Megan Jones shares insights on the top ten things people who work in a contact centre enjoy about their jobs.
People from all walks of life find jobs and – for many – their careers are in the diverse, energetic contact centre industry, but what is it that keeps the environment varied and engaging?
Quite a lot as it turns out…
1. Ongoing Reward and Recognition
Reward and recognition are a big part of contact centre culture, incentivizing everything from good attendance through to customer satisfaction scores.
There are some fantastic examples of these rewards across the industry, ranging from bottles of wine and prime parking spaces through to holidays, all helping to create a real buzz on the floor and give back to those who show up and do a good job – far beyond a monthly pay cheque.
It’s not just about prizes either, as Linda Davis, Head of Operations at AllClear Insurance Services, commented, with “regular shout-outs for strong performance and formal monthly recognitions of achievement” too.
For more on employee reward schemes and how you can improve them, read our article: How to Improve Your Employee Reward Schemes – With Examples
Contact centres are incredibly flexible working environments, mostly driven by the need to work in shifts to meet customer demand – with some even requiring their team members to work through the night.
This allows people from all walks of life to fit work around their other commitments (including childcare) and, as Linda Davis added, AllClear Insurance Services offer “full-time, part-time or fixed shifts suitable for all home situations”.
3. Friends for Life
In a working environment so heavily centred around collaboration, fun and supporting one another, a contact centre is also a fantastic place to make friends, as Kristian Websdale, Delivery Training Professional at BT, commented:
“I have genuinely made some friends for life through working in a centre. There are always engaging events and initiatives going on which you get to experience with those around you, you form a special bond with your colleagues and I for one love turning up in the office and catching up with everyone (something I have missed when working from home during Covid).”
I have genuinely made some friends for life through working in a centre. There are always engaging events and initiatives going on which you get to experience with those around you, you form a special bond with your colleagues and I for one love turning up in the office and catching up with everyone (something I have missed when working from home during Covid).
Kristian Websdale Delivery Training Professional at BT
This view was shared by James Tyler, Operations Manager at Woven, who added: “I honestly cannot think of another industry with such an eclectic mix of people. There really is a very broad mix in all the teams I have had the pleasure to work alongside.
“Within this, you become an ‘us versus the rest of the world’ team, and like all team sports or business, it becomes a second family. I am still in touch with a number of former colleagues, some who left years ago, as that is the bond you get in working within this industry.”
4. Job Satisfaction
Although it has its ups and downs, for the most part agents fill their days helping customers find resolutions to their queries, reinforcing a sense of purpose and job satisfaction all day, every day.
Depending on the nature of the work, this can even extend to offering life-changing support and advice, as Sunil Parshotam, Service Standards Manager at UCAS, commented:
“I really enjoy communicating with people from around the world on a daily basis, and supporting students to enter higher education and make important life decisions – what we do or say really matters!”
Job satisfaction also comes from the work that goes on behind the scenes to improve the long-term customer experience, as James Tyler, Operations Manager at Woven, commented: “I love looking into the customer journey and experience and how we can improve this.
“Going back to when I first entered the industry as a call handler, there was nothing more gratifying than taking a customer who had a very negative experience and turning it into a positive one.
“As I have moved on through the different roles I have been in, this has been the main driver and source of enjoyment through the years as I have been able to improve the journey and experience of more customers.”
If you are working on your own customer journey maps, our article Worst Mistakes to Avoid… Mapping the Customer Journey contains useful hints and tips to help you.
The variety experienced in a contact centre is summed up perfectly in a single sentence by Mark McGill, Operations Manager at SSE Retail at Ovo Energy, who said: “The role is extremely fast-paced with many moving parts, meaning no two days are ever the same.”
It’s a view shared by many, including Sarah-Leigh Roddis, Lead Employee Communications Specialist at TTEC, who commented:
“I love that no day is ever the same. I often find myself speaking to people across the globe. I enjoy finding out their stories, getting exposure to different cultures, and sharing best practice.”
Variety also creates new challenges and keeps the work fresh and engaging, as Kristian Websdale, Delivery Training Professional at BT, added:
“I love the fast-changing industry and how we adapt within our centres. New challenges always result in changes, which helps to keep the job interesting and the individuals continuously learning. I love something which is going to keep me well challenged and testing my skills every day.”
6. Fun Days, Bake Offs, Charity Events and More
This all helps to create a varied social calendar for all employees, and sometimes even their families too
Contact centres are well known for their fun culture, fundraising and charity efforts, and even celebration days to mark key events across the year.
This all helps to create a varied social calendar for all employees, and sometimes even their families too.
As Linda Davis, Head of Operations at AllClear Insurance Services, commented: “Incentives, fundraising days, celebration days, bake-off days, and more, all help to create a sense of ‘feel good days’ and camaraderie.”
If you want to read more about how you can improve the culture in your call centre, read our article: 10 Ways to Recharge Your Contact Centre Culture
7. The Freedom to Work From Home
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, working from home was an option in some contact centres, but opportunities were few and far between, and most agents accepted the daily commute as the norm.
However, events since March 2020 have changed this for the better, and it’s now common for the majority of agents to enjoy either full remote working or an agreed pattern of hybrid working (for example, 2 days in the office and 3 days at home) – if it suits them.
For agents, this gives them another reason to enjoy their job, as they benefit from a better work/life balance, as well as save time and money by boycotting the daily commute.
For some, it has even opened up new opportunities to go and live further afield and enjoy countryside living – without having to worry about being within an hour’s drive radius of the office.
8. Training and Development
Contact centres are great environments for training and development too, creating upskilling and learning opportunities for everyone who walks through the door, as Gary Kinsella, Head of Customer Services at Dignity Funerals Ltd, commented:
“I love creating an environment that allows people to grow and develop. Every day is different!”
There’s a lot to learn too, as Linda Davis added: “You can learn a lot of transferable skills in a contact centre, including developing communication skills, negotiating skills, social skills and becoming a subject matter expert.”
Training and coaching your staff can not only increase employee performance, but also your ability to retain and engage your staff, for more on this read our article: How to Create a Coaching Culture in the Contact Centre
9. Career Opportunities
Beyond this, there is also a wealth of opportunity for the more ambitious to carve out a career path – in a number of different directions, from team leader and management roles to in-house trainer, back-office operations, and more.
Many aren’t initially aware of just how many opportunities can be found in a contact centre, and this realization can result in a short-term job quickly becoming a long-term career
However, many aren’t initially aware of just how many opportunities can be found in a contact centre, and this realization can result in a short-term job quickly becoming a long-term, fulfilling career, as Kristian Websdale, Delivery Training Professional at BT, said:
“For someone who started with a 6-month contract and no idea where to go after, I have now worked in the industry for over 11 years, 8 of which have been spent with BT.”
10. Unbeatable Atmosphere
Last, but by no means least, the atmosphere!
All of the above create a unique working environment and an atmosphere you’d struggle to recreate in any other industry, as Mark McGill, Operations Manager at SSE Retail at OVO Energy, continued: “I thrive on the atmosphere and challenges. All the different personalities make each day more fulfilling.”
For more great information on working in a contact centre and how you can make it better for your staff, read our articles: