“Misunderstanding is generally simpler than true understanding, and hence has more potential for popularity.” ― Raheel Farooq
Call centers and contact centers usually have a cloudy image in most of our heads. We either think of contact center reps as lowly reps, who don’t give a damn about customer service – someone working odd hours, smoking cigarettes while talking about in-call frustrations, else we mistake them for people who they actually are not. And, it is often ‘the people’ who make a working space productive; a top-notch go to office and much more.
So, how unfair it is on our part to not give them their due credit and undermine their hard work and persistence? After all, the work they do is not easy, and not even moderately close to everyone’s cup of tea.
Ever since its first appearance over a decade ago, the contact center business has had a foothold on our cultural subconscious and has been a huge source of employment. Some have criticized this industry for lacking career growth opportunities, while others have defended it for providing a big push to the employment rate for the last 10 years. So, many perceptions, half-truths, and rumors flock this industry that it’s now hard to separate fact from fiction.
To get this sorted, here’s an attempt to clear their image and other misconceptions people often have about the contact center industry.
1. Call centers and contact centers are only for incoming calls from customers
In the traditional sense, this statement could hold some value, that too if we only talk about call centers and not include contact centers. Today, however, the scenario has swiftly changed. Contact centers now a days offer a variety of platforms for customers to communicate and raise their queries or concerns, apart from outbound calls.
2. Contact centers are only for large businesses
Contact centers have adequate resources which can support your business requirements right from the scratch. They have multiple productivity tools for a variety of different departments to pick from. From a business which needs only a couple of agents working and scheduling appointments, contact centers can cater to large enterprises with workforce management tools and enhanced call routing mechanism, to improve your engagements with customers.
3. Your business uses IVR, hence no need for a contact center
If your business uses IVR or Interactive Voice Response system, it still doesn’t cater to all your customer engagement and services need. A contact center can streamline your workflow from the basics to taking customer service for your business to a whole new level with chat options, self-service options, interactive video telephony, managing and routing calls while customers are in queue.
4. Contact centers act as middlemen
In a nutshell, contact centers basically provide human resources to a lot of industry verticals, for telecommunications, financial, and product support purposes. Once a person is hired to work in a contact center, he abides by the rules and regulations of that said company and doesn’t act as a middleman but rather becomes the voice of the brand.
5. There is no career growth in this industry
Whoever said this does not understand how contact centers work. Persistence, hard work and vigilance is a must have skill for any sphere of life you are working for or in. The growth opportunities offered in a contact center are way higher than as compared to other industries. Yes, according to statistics, attrition is quite high in this line of work. But attrition, by corporate terms, is how much positions are being vacated and filled in. This doesn’t only mean people are leaving the company, it can also mean that people are leaving their positions for a higher one. Just as companies are urgently hiring hundreds of people every month, the need for supervisors and managers is just as high.
6. Call center agents are not experts in the language
This is perhaps the most common misconception about call center agents. People generally think that if he/she is working in a call center industry, they must be college dropouts or would have failed miserably in other jobs. This also gives rise to this misconception about agents having a language barrier, which is absolutely ridiculous. Most of the agents have superior conversational skills and with appropriate training they get even more fluent and converse really well. In a typically run contact center, frequent training sessions are held for grooming agents and to emphasize upon their soft skills development.
7. Stress plays a huge part in this line of work
Okay, you have me here! But tell me one industry where there is absolutely no pressure to perform well? Or a job where your manager does not present you with an almost impossible set of expectations and quotas to meet? There isn’t any example because such a job does not exist. Yes, it is overwhelming at times to listen to screaming and frustrated customers, but this is also what makes their job interesting.
I hope with this blog post you can rest some of the most common misconceptions about contact centers and people working there. If you have a story to share or any feedback to give, please drop a comment below.