good staff are hard to find and we do our dam best to keep them.
4. The pay is terrible
In Australia, starting salaries are usually between $45k and $65k with no minimum formal qualification requirements.
And that’s just to start with!
With a strong work ethic and a will to learn you can work your way up the corporate ladder where the sky is the limit.
For sales contact centres, the commissions can often see agents earning in excess of $100k a year!
5. You’re on the phones all day
Strangely enough, the job does involve spending a lot of time supporting customers – I have heard on numerous occasions of new staff commencing in a role only to leave shortly thereafter as they “didn’t realise I would be talking to customers all day”.
For the sanity of my friends in recruitment, I don’t want to suggest that you don’t spend a lot of time on the phones!
However… Contact centre agents today are incredibly talented individuals who can manage conversations across multiple channels including the telephone, live chat, email, Facebook, Twitter etc.
There are now full times roles that don’t involve the telephone at all – working full time on social media support for example.
6. I’d hate to call people at dinner time
Most people in the community sadly associate working in a contact centre with telemarketing – making those annoying calls you receive at dinner time.
Of course, the reality is that contact centres perform an incredibly diverse range of functions that support our community.
Behind most businesses the contact centre forms a critical component of their success – from insurance, banking, retail, telecommunications, energy, entertainment etc through to Lifeline and Crime Stoppers – they all have one thing in common.
A great contact centre full of amazing people is critical to their success.
7. It’s a lonely job
It couldn’t be further from the truth!
If you’ve ever met anyone who works in a call centre when surveyed about the best part about the job the consistent number one answer is “my team”.
Whether it’s through sharing the same experiences, team activities or even sharing the same break times call centre agents typically form very close friendships that survive long after they have left the call centre.
8. It would be boring
Ask most people who work in a call centre at the end of the shift if they were bored at any stage?
There is a constant buzz in the call centre and that’s what attracts many to the industry.
Different customers, different problems, different solutions – no two days are very rarely the same.
And with a number of the ‘easier’ types of calls being handled by self-service (people finding answers on the internet/app etc) the calls coming in to call centres are becoming increasingly complex.
So did I get it right?
What’s your experience been working in the call centre industry?
Recommended reading: The 15 best things about working in a call centre
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