When you are working in the corporate sector, you do have to go through tough routine from time to time. However, some professionals need to go through a tough routine regularly. For instance, call center professionals have to go through a rigorous work schedule every day. This is one profession that requires a person to be on his toes for each minute of a day at work. Here are few of the many reasons why call center jobs can be termed as highly stressful and tiring.
1. Tough targets and professional tasks
Call center jobs can be categorized into two key categories. One of them is outbound agents and the other is inbound agents. Outbound call center agents are responsible to market the services of a company by making calls to the potential customers. These agents have tough sales targets due to which they have to make a large number of calls so that the desired sales volumes targets can be achieved. It is not easy to make calls as a lot of customers do not even show interest in what you have to say. Some of them to show interest in the earlier phase of the call and then indicate that do not intend to buy anything. At times, the job of an outbound call center agent can be quite frustrating. A major portion of the salary paid to these professionals comprises of sales commissions. This amount is only paid if they are successful in achieving the desired targets. Not everyone has the dedication to promoting products to new customers for so many hours every day.
As compared to outbound call center agents, inbound call center agents do not have to make outgoing calls. Instead, customers contact them for getting the desired support. For instance, an inbound call center agent may be working for an internet service providing company and providing technical support to the customers. This can prove to be a tough task as inbound call center agents get numerous calls from the customers with each one of them having different problems. Inbound call center agents need to satisfy the customer and end the call before a maximum time span. Most customers do make calls when they are stuck up with a problem and they expect the problem to be resolved in seconds. For inbound call center agents, this can prove to be a problem as some of the problems may be highly technical and complex.
2. Low standard of call center headsets
The standard of call center headsets does play an important role in how tired a call agent would get after a complete shift. A lot of companies do not pay attention to the standard of call center headsets given to the employees. Most agents use hearing -devices that do not have a proper padding on the speakers and have weight as well. Thus, they get completely exhausted after a complete working shift. The working shifts that call center agents need to go through cannot be compared to a standard 9 to 5 job. The work shifts are quite long and tiring as well. With so many call volumes that need to be managed, call agents need devices that are comfortable and good to wear as well.
Branded call center headsets prove to be quite helpful and reduce the work stress to a certain degree as well. Professional brands like Plantronics and Jabra produce call center headsets that are comfortable and help agents in working without getting exhausted.
3. Stringent system to measure performance
As a working professional, your performance would be measured on the basis of how you perform. Every corporate sector has a certain system to reward the employees. Call center agents need to go through tough grading criteria for appraisal purposes. Inbound call center agents do get graded on the basis of how they have handled the customer calls. As all calls are recorded, the time in which calls have been completed is also counted. As a call center professional, if you have entertained all the calls properly but you have taken longer time spans than normal, you might not get a good performance grade. You would only be graded high if you all the customers whose calls have been attended by you have been completely satisfied and the calls have been completed before the maximum permissible time span. For instance, most companies require their customer support executives to complete a call and answer the query in less than 3 minutes. Thus call center professionals need to keep that factor in mind when they are taking calls. It is not that hard to meet this timeline if you are getting 5 to 10 calls every day. However, this is not even the ideal count of calls that you can expect on daily basis. Call center professionals get hundreds of calls every day. Each of these calls needs to be completed before the maximum permissible time span without the customer being dissatisfied in any way.
The performance of outbound call center agents is measured on the basis of the sales targets that they achieve. There is a minimum benchmark that each agent needs to achieve on monthly basis. On the basis of these targets, incentives are awarded to call center agents. To achieve sales targets, these professionals need to make numerous calls every day so that the chances of getting mature leads increase. As they have to make so many calls and concentrate without getting tired, they need to have dependable call center headsets. If the hearing devices being used are not good to wear or have comfort issues, these professionals are unable to concentrate on the calls that they make. As a call center agent, if you are using a professional headset by Jabra, Plantronics or Sennheiser, you would be able to make a large number of calls and achieve your sales targets without getting tired in any manner.
For people who work as call center professionals, the call quality and clarity matter a lot. It is impossible to resolve a customer query or promote the product if you cannot hear his voice in a proper manner. In addition to that, this would enhance the call duration which would affect the professional performance in a negative way.
4. Body Spasms and muscular issues
Call center agents need to sit in one posture for 10 hours or even more. Along with that, they have a headset on their head or on the ear during this entire duration. Sitting in one posture makes the muscles stiff. Particularly the neck and back muscles are affected in an adverse manner over the period of time. Quality call center headsets do reduce the chances of major muscular damages. On the other hand, professionals who use low standard headsets face health issues as these devices are heavy and exert pressure on the neck.
5. Tolerating customers with different temperaments
If you are a call center professional, you would communicate with a lot of people who have bad temperaments. Most customers make calls when they come across a problem. This is when they are in a frustrated state of mind. You can expect every second person to talk in a rude complaining manner. However, you would be expected to resolve the problem of the customer without noticing the tone. Other than that, you would also be expected to resolve the complaint of the customer in the shortest possible time span.
Outbound call center agents come also come across hard to handle people like inbound call center agents. For instance, consider that you are working for a company that deals in digital cameras and you need to sell them by making cold calls. Some people you make calls to would not even listen to one complete sentence from you. Similarly, a lot of people would listen to you but give a negative feedback in a rude manner. This can prove to be a very irritating situation for the call center professional. However, people who are a part of this industry are expected to keep their cool at all times and ensure that they talk in a polite manner to the customer.
6. Accent is highly important
There is no room for error when it comes to using the correct accent while conversing with the customers. Knowing how to speak English is not the only requirement that you need to fulfill. You need to an expert at using the correct accent as well. For instance, if you are providing customer support for a Canadian Based company, you need to be well aware of the Canadian accent of using English to communicate with the customer without any inconvenience. Most call center managers are very severe when it comes to using the correct accent. Call center agents even lose their jobs if they fail to catch the accent and make regular mistakes while taking their calls.
7. Performance expected without proper professional training
It is hard to do something without making mistakes when you have not been given proper training for it. This is exactly what most companies do with call center agents who work for them. Even if they are not experienced, they would be expected to satisfy the customers in every way. As a customer support professional, you would be expected to learn things at a fast pace without any room for errors. Some companies do not provide basic training about how to initiate the call and end it in a smooth manner. However, this training is not sufficient to handle calls in a smooth manner. Thus, once you start taking calls, you would struggle while communicating with the customers properly. Call center managers do not give any room for error even if you have been taking calls without having proper training.
8. Handling customer queries with a time limit
As a call center professional, you would come across the challenge of handling customer queries properly in a fixed time span. This can prove to be a problem as some customers have a detailed description of the problem and this makes it hard for the call center professional to resolve the problem before the maximum permissible time span. While communicating with the customer, the support professional needs to keep a check on the time as well. This can result in a slip of concentration particularly if the customer has a complex problem.
Call center agents do not have to surpass this challenge for one or two calls. They need to strike a proper balance between satisfying the customer and ending the call in the smallest possible time span. At times, these support professionals fail to resolve the query in the time that they have available. Similarly, some of them drop calls when the time is slipping out without resolving the query. This would affect your performance and eventually your position in the company.
9. Daily Routine disturbed completely
A fact is that people who are a part of the call center industry can forget about having a proper daily routine. If they are working as outbound agents, achieving sales targets needs to be their most important priority. To achieve their targets, they need to invest extra hours in a lot of cases. Similarly, inbound call center agents need to give in extra hours if there are a lot of customers making calls. This is a tiring employment option where you need to put in extra time and sacrifice your personal life in this relation.
Call center professionals need to work in shifts which keep changing. If you are working in a morning shift, you may be required to work the night shift after some time. This completely disrupts your daily routine. Each time when your shift changes, you need to alter your daily routine to meet this change.
10. Salary Structure with very less basic payment
When you are working for an organization, the salary which you get at the end of the month helps you in deciding the expenses which you can afford. The basic salary provided to call center professionals is less and the complete amount which they are given at the end of the month depends on a lot of how they perform. In other words, a call center professional cannot determine the amount which he would get at the end of the month in advance.
For instance, consider that you are working as an outbound call center professional. You would be given a monthly sales target and your incentives would depend on the achievement of those targets. Your full incentives would be paid to you if you are successful in achieving all your targets. This is the first scenario where you can get all your incentives but only when you meet your targets. However, this is an ideal situation. On the other hand, if you are unable to meet your targets, your incentives are deducted. The deduction depends on the percentage of targets deducted. In a nutshell, one can say that the amount which you would get at the end of the month. In other words, you would be unable to plan your expenses for the month.
11. Very less job security
It is a fact that job security depends on how you perform. If you fail to perform, you would eventually lose your job. However, in case of call center professionals, the volatility level is much higher. Some companies even fire professionals when they fail to meet sales targets for the first time. Similarly, if an inbound call center professional fails to wrap up even one call in the required time frame, he may lose his job on an immediate basis.
To prevent unemployment, call center professionals need to work hard on the continuous basis. In other words, they are always under the stress of retaining their jobs.
12. Thankless Job
There is no doubt that call center professional’s do not get the same respect as other professions. Most people have the opinion that the tasks that call center professionals accomplish can be completed by anyone and there is no hard work required to complete them. This is not a fact in any way. Entertaining customer calls or making calls for product promotion are both stressful tasks. If you are expecting that you would get a lot of credit as a call center professional, you need to correct yourself. Call center professionals get very little credit as compared to the hard work that they invest. If you are seeking a career option where you can get a lot of credit, you surely need to look at better alternatives.
Call center professionals are always under the knife and they do not get any time for relaxation. They mostly get calls every minute and do not get any break between calls to relax and refresh their minds. Other than that, most customers who make calls to get product support are in a bad frame of mind. They make calls when they are not satisfied with the product that they are using or there is a functional problem with it. Along with that, the level of frustration that they have creates the impression that the call center professional is responsible for the fault that the customer is facing.
For call center agents, facing angry customers is a day to day practice. You would come across angry customers on almost every call. Even when would be trying to provide the correct guidance, they would show irritation. Apart from suggesting the solution to the customer, you need to make them understand that the solution would work for them. This surely proves to be a challenging task.
13. Lack of quality call center headsets
To perform professional tasks, it is important that the devices which you need to use are of good standard. Quality call center headsets are important customer support professionals need to perform in a better manner. If these professionals are using quality devices, they can avoid a lot of problems including backaches and headaches.
Call center agents face problems in most companies due to lack of quality devices. Companies are usually not concerned about the problems that their staff faces due to low standard communication devices. They only get concerned about how sales targets are being met in the shortest possible time span. These factors actually make things quite tough for call center professionals.
On a regular scale, working as a call center professional can prove quite tough. Whether you are working on the inbound basis or outbound basis, you would have to go through a rigorous schedule on daily basis. Using high-quality headsets reduces the stress that calls center agents go to a certain degree. Headsets produced by a quality brand have soft padding on the speakers so that agents can wear them for long spans without feeling any form of tiredness. In addition to that, high-quality headsets have a good fit and they do not come off in any easy manner. For long shifts, it is good to opt for recommended branded headsets so that you do not get tired in any manner.
Call center professionals do not go through a relaxed schedule in any manner. On daily basis, they need to put in long hours to perform and achieve their professional targets in an easier manner. However, this professional does not offer a lot of room for error and the criteria to judge the performance is quite strict. As a call center professional, you need to go through strict customer expectations at all times. Whether you are working as an inbound agent or an outbound one, your customers would expect the best from you at all times. If you want to be successful in this industry, you should simply forget about getting irritated. Keep in mind that almost every person who you converse with would have a different thought process than you. It would be your responsibility to communicate with him and ensure that he is satisfied with how you entertain his concerns.