Category Archives: Careers

Tips to ruin your call center career

Traditionally call center career is considered to be an easy way to start your professional life even with limited skills. With over 17 years of experience in this field now, I have seen loads of people joining call center and turning it into a dead end job. Achieving this is fairly easy if you don’t want to grow in this industry or are comfortable in a single position. Just follow one or more of these tips and you will most likely ruin your call center career. Be warned that doing the opposite of below recommendations might lead to a promotion or fast career growth.

• Don’t focus on your KPIs – KPI or Key performance indicators are the baseline for measuring efficiency of an individual in call center. Just be oblivious to values like NPS, CSAT, AHT, sales target and you are half way through. The good thing about this advice is that it works for all levels right from telecaller to head of operations.
• Be invisible- You will not need any super powers for this one. Just make sure to have minimum interaction with your manager and seniors. The less they know that you exist lesser will be the chance that you will be recommended for any new assignment or promotion. With large team sizes in call center industry, it is very rare that senior management will recognize more anyone apart from their direct team. People who are more visible because of their good work or participation in various activities tend to stand out and thus have a better chance of faster career progression.
• Refuse any additional work- Make sure to refuse working on any additional assignment or task being given to you. Say that you have to take your dog to a vet or any such excuse. If you are still not able to wriggle out of it then simply do a bad job of it. Taking up additional work apart from your daily work will make you seem to be proactive. Proactive people are generally seen in a good light and thus have more chances of being promoted.
• Never work overtime- Never agree to put in extra hours. Even when you know that your manager needs your help, just give some excuse and get out of there. Management has this habit to identify hard workers from the lot and then give them extra work. Once you have been identified as one of these lot they will try to retain you no matter what thus leading to a successful career.
• Ignorance is Bliss- These are certainly wise words and can go a long way in ensuring a dead end call center career. Simple trick is to keep your knowledge of your company or the product and process you are working on to be very limited. Knowing the processes or product in dept will lead to you being seen as a subject matter expert or SME. Managers generally tend to consult or guide new people to be mentees to such individuals. You know what happens next, first SME and then a team leader and we certainly don’t want that.

Any one or combination of the above tips are a sure shot way of stalling your call center career growth. Doing the opposite will surely boost it!!!

Another article you might find useful
Tips to handle difficult bosses: Easy, practical & fun

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Filed under callcenter operations, Careers, contact center, Customer Service, Interview Tips

Essentials to grow in callcenter career, an interview with Sean Hawkins

The one thing I have been asked most frequently is the secret to grow in callcenter industry. To get an answer to this I got an opportunity to interact with Sean Hawkins. Sean Hawkins is a Customer Experience and Contact Center expert with over 15 years of call center experience. In that time, he’s worked in numerous roles in the public, private and government sectors.

His many years in contact center leadership have provided a solid understanding of the call center environment. Sean has a terrific pulse on incorporating innovation into the contact center. He’s implemented social, outsourcing partners, new technology, and new products, while maintaining an award-winning contact center.

Let’s know Sean a little better and see what advice he has for us to excel in this field.

How did you come to join call center industry?

After discharging from the US Navy, I worked in an auto plant and went to school. After graduation, I had the chance to work for a company in Stockton, CA. as a one man IT department/Support Team. I was under qualified, uncertain of myself and deathly afraid of making mistakes. It was an amazing experience!

It is said that it is difficult to grow in call center field, what has been your experience?

I would disagree. Growth and advancement abound in the contact center. I think leadership has to do a better job of professional development with their staff and helping them create a career path. Lack of growth is generally due to these reasons.

When and how did you get your first promotion?

My first promotion occurred a few months after I started in my first call center back in 2000. I was promoted to a Technical Lead responsible for taking escalations from our Tier 1 team.

What are the 5 essential skills that one must have to make a successful career in call center?

That can vary based on the call center you are in, and what you are supporting. I’d say the most important are a high EQ, an ability to understand data, understand basic metrics, a great work ethic, and love for the job.

What terms/matrices should be known to all successful call center professionals?

Well, there are so many terms and matrices, to try to remember them all could be quite difficult. Furthermore not all are used in any given center. I’d say first learn what is used in your current center. There are some common metrics such as CSAT, Handle Time, Custom Effort, Score, Net Promoter Score, TSF, and ASF that are certainly worth knowing.

Who have been your inspiration/mentors and what key lessons did you learn from them?

I’ve had many in my career from Joyce Nyhaug, Erie Luces, Sarah Stealey-Reed, and John Tedesco. From a personal standpoint, my wife (Yvette Hawkins), parents, grandparents, and in-laws have influenced and inspired me as well.

I’ve learned that effort, determination, aspiration, a thirst for learning, and kindness will take you very far in life.

Tell us a little about Call center weekly

That is a blog I created with Jeremiah Methvin and Brooks Webb. We had a desire to provide a forum for call center agents and managers to share their stories, offer their advise. So often it is the those on the front lines who are responsible for successes, but they rarely have opportunity to receive recognition. The blog was a way to give voice to the front line staff.

What other resources do you recommend for people in the field of contact center?

There are organization such as ICMI, CCNG, HDI that specialize in contact center training. If possible, attend conferences, seminars, and webinars. I’d also take advantage of social media. Connect with people, companies and organizations and begin to engage them.

What advice do you have for call center professionals who feel that they are stuck in a single profile?

I’d encourage them to seek out mentors, ask questions, and find resources to help you. There are so many opportunities available to you

So readers this was Sean sharing some insights into fast tracking your callcenter career. Do let me know if you have any queries. You can write to me at or just leave a comment below.

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Filed under Call Center Terms, callcenter operations, Careers, contact center, Customer Service, Interview Tips

Agitated Customer : Tips to handle them

There is nothing serious in a business than an agitated customer, and a successful business is one which has a manpower possessing the special skills to handle such customers.
The author has tried to jot down an overview of some of such useful skills which might be referred to as customer cooling skills (CCS) for such an hour.
Top skills to be possessed could be as follows:

  • Listening – Listen very patiently and react very empathetically, if at all required. The last thing an agitated customer would want is any interruption while reporting a grievance and the first thing which they admire and which undoubtedly would help them cool down a bit is lending them an ear.
  • Consideration – Be considerate to offer the customer a seat and a drink or a snack in a very courteous manner. The customer will definitely feel and appreciate the courtesy, with or without expressing the satisfaction directly.
  • Accept and Apologise – After listening to their grievance completely and understanding it, do not waste time to accept negligence and apologising for the fault. The anger would certainly cool down a bit more by now.
  • Reassurance – After accepting and apologising reassuring the customer for not to repeat the incident in the future would go a long way making customer a regular client.
  • Compensation – Compensating a customer with a grievance could be a step forward in a business. The compensation could be for a customer’s fuel being used to come back and report, it could be an on the spot free gift or a free service offer. You will see a cool customer by now. After all taking leads and referrals might be in the store by offering this service.
  • Argument– A biggest no to any argument at any point of all the discussion with any agitated customer please.
    Hope to convert an agitated customer to a cool customer referring more customers at the end.

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Top mistakes to ruin callcenter career

A call centre career is not the easiest of the jobs as perceived. The professional must be of a very confident and passionate to succeed.
Prominent mistakes one can avoid or get rid off to be successful in callcenter career are,
1. Not in time – Knowing and understanding the importance of being in time goes a long way through ages with a professional. Customers need your services all the time. So, with a considerate approach to a customer’s needs than anything else, one must be at your desk and on call in real time.
2. Non- communicative- Communication skills are undoubtedly a skill to possess and to succeed. It can be for communicating with customers as well as with bosses and colleagues. So, if you fail to convey and report what is needed then there are more chances of you to have a skill to look for another job.
3. Lack of product knowledge and updates- You must have a thorough knowledge of the product or service for which you are interacting with your organisation’s customers and prospective clients. Otherwise, the profile may be the same as it was before you joined your job, i.e., jobless.
4. Incompetent listening skills- Listening skills are on high demand when interacting with the stakeholders. If you are not an excellent listener then you are not a good call centre professional. So, skills of listening would need to be on top priority in a call centre.
6. Omitting steps from a set of processes- Every professional organisation has its own set of processes for a job profile. Now, if you as a professional are trying to or omit some steps of a process, then the purpose gets defeated. For example- After closing a call the professional must record and file the necessary information and then the process is complete.
To conclude, the call centre career is a homogeneous mixture of skills like, communication, reporting, listening, learning and timeliness.

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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE quitting the job

Getting a job is not difficult but getting a good job is.
Sometimes it becomes difficult to cope with the pressure of job. It may be due to difficult boss or conflict with the colleagues or monetary issues where you are not paid what you were promised or promotional issues. Now let’s see what to do in what circumstances.


: When your job is not paying you adequately and you are in need of more finances you can look for other options for increasing your monetary benefits like taking a part time job. If you are not able to spare time to go and work part time you can take online jobs too. Also when in need of finances you can take permission of the organization and work overtime in that organization.

Promotion issues

: You can talk to management regarding it. But it will be good if you don’t act as a cry baby. You can send an email to the management regarding why you feel you deserved promotion more underlining your achievements.

Conflict with the colleagues

: This is very common in the organizations. The best thing you can do is to first talk with that particular person and clarify all the misunderstandings if this doesn’t work then you can talk to the management regarding it.

Conflict with the boss

: You should be calm regarding it and act with an open mind. Things can go worse in other organization you join. So before quitting on this issue you should think carefully regarding all the pros and cons.

Other issues

: These include transfer or family issue where you have to look at someone in your family. You can look for other options in for this but again I would say that you should share your point with the management and look for any other solution before quitting the job.

Most issues resolve themselves if given some time to settle. Having suggested that nothing is more important than your own mental and physical health. Keep in mind quitting the job is not the end of your career and sooner or later you will find a better source of income.

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Filed under Careers, contact center, Interview Tips

Most common callcenter interview questions and recommended answers

Here are the top 5 most common callcenter interview questions asked by recruiters

Q.1 Tell me about yourself?

This is a typical question that is asked in every call centre interview. Never start the answer with myself. Always start with “I am XYZ”. You have to speak for 2-3 minutes about your family background, about your qualification and experience, about your hobbies. You have to show your confidence and fluency while speaking.

Q.2 why do you want to join the call centre when you can go for any other job?

You should be prepared for this question as to why exactly you want to join a call centre. You can say that you see a great scope for this growing industry or it is best suited for your skills like team work or interpersonal skills. You have to show your intent regarding it.

Q.3 how would you handle a typical problem?

This will test your skills and knowledge about your field of expertise. You have to answer to the point about the particular issue. Never give lengthy answers unless and until you are asked to do so. Just be brief and to the point.

Q.4 The next question can be to test your skills regarding handling of pressure. The interviewer may give you a question where you have to fulfill a particular deadline e.g. How would you deal with some urgent issue?

You should be calm while answering this question. Never lose your sense while answering this one. It would add to an advantage if you keep a smile on your face. This will show your calm mind.

Q.5 What if some customer irritates you or misbehaves with you? How would you handle him/her?

Answer to this can be that you will first request that person to be polite and then warn him/her regarding his behavior and then you will cancel his call.

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Filed under Call Center Calculations, callcenter operations, Careers, contact center, Customer Service, Interview Tips

How to build a connect with customer over phone call

Building a connect with customer over phone call is very necessary in providing a good customer service. It becomes even more significant in call centre where you are tested for it every minute. To build a good connect with the customer following things must be looked into:
1. Listen: Listen to your customer carefully and try to understand their problem that what exactly do they want. Be a good listener. Avoid assuming things.
2. Voice modulation: Customer should not feel that he/she is being ignored. For this you have to modulate your voice to show the concern that you are listening to him/her. You shouldn’t be too loud or too slow.
3. Repeat important details: Repeat the important details that customers give you about them. This will show that you are listening to them carefully.
4. Apology: When customer expresses some problem, be prepared to apologize. This is very necessary when you listening to customer grievances.
5. Be calm: Never rush out for things and listen to your customers very calmly. This calmness creates a big impact on building a good customer rapport.
6. Respectful: Show respect towards the customers even if they are irritating you. Every customers wants and deserves respect. This is by far the most important aspect of customer dealing.
7. Empathize: Empathize with your customers. Let them feel that you are with them regarding their problem.
8. Never make them wait for long: Never hold your customer for too long. This irritates them the most. Act swiftly.
9. Focus: Never divert the attention of the customers. Be focused on the issue in hand while solving it.
10. Positive: Always be positive towards the issue. This will help in easing the trouble of your customers who call you.

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Filed under Call Center Calculations, callcenter operations, Careers, contact center, Customer Service

Tips to handle difficult bosses: Easy, practical & fun

“Boss is always right”
Some bosses take this phrase too seriously. Many of you would have handled or must be handling such difficult bosses at our workplace. How many of you actually thought of quitting that job? Quitting a job is not always the solution. Things may go worse at other job you take.
Let’s find out some of the tips to handle such difficult bosses:
1. Keep quiet and listen: Difficult bosses often like Yes MAN. So in front of them only this you should do is to keep quiet. Let them speak what they want to and always reply in affirmative. Let them speak as much as they want to. Be a good listener.
2. Patience: This is the most important tool to handle the difficult bosses. You have to be patient all the time. They may use harsh words, unnecessarily taunt you but then take a deep breath and calm down.
3. Crack a joke: You won’t believe it but this makes a huge difference. You can bank on my experience for this. To keep an office atmosphere healthy you need to be jolly. But take care if threes any serious issue in hand. I mean you can’t joke when your boss is making a serious presentation.
4. Talk at his back: Yes it works and works big time. Take everything out of your heart. Talk to your close friends about him at his back. This will take out your stress. You will certainly feel better. Although talking at back is not considered ethical but every one of us does this. Don’t we?
5. Quit: I am sorry if the above tips can’t help you then quit the job. You are surely at a bad place then.
Better luck next time!!!

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8 Tips for Call Center Interview

Let’s say you are looking for a job. You’ve been thinking of applying for a Call Center job. You understand the basic requirements of the job and are confident that you fit the bill. You have already sent a mail to the HR department of the company along with your resume and are expecting a call for interview. But, are you prepared for that Interview? If the answer is Yes, then congrats and best of luck. But if the answer is a No then, well… just keep reading for the call center interview tips.

Here, we have come up with 8 Tips for Call Center Interview that would come in handy.

  1. Research the Company: It would be good if you’re able to go through the company website or their brochures to know it better. It would give you an idea of company values. Know the company keywords and use them during the interview.
  2. Formal Wear: Wear something that is formal or semi-formal. It would give you a better outlook.
  3. Punctuality Counts: Reaching the venue before time is always a plus point. You would be more relaxed during the interview than when you have barely made it there drenched in sweat and odour.
  4. Patience is Virtue: The interview process may take sometime before your turn comes up. Some organizations deliberately call all candidates at the same time which results in considerable waiting period. Be calm and patient. You are expected to be fresh and active when you meet the interviewer.
  5. Watch that body language: Smile. Sit straight. Be enthusiastic. When handshaking, apply equal pressure. Keep a good eye contact. These are little things that would go a long way in making a positive impact.
  6. Be Confident: It is good to be self-assured but make sure it should not turn into over confidence. People can get easily put off by over confidence. It’s not welcomed anywhere.
  7. Never badmouth your former/present employer: You may think of your ex-employer as a devil incarnate but an interview is not the place to take out your frustrations. Even if an interviewer knows about your company through grapevine and prods you to reveal some details, politely decline.
  8. Be Honest: Never try to hide anything from the interviewer because sooner or later it would be found out. Besides, what’s the point of putting pressure on your conscience (Philosophical! I know). In the end, everyone appreciates honesty as one of the golden virtues.

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Basic requirements for call center job

So you have been pondering over for some time now to go for that call center job but are not aware of the basic requirements for call center job. We have come up with a list of basic skillset that you may find handy to decide if you’re cut for the job.

Following are the 7 basic requirements for call center job that are expected of a candidate:

  1. Communication Skills: This is the first and the most important skill you will require to work and grow in a call center. Clear verbal communication skill is a must for telecalling profile. You can choose between domestic and international processes based on the languages you know. Gift of gab will go a long way in this profile.
  2. Listening skills: Another key skill required in this profile is the skill of listening. One needs to hear what a customer is saying without interrupting him/her. Understanding what is being said forms a key requirement of this job.
  3. Computer Skills: Almost all call centers use computers for Customer Relation Management applications. An executive is expected to use a computer to fetch and input relevant information using the recommended software. Although companies will train you on their customized software but one is expected to have a basic set of computer skills.
  4. Patience: This is the mantra to make a career in call center industry. You will need to interact with all kind of customers day on day. They might be polite and respectful or rude and abusive. One needs to keep his/her calm while interacting with any such customers.
  5. Multitasking: You become a master juggler once you start working in a call center. If you can manage multiple tasks at the same time then you will feel right at home in this profile. You will need to check customer details, punch in information and do a bunch of other stuff while talking to the customer, all at the same time.
  6. Flexibility of Time: Most call centers operate 24×7. As a result, the employees are expected to work in shifts. You might get a fixed or rotational shift. Even the weekly off or holiday might keep shifting.
  7. Interpersonal skills: Call center job is all about interacting with people. Not only customers but also peers, supervisors, trainers and others. Good interpersonal skills will be the key to grow in this industry.


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8 Tips for Call Center Interview

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