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The 15 best things about working in a call centre
When you are considering career options it would be fair to say that working in a call centre is not the first thing most people think of.
In fact, for most people, they could probably think of nothing worse than working in a call centre!
But for the millions of people across the globe who have worked in a call centre at some point in their career, they will tell you there are many positives you gain from working in a call centre.
Sure, like most industries there are a few bad eggs out there but the majority of call centre operators realise their greatest asset is their people and rather than just a transient job, it’s now a full-time profession where you can spend an entire career.
So we need to get on the offensive and start promoting some of the positive elements of working in a call centre.
I’ve listed my top 15 below.
15 Best things about working in a call centre
1. You make lots of friends
Whether it’s being in the ‘trenches’ all day together, sharing similar shift times or the enormous focus call centres place on building teams there is one thing for sure, working in a call centre is a great place to make friends.
When call centre staff are surveyed about “what is the best part of your job?” typically the number one answer is always “my team/friends”.
You don’t have to probe too far to find life-long friendships that all commenced in a call centre!
2 . You can earn good money
For a job that doesn’t require any formal qualifications, you can earn amazing money.
The Call Centre Award rate in Australia for 2023 is $23.52 per hour with the latest industry data confirms the average salary for a customer service agent is $55,800 plus Superannuation and an average bonus of $4,150.
Start climbing that corporate ladder and Team Leaders are in hot demand with an average salary of $82,200 plus Superannuation and an average bonus of $10,585 putting them above a $100k package.
Senior roles earn in excess of $200k.
3. Great opportunities for promotion
Not everyone wants a career working in a call centre.
But for those that do, there are great opportunities for promotion.
From roles within the call centre including leadership (e.g Team Leaders, Operations Manager) through to a range of other roles including Quality, Training, HR, Workforce Management, Reporting there is a wide range of opportunities.
And call centre staff are highly sought after for other roles within your organisation.
It’s well known that the call centre now serves as an internal recruitment pool full of great talent because they know your products, they have a good customer focus and they are typically resilient.
From roles in marketing, accounting, sales etc clocking up some time in the call centre is a great launching pad for your career.
4. Lots of training
Nearly all call centres have training that forms part of your induction program that normally consists of product training and customer service/sales skills.
But outside of that, call centres typically offer a range of additional training opportunities for staff that are keen on developing themselves further.
From leadership, project management, computer skills and specialist call centre skills like Workforce Management there is typically some great courses available.
We offer a range of courses exclusively for call centre professionals – whether you are just starting out through to high-performance contact centre management and ACXPA Members receive 25% off all courses!
You can also find all the upcoming industry training courses, conferences, site tours and more on the ACXPA Events Calendar >>>
5. Transferable Skills
Being a good call centre agent is no fluke.
The skills required to be a successful agent are typically honed over a period of time.
By working in a call centre you learn how to deal with difficult customers, turn a negative into a positive, resilience, selling/upselling, negotiation, problem-solving and lots more – all require specialist skills that not everyone possesses.
And let’s not forget your technical skills – phone skills, computer skills (and handling multiple platforms all at once and under pressure), CRM skills, Knowledge Management, Order Processing and more.
Oh, and did I mention across multiple channels like phone, email, live chat, SMS, written communication etc?
That’s right, you are a professional with superpowers!
The good news is those skills are in demand. Not just here in your home country, but across the globe.
So if you are good at your job there are other organisations that will want those skills and might even pay you a little bit more for them.
And who doesn’t love a pay rise after all!
6. Work/life Balance
Well before COVID came along and forced many of us to work from home, the call centre industry was already all over flexible working arrangements because our industry is well suited to it.
Why? Most call centres have a range of different shifts to cover peak periods when customers attempt to contact them.
This is typically forecasted down to 15-minute increments for each day of the year and allows for seasonal variances like holidays, weather, sporting events etc.
Call centres then create rosters to meet that demand.
The good call centres allow their staff to swap shifts with others, work part-time or casual etc as long as those roster periods are filled.
Whilst each call centre is different, most are willing to hold on to their good staff and will be happy to provide you with some flexibility as long as it still suits business requirements.
7. Rewarding Career
Whilst most people don’t typically view a call centre job as a career choice, it has certainly proven to be a great career for a surprisingly large number of people.
From starting on the phones there are now literally hundreds of different roles that are either directly in or have contact centres as part of their portfolio.
Most large companies now have a Chief Customer Officer role (CCO) that sits as part of the executive team and directly within the call centre space, there are Head of Contact Centres/Customer Experience that can earn well in excess of $200k.
Not bad for just starting out on the phones with no formal qualifications hey?
8. High Job Satisfaction
Job Satisfaction is not something that most people would directly relate to working in a call centre.
But most people don’t realise there is an incredibly diverse range of call centres within our community.
From the ‘common’ call centres that take orders, complaints, help desks, general enquiries etc through to life-critical centres such as emergency assist (000) and Lifeline.
Each one of them can provide an enormous amount of satisfaction for the call centre agent from literally saving someone’s life, turning an angry customer into a happy one or helping to sell a product you know will benefit a customer.
These days its incredibly hard to recruit and retain call centre agents (and it’s expensive) so call centres are typically at the forefront of staff engagement initiatives to hang onto their staff.
This means that senior leaders within the business right down to Team Leaders are committed to ensuring that staff enjoy coming to work and they often have targets on staff satisfaction/engagement as part of the leadership Key Performance Indicators.
From structured Reward and Recognition programs, fitness programs and charity days through to dress-up days, food days and more there is always something going on to ensure you are having fun, feel valued and have opportunities to advance.
OK, perhaps a bit cheeky but with such a diverse range of people working in a call centre and the sheer number of functions, fun days etc it’s inevitable you are going to make some great friends.
And who knows some of those friendships might lead to something more.
Having worked in contact centres for 30 years I’ve been fortunate enough to attend multiple weddings and met many children that all started from a friendship in a call centre!
I mentioned earlier that your skills are transferable and we meant it. Australian and New Zealand managers are highly sought after on a global stage.
Why? Because typically we are great at managing people and given the high cost of our labour, we are also good at process design, WFM etc to keep costs down.
Both those attributes are highly desirable skills and make you a very attractive candidate for international jobs.
If you are also good at your role, you may also be invited to speak at or attend conferences across the globe.
Contact Centre conferences are a great way to learn more skills, network and see the world at your employer’s expense!
12. Build great networks
Despite all the different contact centres out there, we all typically share a lot of the same challenges.
And in my observations on the contact centre industry we are always very happy to share and learn off each other.
You only have to attend one of our events to realise what a great community you are a part of where people of all different levels are willing to share their knowledge and experiences in order to lift our industry as a whole.
If you’d like to see a list of all upcoming events like training courses, conferences and networking events for people working in a call centre visit the Events Calendar and if you’re serious about building your network, check out our ACXPA Membership options.
13. Food! And lots of it.
Walk into any contact centre and there is normally lots of food! From call centres that provide a free breakfast for staff through to lots of snacks to keep everyone firing there is always food around.
And with such a great team environment you will find someone is always bringing in something delicious to share.
I’ve had some of my best dishes ever when staff have brought in their signature dish to try!
14. Job Variety
Without stating the bleeding obvious, working in a call centre does normally require you to spend time on the phones.
But more than ever, the call centre agents role is diversifying across a range of different channels.
Customers now want to engage across a range of channels including Live chat, SMS, emails, Social Media channels etc and these functions are typically all handled in the call centre.
For larger centres, they have dedicated roles focusing on each channel (yes you can get paid to be on Facebook all day!) and for smaller centres, a call centre agent may manage multiple channels.
Smart little cookies aren’t we 🙂
15. Job Complexity
With technology continuing to evolve the ability for customers to ‘self-serve’ is continuing to increase.
How many times do you just try and find the answer to your question on the internet to avoid having to call a company?
That means that when the calls do come through, they are becoming increasingly complex requiring a really clever human being to sort out the customer issue.
If you’ve ever seen a call centre agent in full flight they are amazing at navigating multiple computer systems, processes and policies all while having a quality conversation with a customer.
Summing it all up
Well, there you go; hopefully, I’ve made you realise that working in a call centre isn’t all doom and gloom!
There have been thousands of successful careers, all launched from working in a contact centre (I also started on the phones) and I certainly don’t think our industry gets the credit it deserves.
Have I got it right? Missed a few? Completely delusional?? Leave your comments below or on Socia Media.
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- Want to learn more about the industry? Australian Contact Centre Industry Information >
- Current salary data for Australian Contact Centre employees >
- Need some tips on how to calm down a frustrated customer? Empathy statements you can use in customer service >
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- About the Author
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After spending over 30 years working in contact centres and CX, one thing I’ve learnt is there is always something more to learn!
I’m thrilled to be the inaugural CEO of ACXPA, and together with the rest of the team, we’re focused on helping Australian businesses deliver efficient and effective customer experiences via phone, digital and in-person by empowering their employees with the skills, industry insights and professional support networks they need to succeed.