Who Applies for Call Center Jobs?

Customer service agents are supposed to be individuals who possess certain skills. Their job is quite different from a traditional corporate role as the expectations their employers have for them are quite clear from day one.

Companies also spend excessively on their customer service agents’ training and retention.  However, one thing that lacks in this entire hiring process is the impersonal way by which these individuals are recruited. HR personnel simply fail to recognize that these applicants are coming from all walks of life and need to be assigned different roles.

Although today the roles and responsibilities of a call center agent are quite well-defined, the job is still considered one that “anyone” can do. This misperception has caused many problems for call centers as well as companies who decide to outsource their customer service.

So, let’s find out what expectations call center agents bring to the table when they apply for such a job and what is their actual experience in the real world.

How Can We Improve the Agent Experience?

There is a need to promote an agent-centric culture in organizations to make sure being a call center agent is not looked down upon.

Today, US agents lack the required appreciation for the job they do. This is unfortunate but it exists. These people are important for the growth of your business; you don’t just need to fill the seats but fill them with people who will actually make a difference.  

From conducting agent satisfaction surveys to offering agents an opportunity to grow and prosper in this field, there can be many steps we can take to help achieve this. There is also a need to replace the term “agent” with something more compliant and acceptable like team leader, ambassador, or partner.

It is also important to recognize your agents’ social needs and expectations from their job. And finally, regardless of how many agents you currently have in your call center, always try to avoid burnout. If an employee is not physically fit or mentally relaxed, he or she won’t be able to fulfill your expectations.

Is Call Center Job Considered a Career Opportunity in the US?

Unfortunately, no. Many consider it a last-resort job when all other employment opportunities fail to prove good. And for this perception, the agents are not to be blamed solely. We, as employers, are equally responsible for making them think it’s not a respectable job.

In order to attract and retain the best talent for this type of job, we need to change our recruiting practices.

Agents should be trained to connect with the company or brand they represent by offering the right culture. And the recruiters should not just focus on hiring; they should employ modern recruiting practices like personality and emotional intelligence testing.

Most call centers in the US are focused on meeting the number of agents required to handle the workload instead of the quality of those agents they are hiring. As a result, most companies fail to see any improvement in their customer service efforts.

Is the Call Center Job Harder Today?

While the technologies have evolved and we now have access to extremely powerful tools that can help track performance and streamline our efforts, the call center job for agents has not become any easier in recent years.

This is mainly because customers are now more impatient than ever and want to have their problems solved in a jiffy. They are not very wrong in having such expectations from customer service agents today. But the fact that this job is still not a very accepted profession in the US makes it ever so difficult for the agents to fulfill their caller’s hopes.

Unless we start appreciating our agents’ efforts to do their best and have a clear and advanced recruiting process in check, we won’t be able to change this mentality anytime soon.   

Wrapping Up

While the question may seem redundant and unnecessary, who applies to be a call center agent in this day and age is important if we want to retain these agents. A common error that many companies make is focusing on the quantity rather than the quality of their agents.

Understanding who your agents are is more important than knowing what they can do in the context of a call center. To make your customer service successful, the first thing you need to know is where your agents are coming from, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and what their expectations are from this type of a rather “vague” job role.

Once you are able to recognize these needs, you will be able to hire the right people for this job. Whether you decide to outsource your customer service or have an in-house call center, you shouldn’t be blaming yourself for your ill-trained agents at the end of the day.   

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