With the controversial BBC 3 programme ‘The Call Centre’ causing a stir on Twitter, Real Results Training MD Carolyn Blunt gives 5 reasons why she would be more than happy for her children to work in a call centre alongside almost 4%* of the UK’s employed population.
Carolyn said: “My kids are currently 7 and 4 and they want to be an author and a power ranger when they grow up. But, if that eludes them, these 5 skills that they would need to learn to succeed in this industry are why I would be more than happy for them to work alongside almost 4% of the UK employed population in a call centre…”
To succeed in a call centre you need to learn to listen, be concise, and speak clearly, fluently and with energy. You have to ask good quality questions and learn how to keep conversations on track.
2. People skills
You need to learn people skills. It is essential to find common ground, make small talk with the customer and to build rapport. As hard as it may seem at times, it’s always important to use humour and find the positives in every situation. Working in a call centre teaches you how to calm people down or build confidence in others. Ultimately you learn to empathise and problem-solve from the other person’s perspective.
You have to have motivation to take or make those calls. Self-discipline, personal resilience and time management are the characteristics which will make you stand out in this industry.
Whether you love or loathe BBC 3’s ‘Call Centre’ Manager Neville Wilshire, he has got team spirit in that place and it all snowballs from him. When they sang ‘We Are Family’ I wanted to be in their family! Support and friendship (and sometimes romance!) is all part of this unique and wonderful close-knit environment. You only get out what you put in and everyone needs to do their fair share.
5. Broaden your horizons
If you think of a call centre job as being ‘stuck in a building on a business park’ you are looking at it all wrong. Those telephone lines bring in people from all walks of life and as almost 80%* of UK call centre activity is inbound; the customer is calling YOU to ask for help.
When you walk out of that business park at the end of a shift knowing you helped people, learned life skills, got paid and had fun? Well, it sounds like a good deal to me.
*Source www.contactbabel.com ‘UK contact centres in 2013 –The state of the industry’
Carolyn Blunt – MD, Real Results Training Ltd.
Great article Carolyn!
My 2 year old want to be George Pig but I couldnt agree more with you! I’ve worked in call centres for 10 years and learned more about people there than in the previous 10 years as a chartered accountant and finance director!
I agree Call centres are great places to work. For me, they can be a spring board into many different careers – obvious ones like Call Centre management and consultancy, but being customer focused allows people to move within different business functions, sales, marketing, finance, project management, change management, training etc based on their broader skill set and personal passion. I see people who chose to enter the working population in Call Centres instead of (and sometimes as well as) going to Uni, any many develop into professional business people outside of call centres. I also see people who have a passion for delivering great service and their call centre role is there career and they get huge job satisfaction. So yes, I would be proud if my children chose call centres as their career option and not to be a princess or a Ben 10 [ultimate] alien!
This is good to hear, thanks for your comments guys! At dinner parties I often get funny looks when I champion the industry so its really good to know we are all out there on the same mission!
Love this post! I work in the Call Center and what you said is just perfect!