Call Center Representative

How to Become a Call Center Representative
Call Center Representative Job Duties
Skills and Qualities Needed to Become a Call Center Representative
Call Center Representative Salaries
Influential Call Center Representative Professionals
Leading Organizations for Call Center Representatives
Top Cities for Call Center Representative Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Call Center Representative

Almost all positions of this type do not require special formal education. Most, if not all, jobs do require, however, a high school diploma. In the increasingly competitive work environment today, associates and/or college degrees are becoming more preferred.

What does a Call Center Representative do?

Call center representatives are essential for customer service functions of companies that provide products and/or services directly to individuals. Call center representatives are in almost every type of company, including financial services, travel, software, technology, business services and retail. The core action in the job is to interact directly with customers, either when they call the company or when the company reaches out to customers, and help fulfill requests, manage complaints, recommend services/products to customers, following up on previous customer service matters and keep records up to date. Telemarketers may fall into this category, but are most of the time distinguished from call center representatives.

Call center representatives tend to deal with highly similar questions and/or requests from customers and also have to oftentimes deal with dissatisfied customers who require quite a lot of patience and work to satisfy. The job does require a thorough knowledge of the company's products or services as well as the "chain of command" and formal policies normally employed to address customers' needs.

Often, all of this activity is conducted at a single desk, with the use of a computer and headset. Commonly, companies centralize their call center representative operations and have one large facility with a large number of representatives in a single building. Call center representatives also sometimes have to work varying shifts of hours to address the various coverage needs a company may have with customers in various time zones and/or availability windows. Some call center representatives work a regular 8-5, 40-hour work week, others work longer shifts within a shorter work week.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Call Center Representative?

Patience is definitely a virtue in this line of work, as many customers can call in already highly frustrated or angry and take out their negative feelings on representatives. On the other hand, quick problem-solving skills are a big plus, as it also takes quick thinking to figure out how to diffuse, address, or improve the customer's situation. In addition, superb people skills are necessary, as the job is 100% about interacting with people. In short, professionalism is paramount.

How much does a Call Center Representative make?

In 2007, the range for annual wages for a call center representative was from $18,000 - $47,000. The median annual earnings of a call center representative in 2006 were $26,140, with the middle fifty percent making between $21.460 and $34,800. The larges employer type for this group are business-to-customer industries. The second largest employer type are insurance carriers. The top paying employer type by far the are postal services organizations.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Most people agree that DialAmerica Marketing, Inc. was the first company in the United States to specialize in telemarketing, starting in 1957, and still active today. Arthur W. Conway is the current president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DialAmerica Marketing, Inc. as of 2008. Mary Conway is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Senior Vice President. Robert A. Fischer is another Senior Vice President and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), with Larry Kyse being the third Senior Vice President, and Gerhard Lindenmayer as the Chief Information Officer (CIO).

What are some leading organizations in this field?

As stated above, DialAmerica Marketing, Inc set the tone for telemarketing in the United States, as the first company to use telemarketing on a large scale, beginning in 1957. Today the company is headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey, and employs 8,000 people, still specializing in telemarketing.

What are the top cities for Call Center Representative jobs?

Since large companies tend to place their call centers opportunistically, based on availability of a large work force, local wage information and business incentives, there seems to be no one location where there are "best" places to find call center representative opportunities. Texas seems to be the state with the highest concentration of customer service representatives, with California tailing shortly after. The Boston, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, and Jacksonville (FL) areas seem to have large numbers of customer service employees in employment.

Many call center jobs are not in the United States, but in countries such as India where the workforce is cheaper and more plentiful.

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