Thursday, October 18, 2007

Call Center Jobs in the Philippines: How to Land One

“The last few years have seen a steady increase in the number of available call center jobs in the Philippines—an unsurprising fact considering that the country is now one of the top outsourcing destinations in the world. With its attractive pay (most companies offer at least 15,000 pesos or $300 a month) and generous benefits, answering telephones and talking to irate callers located halfway around the world have become not only one of the most plentiful but also most attractive and sought-after jobs in the Philippines.

So what does it take to launch a successful Philippine call center career? What skills do you need to land a lucrative job in one of the country’s many contact centers? What exactly do you need to do to be able to proudly wear the prerequisite headset?

First and foremost, you have to have a good grasp of the English language. It would help if you have an American accent, but this is not really a requirement as most call centers actually have their new-hires undergo training where they are taught about the American culture, expressions and accent. What they are more concerned about is your pronunciation and if you can speak clearly.

So when you are being interviewed for a call center job, make sure to pronounce your words clearly, avoid “ums” and other similar expressions and try to formulate your answer in your mind (quickly though) before you go blurting out an answer.

Second, you must display a great deal of patience. As mentioned earlier, you will be handling a lot of angry, unreasonable and simply outrageous clients. Being in the customer service industry, you must always show restraint and a great deal of patience with your callers.

If you want to be a call center agent, you also have to have great communication skills, and by this I don’t just mean talking with an American twang. You have to be able to clearly construct and express what you want to say so that the caller you are speaking to may be able to fully understand your meaning. In the call center industry, miscommunication is a mortal sin.

A basic working knowledge of how to use computers is also required of those who wish to work in contact centers. A computer is one of the tools you will be using most in your job, so call centers require applicants to at least know how to run one.

You have to be smart too, or at least, a quick and rational thinker. While some may think that call center agents are nothing more than glamorized telephone operators, there is actually more to the job than mindlessly answering phone calls. Not only do you have to pacify angry and sometimes, unreasonable, callers, you have to be able to digest and analyze what they are saying and give reasonable answers to their questions. What do you do for example, if a client asks you why his new computer is not working? How do you convince a caller on the brink of canceling an account to change her mind and give your products or services another try? Think being a call center agent is all about having a pleasant voice and accent? Think again.

Most of all, you have to exhibit a willingness to work hard. One of the reasons why call centers pay their employees more is they demand more from their employees. You have to work while the rest of the country slumbers; you have to report to the office during holidays; you have to give up your “night life” because, well, you’ll be working at night.

Ready to try your luck with a call center job?

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