How to Become a Call Center Associate?
Steps to Become a Call Center RepresentativeA call center is a customer service department that handles incoming and outgoing customer phone interactions. Call center representatives manage these communications, keep track of open cases, and get answers or information for those with inquiries. These professions work directly for a parent business or for a third-party company hired to handle these tasks. If this sounds like an interesting career opportunity for you, follow these five steps to secure a position in the field:
Graduate from high school.
The most basic level of education required to become a call center representative is a high school diploma. You may also substitute with an educational equivalent, such as passing the GED test. The classes you take in high school and social interactions you have there can help prepare you for the communication and problem-solving situations necessary for this type of work.
What skills do you need to be a Call Center Representative?
- VERBAL Communication
- Good Time Management
- Excellent Communication
- ABLE to Multitask
- Decision Making
- Written Communication
Consider an associate or bachelor's degree.
While not required to start a position in the field, having a post-secondary degree can help you when competing with other qualified candidates for a job. Associate degree programs typically take two years of full-time study to complete. They're focused on teaching a direct set of skills or providing on-the-job training or apprenticeships. Most community colleges and technical schools offer associate degree programs.
Bachelor's degree programs typically take four years of full-time study to complete. They focus on a broader range of subjects to provide a deeper education in your field than an associate degree. Consider majoring in disciplines such as hospitality, business, or communications. Education in finance may also be beneficial when working for certain organizations.
Choose your type of call center.
There are three main types of call centers at which you can work. Choose one that fits your productivity preferences, schedule, and work-life balance. Knowing which type is right for you can help narrow your job search to the option you prefer. Call center types include:
- Inbound: These types of call centers usually operate from an office or one central location. Representatives at inbound centers understand problem-solving and technical support to serve as the first point of contact when a customer calls a help line.
- Outbound: These types of call centers also exist in a central location. Representatives here make calls out to customers or clients to check the status and satisfaction of their purchases or services.
- Work-from home: These call centers allow you to use software to receive incoming calls from or send outgoing calls to customers from various locations rather than a central office. Many companies provide tools to allow you to do the job remotely, such as headsets, microphones, computers, and online training.
Complete your training.
Most call centers provide training for their new employees before they begin their call center representative job, or during their introductory period. Training may take between one and four weeks. Topics can cover knowledge of company products and services, company policies and procedures, use of software and technology tools, and how to provide quality customer service. Some tasks to complete during training include conducting simulated calls, shadowing another representative, or taking quizzes. Depending on what type of call center you work for, this training may take place in-office or online.
Though not required, earning a certification may help you during the hiring process or if you'd like to move to a supervisory position in your call center. Customer service certifications may help you understand the best practices of the industry and learn more information that could help with your day-to-day duties. Some available certifications include:
Call Center Associate Career Path
Associate Call Center Representative
Senior Call Center Representative
Lead Call Center Representative
Call Center Associate Career Path
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