Scoring a call center job may not be the top of your career goals, but hear us out: It can be a terrific launching pad. Yes, many call centers are indeed stereotypical pressure cookers. Benchmark studies set the turnover rate for most at up to 45%. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Selectively choosing the right call center job for your skills, interests, and priorities is key.
Here are a few top tips when seeking a call center job from The HT Group Recruiting Manager Michelle O’Keefe:
You Have Ambition, and That’s OK
“We love to see longevity with past roles, but we also love to see drive in our candidates—those seeking growth opportunities,” O’Keefe says.
A call center job is excellent for early-stage professionals and those who have transitional career needs, like the desire to work remotely or part-time temporarily. The role can help you become a subject-matter expert in a new-to-you industry and hone your technical or problem-solving skills. But you don’t have to pretend you want to stay in customer service for the rest of your life. Just demonstrate how the call center job will challenge and teach you what you want to learn while supporting your long-term goals.
Understand Call Center Job Differences
Many call center jobs these days are omnichannel, which means you may be helping customers in various ways, including phone, live chat, text, email, and even social media. For this reason, O’Keefe says that job candidates experienced with phone, email, and chat support are ideal. Call volume also varies from job to job, as does the nature of those interactions: inbound (taking calls or tickets that come in) versus outbound (which includes reaching out to customers to “check in” with them).
Varying your experience to include many different scenarios makes you a model candidate. “Candidates who conduct inbound and outbound calls and who have experience working in a high-volume setting (80-100 calls/day) are preferred,” O-Keefe says. A great way to gain such varied experience is to go through temporary staffing, trying out different scenarios to discover your best fit.
Phone Presence Is Still Most Important
A call center job these days indeed goes beyond manning the phone. But phone conversations remain vital. More than 65% of customers, regardless of age, use the phone to resolve their issues with a company. That’s why soft skills related to phone interactions are top of our recruiters’ wish lists.
“Personality-wise, we target candidates with a great phone presence, patience, understanding, and those who genuinely enjoy helping others,” says O’Keefe. After all, top complaints about customer service experiences stem directly from soft skills (or a lack thereof). They include feeling that the rep is uninterested in them and having to repeat explaining their problem.
One last tip from O’Keefe: If you have excellent typing skills (around 40 WPM) and are bilingual in Spanish and English, you can be a standout candidate. Work with the right staffing firm that carefully screens employers and jobs to land that ideal call center job that’s a true breath of fresh air. No kidding.
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