As with all work places and professions, Call Centres and their employees have their own popular stereotypes, some having more bearing to truth than others…
1. Call centre employees have no future prospects – Not true
This stereotype relates to how some may see Call Centre employees as bottom of the barrel material with no future job prospects. This isn’t the case as just about all of them will be offer a way to progress and develop a career. Skills such as the ability to both communicate and listen effectively are some of the most valuable assets in a job that requires you to be switched on day-in day-out.
For the best employees who do want to progress in their career, many Call Centres will support them to progress into higher level positions such as a Team Leader or team trainer, this could of course move onto something even higher such as management type role. All of this would also open many doors and career paths an employee may want to take outside of a Call Centre.
2. A call centre job is demoralising and lacking in variety – Not true
This stereotype most likely comes from the sheer thought of being sat down at a desk for 8+ hours a day, using the same script for every call. For a lot of dedicated Call Centre employees every individual call is different. Since calls and the conversations are never predictable, the way in which each one plays out is entirely unique. For those who especially enjoy talking and listening, this can be a very enticing job.
There are also other types of jobs available in a Call Centre which don’t necessarily rely 100% on calling up customers for outbound sales, or even inbound customer services. Companies will hire their own admin staff dedicated specifically to the administration side of the business.
3. All employees are outsourced offshore – Not true
While it is true that the Call Centre industry does outsource a lot of its operations overseas to countries such as India and the Philippines (which has now overtaken India as the largest outsourcer in the world), in recent years home-based British call centres have risen in popularity with organisations wanting to try to eliminate this negative stereotype and the stigma that comes along with it. Many call centres have actually started to use this as a selling point.
4. All call centre employees are unfit and unhealthy – Not true
This stereotype isn’t necessarily related to call centre specifically, but many office based jobs are often considered unhealthy, and for (unfortunately) good reason. Many recent studies have suggested that sitting hours on end can be extremely harmful for one’s health, no matter the physical condition or calorie intake of the specific person. Things such as stretches and short walks are usually advised (and permitted) in call centres.
5. Call centre employees are all young and inexperienced – Not true
This stereotype relates to the belief some have that a lot of call centre employees working on the calls are inexperienced who lack any real education in the industry. This isn’t always the case, as research from numerous studies have found that employees who work in-self-directed or problem-solving teams and roles are often better educated. There are also specialised types of call centres which require additional skills, like the ability to speak multiple languages. A good example would be the bilingual French/English Canadian call centres.