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Life here in the Philippines call center is measured as a sensible work nowadays. When it comes to accessibility, Filipinos are highly capable because of being flexible. There are people working even part time for this kind of job while studying. One reason why foreign countries want to outsource here is because they believed on the talents, intelligence and lifestyles of some Asian countries especially here in the Philippines. That’s why many Filipinos are encouraged to experience the life that a call center could give.
Every day you will see numbers of applicants here in Cebu looking for job that could possibly give them wondrous experiences especially here in Asia town IT Park. The moment you get into this kind of work, you will see for yourself the different changes that could happen. Sleepless nights, health risks, pressure at work, new colleagues, and interesting working environment are some of those changes. For some people who spend their time to this kind of profession, some find it motivating for them for their personal growth but some find it tiring as well because of the late night shifts that they’re not used to. But that all depends on the person whether or not they would find this work more interesting and more fun to be in. But no matter what those reasons are, life in a call center is such a wonderful experience. Despite of the compensation that it gives, it’s a very challenging job that once you get through to it; I could say that you are a tough person.
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Have you thought of being a team leader someday, like in the Philippines BPO where leaders are very essential. Being a team leader is such a great opportunity that will happen to your career. It means that the company believes in your strengths and capabilities, that’s why they give you bigger responsibilities. You must have a strong leadership skill that will enable you and your team to achieve a common goal.
I used to be a guest relations team leader, and it made me realize the things that I never thought before. As a leader, I was showing my team on how to do things right and I was afraid to make mistakes. I was doing my best to make our team grow. But then, every time one of the team members made a mistake, the blame was always on my team. That’s when I realized that I was lacking a very important factor of being a leader, and that was proper motivation. I was just demonstrating not coaching and guiding them. Thus, they just depended on me. I learned that I should have first identified the weaknesses of my team and from that; I would have known how to resolve it. I learned that I should give them tasks and be able to trust them so they would feel important as well. I learned that it’s not always about me being a leader; it’s always about my team on how will I make us go into one direction.
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- Talking for a long period of time might get you dehydrated at some point, so never forget to bring a tumbler or a mug. Drink plenty of water and always remember not to drink fluids that are too cold because it might affect your voice.
- When eating, don’t eat large meals at one time. Try to eat small meals at often for large meals can make you sleepy. Avoid eating too much fatty foods because it will also make you sleepy. Try to eat vegetables and fruits. Always include high-fiber to your diet. These certain foods will give you energy for you to survive in your shift.
- Find time to exercise even once or twice a week. A thirty-minute walk is a good and most simple exercise that you could do. This will keep you healthy and in a good shape. This will also increase your stamina to help you endure staying awake on night shifts.
- Mingle with your co-workers. When you find time to socialize with your co-workers, you will gain friends and create a friendly environment in the office.
- Stay positive. There are days that you can’t reach your quota. Never feel despair, you can always make it up tomorrow. Just try your best next time. You must accept the fact that not every day is a lucky day for you.
These are some simple tips that can help you survive in a call center in the Philippines, as I said it’s not easy, it also needs self-discipline to do these things.
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In your company, which do you think are you part of, a group or a team? For example, in an outbound call center with college graduate agents, they can be grouped according to their degree like accounting, hotel and restaurant management, tourism and information technology. Forming a group based on a certain commonality is much easier, although the effectiveness of the groups may be inconsistent. But when we say a team, its members are selected for their corresponding skills.
Just like in a call center, there are inbound agents, Philippines telemarketing agents, BPO agents and virtual assistants who form a great Philippines call center team that provide business support services for offshore companies. Each member of that team has a purpose that contributes to its overall success. A team’s strength depends on a common goal and interconnectivity between individual members, whereas a group’s strength may come from pure volume or willingness to carry out a single leader’s commands. I’m sure you haven’t heard of a group building, instead team building. Developing a team takes a long period of time for it to be effective. There are stages that need to be taken such as assessing group tasks and standards, identifying the conflict among the team members and finding a resolution, building unity and harmony and the performing stage where the team is ready to be productive and to work on the task assigned. A team’s success is when your team can accomplish something much bigger and work more effectively than a group of the same individuals working on their own.
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Working in a Philippines call center takes a lot of skills. It requires both knowledge and English proficiency. You have to deal with a lot of people with different attitude that test your communication abilities as well. But for me, these can be learned, what matters most is how would you face your everyday task with guts.
After I graduated, I became curious as to how a call center operates and so I tried my luck. Fortunately, I have a good English foundation and so I nailed my first job. It was a memorable experience. Not only was it my first call center job, but it was my first job ever. At first, I was greatly intimidated but I learned the process very fast. My experience as an inbound call center agent is very fulfilling in the sense that it boosted my confidence and it molded me into a more mature individual. It gave me a sense of direction since working in this kind of industry means living a fast – paced lifestyle. You could easily get swallowed by the speed of things happening around you if you are not being careful. But I was able to overcome all of those obstacles not because I wanted to but because I needed to in order for me to grow. I have learned to forget my fears and to stand up for something I thought that I can’t do. And now, I could say that this courage bring out the best in me as a call center agent.
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The Philippines is the home to many animal species. But with the sprawling industries in our country, we have unknowingly destroyed and endangered so many of these natural gifts that we are so fortunate to have. One of the creatures that is nearing extinction is the Whale Shark or locally known as “Butanting.” This gentle giant finds our seas a perfect habitat. Like the whale shark, the “pawikan” is also considered as an endangered sea creature. It has been thriving in our seas for decades. But sadly, today we can hardly see one. The smallest monkey in the world can also be found in our country. The Philippine Tarsier is one of Bohol’s main attractions aside from the world renowned Chocolate Hills. But now it is also considered as endangered.
The Philippine Eagle has been hunted down by irresponsible people who have made it endangered as well. These are but some of the animals that we used to have in our country abundantly. But now, it is feared that the next generation can no longer see their beauty because of our own malpractices. But it is never too late. This is what I learned as an outbound call center agent in my company. Being a part of this “Green Company” made me realize that I could do something for these animals. We can still save them from extinction if we only watch our own actions. We should become responsible individuals and refrain from doing things that we know could destroy our environment.
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Working in a Philippines call center is not that easy. It’s far more different than a day job. You will experience a lot of things that a day job doesn’t have. I could attest that some call center agents are getting used to this kind of lifestyle but others also give up. It is like surviving in a jungle but instead of spears and guns, we should arm ourselves with proper lifestyle. Below are some tips on how to survive in a call center:
- We all know that working night shifts is hard. Our body clock is not meant to sleep at day and be awake all night. The best thing to do is to get plenty of uninterrupted sleep during the day and avoid drinking too much coffee when your shift is almost over.
- When you worry about mingling with your co-workers, fear not, just show them who you really are. Don’t try to pretend someone you’re not just to impress people. We must face the fact that not all people like you. Stick to the people who you think is a potential friend. In that way, you will gain friends with the right people.
- Dress appropriately. You don’t have to wear fancy dresses and high heels, just make sure that you look good and you feel comfortable with what you’re wearing. We are all aware that call centers are packed with air condition, so when you are not used to cold temperature, don’t forget to bring a jacket to keep you warm.
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After I graduated college majoring in Chemistry, I applied in different companies here in Cebu. At first, I found it very difficult because it was not in demand. Imagine being a Chemist, I could see myself working in a medical company but everything has changed. In our economical situation today, you won’t find it easy to get a job in just a blink of an eye. You have to be very competitive enough to stand out from others. You need to have that courage just like what I did. And so I tried again and got myself in Philippines BPO because that was really in demand that time and the easiest to get in because the only major requirement is to be fluent in English, nothing fancy like being knowledgeable in Math, Medicine, Chemistry, and other sciences. My first job was with a webhosting company as a technical support agent. I chose this job over the other call center positions because I have always been interested in computers since I was in high school. For me, that was the best decision I have ever made in my life. From that job, I was able to learn how to communicate in English more fluently than a lot of people and at the same time practice my researching and troubleshooting skills to get the job done. I’ve learned pretty much about business process outsourcing or BPO such as websites, the internet marketing, and also the programming and designing behind the web technology.
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As an inbound call center agent, your responsibility is to provide good customer service. Customer is the most vital asset in a business, without them, it would not exist. Thus, it is very important to have a good customer service not just to make the customers happy but to attract potential customers as well by word of mouth. It also gives the edge over competitors. Good customer service results to repeat guests while bad customer service drives customers away taking their friends, family and workmates. I’m sure that you have experienced this, if your friend tells you about the bad service of a restaurant, you won’t surely try that. A satisfied customer creates a sense of trust with the company; this is twice as effective as direct marketing, advertisements and other expensive strategies just to attract customers.
In order for you to do this, you need to understand their needs and meet them, or much better to exceed those needs. For example, you’re taking a hotel booking, and you find out that your customer has a one-year old baby; perhaps you can ask if they need a baby cot or babysitting service so you can put this to notes. This will surely delight your call center customer. It is a fact that most customers’ needs are emotional rather than logical. The more you know your customers, the better you become at anticipating their needs. Make them feel important and appreciated. Customers are very sensitive and know whether or not you really care about them.
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Have you ever thought of working in an outbound call center and the things that it may bring? Well, working in a call center is fun and exciting. You get to speak with different people from different parts of the world. You get to know different cultures and learn to adjust to every one of them. You learn how to deal with many situations involving different emotions. You get to understand how other people from other places live their lives.
All these you can do while honing your customer service skills and salesmanship and at the same time improving your English communication. Not to mention all the parties, outings and other different activities that comes along while working in this type of industry. Being a part of the Philippines call center is one great experience anyone of us would truly enjoy. But just like everything else, being in a call center has its downside. When you work at night, you get to sleep during daytime. Turning your time around is not an easy thing to do. It will take months before your body could completely adjust to it. It can cause sleeplessness, stress and health risks. But then again once you get used to it, you’ll find it more convenient compared to working at daytime where you’ll be stuck during rush hours. We all experience good and bad things in our job but it lies in our hands on how we deal with it and we should keep in mind that nothing has to be perfect.