Getting a call center job is a great route for those with little or no experience, as it’s widely based on people and non-technical or soft skills. It can be a great first rung on the career ladder. If you want to know how to get call center experience, we have an easy-to-follow template for you below.
First, some basics.
What does call center experience mean?
Call center experience means time spent working in a call or contact center unless it’s a managerial role, which usually means working as a call center agent who answers the phones and talks to customers.
What is a call center?
A call center is a department, office, or separate company that handles customer phone calls. A contact center refers to a call center that manages customer interactions through other channels like live chat and social media. The two are quickly becoming synonymous.
There are two distinct types of call center functions: inbound and outbound. Inbound is when the call center handles incoming calls, and outbound call centers are usually sales-focused call centers that make outgoing calls to customers. Some call centers handle both types.
What does call center experience look like?
Call center experience varies depending on the role.
Call center agents, advisors, support, and service reps all answer incoming customer calls and sometimes make outgoing calls to resolve customer issues. They’ll take calls on a headset while logged into the call center software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, and a few other tools to help them communicate with and assist the customer.
Call center Team Leaders are the ‘foremen’ who oversee a small group of agents or reps. They will track the team’s performance, handle their day-to-day task and people management, and handle any escalated calls. Team leaders have more permissions in the system and can see what their agents are doing in real-time.
Jobs that are considered call center experience:
- Call Center Agent
- Customer Service or Support Representative
- Outbound Sales Executive/Telemarketer
- Technical Solutions Engineer
- Team Leader
- Call Center Manager
Call Center Skills
Call center skills are anything needed to work in a call center role. That includes both hard and soft skills.
Some examples of hard call center skills include:
- good computer skills
- finding technical solutions
Some examples of soft call center skills include:
- active listening
- phone manner
- organizational skills
What can you do with good call center experience?
Call center work is tough. It’s fast-paced, requires problem-solving skills and high emotional intelligence.
It may not be many people’s first career choice, but it has a lot to offer in lessons in life and business.
Many call centers are run by or run for large enterprises whose strict regulations and mature processes can teach aspiring young businesspeople a lot about how large businesses operate.
The problem-solving for customers also requires the ability to understand the technical side of the product or service, out-of-the-box thinking, and the ability to stay calm under pressure.
To create a tri-vector of experience, the empathy and patience needed to succeed on the job develop emotional intelligence, a powerful factor in business and life success.
How to Get Call Center Experience
We can’t guarantee that you’ll get a call center job, especially if you have no experience doing it before, but they’re a great place to start. Many jobs are available, and the industry is expected to expand in the next decade. Here is how to get your call center experience in seven steps.
1. Search the jobs boards
Search online and in local job magazines for call center jobs — there are a lot of them around as turnover in call centers is higher than in other places.
Call center work is tough and generally not very well paid, although many come with decent benefits. The late nights
One skill that you can always practice is patience. You’ll need it working in a call center, and it takes time to learn, especially if we’ve never practiced it before. You’ll need patience while looking for call center experience too.
More call center roles are remote than ever due to the pandemic. That dramatically increased the number of call center jobs available to people in less populated or remote areas of the country. It shouldn’t take long before you have at least 20 call center jobs that you can apply for, in a range of companies.
2. Look at large local organizations
Even if you live in a small town, there are likely one or two large organizations nearby. Find them online or in the local business registry, and then search their careers webpages for call center jobs.
Many smaller towns also have Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies that run call centers on behalf of other large companies.
They’re not very conspicuous, and there are thousands of them across the country, so there may be one near you that you don’t know about.
3. Write your resume and cover letter
The next step is to write up a resume and cover letter explaining why you want the job.
This step comes after the job hunt because it’s important to tailor your resume and cover letter to each job description. That may not require much change in some cases, but one of the easiest ways to get rejected is to get caught out using a templated cover letter.
Call center representatives speak to a huge variety of people from different backgrounds and parts of the world, many of whom have heavy accents or do not speak English as their first language. That can make things like spelling names and addresses hard. Learning the Phonetic Alphabet can make it easier, and learning it will demonstrate your desire and suitability for the job.
Once you’ve put together your resume (there are templates online), research the company and the job itself. Then sit down and write your cover letter honestly and double-check it before submitting it.
4. Send the application
Duh? Many people stall at this stage. Make sure you hit the “Apply” button at the end.
5. Practice for the interviews
It’s important to practice for the call center interviews — especially if you don’t have much experience interviewing or a call center role. Each contact is an opportunity to make a good impression and increase your chances of getting the job.
Learn more about the company and if you really want the job, reach out to some current employees the job to ask about their experience and advice on how to get a job.
Practice your answers to the interview questions, turn up well presented and polite, and be yourself, and you’ll do great!
6. Make it clear you want to advance to management
As you progress through the interview stages, one of the best things you can do is make it clear that you’re treating the role as a career opportunity (rather than a short-term gig).
Due to their mature structures and processes and reasonably high turnover, progressing to management in a call center can be a great career path.
7. Follow up after applying and interviewing
Don’t forget to follow up with a thank you message after your interviews. It might not seem like much, but it can help you stand out from other candidates. You can also follow up with your application if you haven’t heard back for a few weeks.
Be flexible with your schedule. Make yourself available for interviews and make it clear that you are available and flexible to work when needed. Call center work can mean long shifts and unusual hours, so it’s important to demonstrate you can handle those.
Can you get a call center job with no experience?
It’s quite possible to get a call center job with no experience. It makes a great entry-level or part-time job.
The most important skills in a customer support role are soft skills, like empathy and active listening. The ability to remain calm and patient when others (customers) are getting emotional is key.
If you can demonstrate those, along with an ability to learn quickly and think on your feet, you should be able to secure a call center job with no experience.
Often, there is a high degree of technical support for agents, templates, and knowledge bases that help you assist with problems even if you know nothing about them. All call centers will give you training in their call center processes and product before you start with real customers.