You’ve probably used a call center if you’ve ever ordered something online or had an issue with a product or service. Companies use call centers to handle customer orders, questions, and complaints. The efficiency of a company’s call center often plays a key role in building and maintaining its reputation and credibility.
You might enjoy a call center job if you enjoy talking on the phone and have a friendly personality. Many call center jobs can be performed virtually, while others might be located in one central building. Either way, these jobs are plentiful and span a large range of industry sectors.
We’ve gathered some helpful information so you can decide whether this field is right for you.
Main Takeaways: Getting a Call Center Job
- Call center jobs deal with inbound and outbound calls. These positions both handle inquiries from customers and undergo marketing efforts in terms of outreach.
- You do not need a degree to work in this field. This position is great for those who have not attended higher education and are looking for a new career path.
- Call center jobs are anticipated to grow in the coming years. Read to learn about the projected growth rate, salary expectations and to explore our live listings.
What Does a Call Center Job Entail?
Here are the 2 types of call centers including a description of what each call center job entails:
- Inbound call centers: Company reps at these call centers receive hundreds, if not thousands, of calls each day from customers. Some may have a question about their account, a billing issue, or want to place an order. Job functions at these call centers would include recording calls, assisting customers, and documenting key data such as customer information, issues resolved, and follow-up plans if needed.
- Outbound call centers: Call center reps at outbound call centers perform marketing functions, calling customers regarding promotions or other services. These are primarily telemarketing jobs.
Typical job duties at these call centers would include calling current customers and prospects to obtain a donation or sell a product or service. In some cases outbound call center professionals receive a commission or bonus based on their performance and whether they achieve monthly sales targets.
Both types of call centers usually have a built-in system to track the number of calls received daily, as well as how long each call lasts and other metrics.
Do I Need a Degree to Work in this Field?
Most call center jobs don’t require a college degree. In fact, most offer paid on-the-job training. Larger companies may require that you have at least 2 years of customer service or call center experience and at least an associate’s degree in communication or a related field.
There are also a few online schools that offer call center training and programs, but if you want to save money, you might be better off learning on the job.
Types of Call Center Jobs
Call center jobs encompass several different categories and job titles. Here are a few examples.
Entry-Level Call Center Jobs
Entry-level call center jobs are ideal for high school graduates, college students, stay-at-home moms or retirees. Since they don’t require a college degree, they’re perfect if you want to make a decent hourly wage but don’t have a formal education.
Entry-level agents are often paired with a mentor or trainer who will show you the ropes and monitor your progress. These jobs would be at the lower end of the wage scale and there may be room for advancement and career growth.
Customer Service Jobs
Customer service call center jobs are for candidates with more experience and focus on customer acquisition and retention. Their job is to ensure customers are 100% satisfied with a company’s products and services. When you see a customer service or “Contact Us” tab on a website, those calls are directed to a call center.
The job involves answering customer calls, taking orders, resolving complaints and escalating calls to a higher level of management if needed.
Help Desk Jobs
Help desk call center professionals answer phone calls from customers and assist them or forward their calls to agents with more technical expertise. These types of call centers are usually established for IT or to sort technical issues for organizations such as cable, phone and computer companies.
Help desk jobs might require a more specialized knowledge of products, services and troubleshooting techniques so you can effectively assist customers.
Telemarketers work out of outbound call centers as described above and call prospects based on leads provided and promote products and services. Telemarketing agents might also call customers to let them know how they can save money through special company discounts. You might also be able to cash in on bonuses if you help generate a lot of sales.
Live Chat Jobs
Live customer service agents chat with customers using an internal messaging system. Customers simply click on a live chat link and immediately connect with a customer service representative to chat about their account, order status or other questions.
Customers often like the idea of being able to contact an agent immediately so their questions can be answered to achieve instant resolution.
Call Center Trainer Jobs
Call center trainers are tasked with training new call center agents on best practices, troubleshooting techniques and company products and services. They typically oversee a team of call center agents, monitor their progress and assist them as needed.
Call Center Manager Jobs
Call center managers oversee a large number of call center agents and trainers. They are responsible for a call center’s bottom-line performance, productivity and efficiency.
A call center manager hires and fires agents and reports to decision-makers on the daily progress of call center operations. These managers and supervisors typically end up on the higher end of the payscale for this category.
Salary Ranges and Expectations for Call Center Jobs
The annual salary ranges for call center agents, depending on experience and location, are $22,000 to $39,000, according to Payscale.com. Depending on your call center, you could receive additional performance bonuses and commissions as well. Call center trainers earn $25,800 to $55,000, while call center managers can make $35,000 to $75,000.
Projected Growth Rate of the Call Center Field
The projected growth rate for call center representatives is 6% by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. That rate is about average in comparison to other occupations.
How to Get a Call Center Job
What are some ways you can find a call center job? Here are some tips and recommendations to get you started:
- Tweak your resume: Highlight any customer experience you have, as well as technical skills using phone systems, answering systems and other software programs.
- Boost your computer skills: Learn more about the systems required for call center jobs you’re targeting. The more knowledge you have about computer programs, the more desirable you are to employers.
- Target your job search: Make a list of companies you’re interested in and find out if their call centers are hiring by visiting their careers page. We did a quick Google search and found many job listings for major companies such as AT&T and Walmart.
- Tap an employment agency: A staffing agency or recruiter can help you find job listings and submit you for job opportunities and interviews, at no cost to you.
- Join virtual career services sites: Sites such as Upwork.com and Virtualvocations.com are one-stop shops for anyone looking for a work-at-home job, including a call center position.
- Network: Join professional groups such as the Contact Center Network Group or Call Center Professionals on LinkedIn to connect with peers and learn about new job listings.
- Apply on credible job search sites: Post your resume on reputable job search engines and perform keyword searches to find the latest call center jobs.
- Promote yourself: Use Facebook, start a blog and market your services as a call center agent.
Top 5 Skills to Be Successful at a Call Center Job
There are some obvious and not-so-obvious skills you’ll need if you want to be successful at a call center job. Here are the top 5 skills you should have:
1. Listening Skills
Sometimes people who contact call centers are frustrated about a particular issue or glitch, so you need to listen to them and give them enough time to express themselves. Repeat their concern back to customers is a good technique so they can confirm you are aware of what the issue is and that you heard what they said. Good listening skills are critical for successful call center agents.
You’ll need to keep your cool as a call center agent. Many companies have built-in customer service surveys so customers can provide feedback about their call center experience, so if you’re rude or impatient, your performance will be noted.
3. Technical Skills
You’ll need to be savvy with different types of phones, computers, headsets, and software programs, so good technical skills are a must.
4. Communication Skills
Call centers receive calls from people across multiple time zones and from different cultures, so you may be faced with language barriers. You’ll need to communicate clearly and concisely so customers can easily understand your advice and instructions.
5. Time Management Skills
Many call centers record calls and how long each takes, with a recommended time allocated for each. You’ll need to keep calls short and to the point, especially if you have a daily call quota to meet.
Is a Call Center Job Right for You?
A call center job allows for flexibility and the ability to work from home if you prefer. You can set your desired schedule and hours and even plan for retirement. If you’re a people-person and enjoy helping customers, a call center job is worth a second look.
About Laura Hipshire
Expert-level knowledge of Medicare Advantage plans and regulatory guidelines