Knowledge Article

Misconceptions about Working in a Call Center

By Maigne Cantos / 29 June 2017

In the Philippines, the call center industry has come a long way from its humble start as an outsourcing industry. Currently, it is now one of the biggest economical contributors in the world. This industry has had its fair share of criticisms, from being dangerous to the employee’s health to its employees fluctuating time schedule. Although some of these criticisms are true, it is an undeniable fact that call centers are one of the most “attractive” industries for today’s fresh college graduates.

This is all due to the fact that call centers accept every applicant – no matter how old or how inexperienced they might be – just as long as they fit the company’s standards. Essentially, this is the go-to industry for any college graduate that might want to try out some financial freedom, so they can stop depending on their parents to give them their allowance.

Unfortunately, there are a few misconceptions about this industry that people cannot seem to shake off. In order to set things straight, here is a discussion of some of these misconceptions. Go ahead and read them below.

It’s a no-brainer

It’s a no-brainer

 The most common misconception that you might hear while walking around the Metro is that most of the call center agents have below-average IQ or were not academically inclined. Similarly, this misconception also includes the job description. Basically, it involves the belief that the job of a call center agent is as easy as it sounds. The agent picks up the phone when somebody calls, helps the caller with their problem, then hangs up the phone once the problem is resolved.

This might be the gist of some agents’ job, but they definitely do more than that. Just being able to speak clearly, concisely, and straight to the point takes months of practice. This is why most agents have gone through numerous months of training just so they can get to the position that they are in today. Moreover, being able to help a client with whatever kind of problem requires a lot of knowledge, experience, creativity, and critical thinking. So, the next time you say that a call center agent’s job is a no-brainer, take a moment and really think about what you’re about to say.

All call center agents are rich

All call center agents are rich

 This is another one of the most common misconceptions that a lot of people believe. Obviously, it is a well-known fact that call center agents are well-compensated. However, this does not mean that they are automatically rich, and can buy whatever they want. Most of these call center agents have families to feed, bills to pay, and other necessities that need their financial assistance. Although this is not to generalize on all the agents, but most of them work to provide for themselves and their families.

Additionally, something related to this misconception is that since call centers are fluent in the English language, people automatically assume that they are rich. This is not the case. Being fluent in the English language does not mean that the person has a lot of money. It only means that they have the needed experience, knowledge, and the capacity to learn, speak, and write well in the English language.

Call center agents live an unhealthy lifestyle

Call center agents live an unhealthy lifestyle

 Another misconception that is often heard is that call center agents live a life full of “unhealthiness.” While it is true that some agents smoke, drink, and has a lot of vices, it does not mean that they have been living an unhealthy lifestyle. Call center agents have these so called “unhealthy” habits usually because they use it to cope with the stress of their work.

Similarly, most call center companies have their own gym or sport rooms to keep their employees as fit as they can be. Some even give out perks and benefits that give their employee cards to the most well-known gym and fitness centers in the country.

Call center agents never experience traffic

Call center agents never experience traffic

Now this is one that is absolutely false, but people still believe in it. Here’s the thing, call center agents STILL experience traffic. If people are thinking that call center agents have shifting time schedules – they are right – but that does not mean that the agents never experience traffic. This only becomes true if the call center agent’s required time schedule is in the early mornings or late nights. But  for those that work in the “standard” working hours, they still experience the dread of Manila traffic.

Being a call center agent only means picking up the phone

Being a call center agent only means picking up the phone

 Now, this is one that is still believed by many. The common notion is that call center agents don’t do anything but pick up the phone and talk to the caller. While this may be the “standard” job for most agents, there are still those that don’t answer phone calls. There are agents that focus on email marketing, chat queries, and a mix of them all.

Key Takeaway

Basically, the agents are the “frontliners” of their company. These agents are the ones that interact with the company’s clients the most. They are in charge of upholding the company’s name, reputation, and overall respect of the masses. They deserve the respect for the sacrifices they do for their job. People shouldn’t use these misconceptions to judge them.

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John Maczynski



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