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Philippine Call Center Blog

Call Center Philippines: Healthy Living

Healthy living on the call center floor
I will be discussing how a call center agent can be healthy.

We all know that most call center agents work at the wee hours of the day, and staying up late can be hard to used to. We should learn to adjust to our schedule and do what is appropriate to keep feeling healthy when working funky hours in the contact center. Wake up at a time that is appropriate for you to get ready for work and after shift do not stay up too late. Just make sure you schedule your sleep for 8 hours.


Secondly, the eating habits. Eat only nutritious foods. You do not have to deprive yourself of your cravings just make sure you are getting the right nutritional content with what you are eating. Learn to balance your eating habits. Eat a full meal one hour after you wake up and follow it up with small meals or snacks in between shifts. Eating a lot in between shifts is the most common factor for sleepiness. Eat fruits and vegetables. Eating healthy has always been the main point of it all.


Lastly, Exercise. We all know that prevention is better than cure, and exercise is the way to do it. Exercise, even just for a little while, every day after shift, run a few laps maybe or do some crunches before you go to sleep. In a way it helps your sleeping because it is easier to sleep when you are tired.

The main thing is to combine the three and whopaaa! You get to be healthy on the floor. It is both beneficial for the company and also for you. Since if you feel great then your work is great. But one thing is the most important in being healthy. One must have discipline and self respect for with out discipline no one can achieve his goal. Working at call center Philippines is not always easy but it can be if you are prepared.


Maintain discipline in everything that you do and for sure all you do will be successful. Respect yourself if you want to be successful.

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12 simple ways to stay healthy on the Call Center night shift Part 1

Working in a call centre is really an exciting job. Aside from the high salary, call centres really enjoy the environment of this work and this night shift job gives them lot of freedom. But people who work at call center are at risk for getting sick if they are not careful – possibly because of the chronic stress caused by their work patterns. So it is very important for call center agents to stay healthy to avoid these problems. Here are the simple ways.

 

Exercise
You need to move to burn those calories, to keep your body “oiled” and reviving, and your metabolism humming just fine. A brisk walk is considered quite healthy so if you can manage a regular exercise regimen comprised of sustained activity for 30 minutes a day, you’re in good shape.

 

Sleep earlier
Your body heals and repairs itself and does its regulatory job while you’re sleeping. So give it the rest it deserves to keep you well the next day.

 

Consider vitamin supplementation.

 

Supplements — especially the important ones — are a necessity to help replenish your body’s stores.

 

Think twice about joining weight loss programs.
They could be a waste of time AND money. You don’t need to spend lots of money just to lose weight. There are lots of cheaper alternatives and simple exercise will always do. The better BPO centers will even help with this.

 

Eat more vegetables, cut down on red meat, caffeine, sugar and salt.
Vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that can help to protect the body against some diseases including diabetes, stroke, heart disease, some cancers and high blood pressure or hypertension.

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My Funny Experience Applying for a Call Center Job Part 1

It was a gloomy Sunday afternoon when I was all by myself trying to figure out the emptiness that I felt. I live alone in a dormitory here in Cebu, Philippines. Emptiness that has been in silence and emptiness that has been longing for fulfillment. Then I asked myself ,”what am I going to do with my life? I’m broke,I need money and I need a job”. I cried and when I faced the mirror I saw a newspaper. I immediately took the newspaper and went back to my bed. I read the newspaper and went to classified ads section. Then I wandered from page to page and the job vacancies were mostly call centers in the Philippines. So I asked myself why not try to apply since everybody has the guts for it.


Early morning of the next day I woke up and made my resume with the hesitation of pursuing what I have plan or just stay at home. Then suddenly I realized that this is the moment where I can show and tell to everybody that I can be a call center agent too.I felt that it was my lucky day and optimistic that things would turned out positively.I took a shower but deep within my mind I’m skeptical about my plan. I chose the best dress that I have in my locker, put on my make-up and hurriedly went to I.T Park and applied for an outbound call center that I’ve found in the newspaper.

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Healthy Tips for Call Center Agents on the Night Shift

If you work for a call center in the Philippines chances are that you work at least some of your shifts at night. Whether you work for an outbound call center and are a lead generation machine or if you work at an inbound call center and are taking customer service calls, the following tips should help you keep it together during those long graveyard shifts. The following is from a fellow Philippines call center agent.

 

1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP. This is the most important thing that call center agents don’t usually do. By not getting enough sleep, they go to work very weak and tired. They fall asleep while taking calls. Not only will they be scolded by their supervisors, but they end up not being productive with their day.

 

2. EAT RIGHT. Always have well balanced meal to give you enough energy to be taking calls the whole shift and be able to stay awake and enthusiastic all night. Usually skipping meals will make you dizzy and nauseated and cause you not to be able to concentrate on your calls and not be able to really understand your customers concerns. Listening attentively and having an upbeat tone to your customers could help a lot in being able to address their concerns properly and getting their attention in your sales pitch.

 

3. DRINK LOTS OF FLUIDS. Talking all the time on inbound calls can really dry up your throat. To protect the most important aspect in working in a call center, which is you voice, you should take in lots of fluids. Drink lots of water, juice, or iced tea.. Whatever is available or whichever you prefer. Having a spill-proof tumbler is the most common thing you see at every call center agents desk.

 

4. EXERCISE. Being fit is very crucial in keeping your job. If you are very sickly, you tend to make a lot of absences, which leads to termination, which leads to no money again.

 

5. FRIENDS. Nothing makes you more lively and excited in going to work every night in the call center than getting together again with coworkers or crushes at work.

 

6. NOT TOO Many VICES. I guess telling people not to smoke or drink coffee at work would make me a hypocrite since I myself smoke. True, drinking coffee and smoking is a big help in keeping you awake at work, but having too much is a different story.

 

7. UNWIND. Working is good, but working too much is not. Having fun and going out with friends, keeps you healthy in ways you’re able to balance your life with work and play.

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Environmental Impact of Call Center Growth

There is no doubt that the Philippines Call Center industry is expanding in Cebu.  And this a good thing for many parts of the economy.  There are signs of the rapid growth of the BPO ‘s everywhere  in the second largest city in the Philippines.  But this expansion can come at a cost to the environment.  While many people consider the call center a relatively green industry, there are echoing effects of any business that brings wealth and consumer consumption to an area.  So it is not  the call centers themselves that are causing the environmental impact but the wealth and increased commerce they bring to the Philippines.  Hopefully,  the call center firms and the people of Cebu can use the lessons learned by the past to keep the Philippines green.

 

Wealth and increased consumption is  a classic story of developing economies and was no different when the United States was rapidly growing over the last 100 years.  The Philippine call center industry has the advantage of looking back at the US and can try to avoid some of the mistakes that have made US the highest consumer of natural resources per-capita.  If the call centers can find ways to make their businesses green and efficient users of fossil fuels right from the start then they will already be ahead of developed nations who need to go back and “make over” their business models so that their companies can be eco-friendly.

 

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What does it mean to be a Green Call Center

Does any business has the right to call itself “green”? If we are really a green call center and put the environment first, then shouldn’t we just shut off all the lights and computers and let the tarsiers live in our building.   Can any business that uses power and requires people to leave their homes and burn fossil fuels to get to the office really say that it is eco-friendly?  At this level of the answer to these questions is probably, no but I like to think we are doing all we can to be  green call center and an  eco-friendly business.

 

We set up our call center business in the Philippines because we like the country and we see an opportunity to give Filipinos the same chance to make a living and support their families that people in the US have.  The economic advantages of having a call center in the Philippines are hard to deny but we also looked at the ways to set up a business here that can grow without creating an oversized carbon footprint.  We set out to create a green call center that is both client friendly and eco friendly.  We have found that it is cetainly possible to create a  contact center in a sustainable way, without damaging the environment and without needlessly burning fossil fuels.

 

As a Filipino green call center we are taking a top down and whole community approach to protecting the earth.  As an eco friendly US citizen it is often hard to deny the irony of our situation.  One one hand, people in the US use far more fossil fuels and have a bigger carbon footprint than any other society in the world.  But on the other hand, Americans are more aware about “green” living and know more about protecting the environment than many people in the developing world.

 

It is not unlike the great US paradox of obesity.  The US has  more obese people than any other nation yet  still is obsessed with diet fads and exercise. Now that there are green oil companies and green plastic garbage bag manufacturers we decided that becoming a green call center was not a hypocritical endeavor.  We have done our best to set up an community in the office where we think about what effect our business decisions have on the environment.   Are we a green call center?  Are we an eco friendly call center?  We keep trying.

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Life as a Philippines Call Center Agent #05

It was a about a year ago and I was looking for a job.  I had a college degree from a nursing school but I was having trouble finding work in the medical field.  Let me rephrase that…I was able to find work in the medical field but not really work that paid well.

 

I have many friends who were working as customer service call center agents here in Cebu, Philippines and I thought it sounded like a good idea.  As you may know the Philippines call center industry is one of the fastest growing fields.  There are plenty of job openings if you are a good English speaker.  Depending on the work you are looking for there are other skill sets that come into play.  For instance, I interviewed for a company that did outbound sales and what they were interested in is whether you could memorize the script for their telemarketing campaign.  I was able to memorize the script but I wasn’t really seeing the value in the product.  This is a problem you can get over once you realize that your commission and a part of your pay is all about how much you can sell over the phone.

 

Not all call center jobs in the Philippines are about selling.  I worked for a while on a campaign as a customer service operator for a shoe company.  It was really cool because they sold so many great shoes online.  A lot of the customer support was chat based so I didn’t talk to many customers on the phone but people were generally very nice.  I guess there isn’t too much stress when buying shoes.  I was so scared when I started because I have heard so many stories from other call center agents who would tell me about how their customers would scream at them and swear.

 

So if you decide to work in a call center there are a lot of choices to make.  Do you want to be an inbound customer service representative?;  do you want to be an outbound sales agent?  But not to worry many of those choices will be made for you when your mangers see what you are really good at.  And then you can say hey “I’m a Philippine call center agent and here is my blog”

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Life as a Philippines Call Center Agent #06

Call Centers “The way I see it!”

The fastest growing industries in the Philippines are call centers. As far as I remembered, 5 years ago, I would say that there were only around 3-5 Call Centers here in Cebu. But now, I could say that there maybe 20 of them existing and continuously doing business. If you take a look at daily newspapers, you will always be able to see this “Wanted Customers Service Representatives

 

America might be presently dealing with a lot of financial misfortunes but the least affected business industry is the call center industry. Many companies are firing a lot of their employees and are reducing headcounts because of the financial crisis but not in the call center Philippines business, employment is always open. “Call Centers” the first time I heard of such a term, I really do not have any idea what it meant. All that I was able to think of is that, what you do in a call center is either answer calls or make calls… Then it kept me wondering, “What does it feels like working in a Call Center?” So it caught my curiosity and motivated me to learn more about the business and how it operates.

 

And so, that is the time that I started looking for a job in as a call center agent and that was 2 years ago. The first call center that I applied for was to work on surveys. I got into training but after a few weeks I lost my interest mainly because of the account. I thought it was simply boring! Then I applied again to another call center and luckily got the job. It was for a travel account namely “xxxx”. I got hooked up into the account because it was free flow, meaning there is no script that you need to follow. It was tedious, but it was very very rewarding!

 

Because it was a travel account and most of the customers calling are either happy because of the excellent service that we were able to provide or upset ,and worse irate, because their travel  plans did not go as planned. Sometimes it affects me. Let’s say for example a Flight gets canceled and I have to tell the customer. There are times in which I experienced talking to someone who’s very narrow minded and no matter how I try to explain why things happened and that there are certain things which we do not have control of, like weather or airport accidents, they just can’t understand and they won’t even try to understand the reasons. They will continue saying that it is our fault and we are the ones who messed up their plans and so we should do something about it. But with this kind of attitude, I oftentimes lose the eagerness to help them and then I remember the I work in customer service even if the customer is a jerk.

 

and worse is I even sometimes make sure that they would go through hell… But there are times also in which I would encounter talking to someone who is very calm, understanding and best thing is I know that they sincerely require my help. Then this is the time that I am going to make sure that I will do anything in my power and resources to make sure that everything will be perfect for them, and with their experience with the company. When I encounter cases of emergencies or death in the family and they really needed to get to this destination at a particular time, then I will make sure that they will be there on time. Because I just can’t simply imagine what I would do if I were the one in their position and then knowing that the only person which can possibly help would be unwilling to help me. It’s simply putting myself in their shoes.

 

At first, I thought that working in a Philippine call center and this line of business would be so easy. But after these experiences, I was able to realized that this kind of job requires dedication and also and a lot of hard work. People often get the impression that the employees working in a call center here in the Philippines are those people who have no plans in life and just wanted a happy go lucky job. Although I would say that there are some who are like that, there are also others who are looking forward as to building a career in a call center because that is where they feel that they belong. I would strongly say that today, call centers are the most promising and rewarding industry. If you wish to build a career and be a manager and even if you are a college undergraduate, then here is the place. So long as you put your heart into it and aim high, you will surely get it!

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Is the global economic crisis affecting the offshore call center industry?

There are a lot of opinions on whether the current financial crisis is going to hurt the Philippine call center and BPO industries or whether it could actually help.  In a recent outing hosted by Globe telecom, the host of the event talked about how great the crisis is going to be for the call center Philippines business because now many US companies are going to be looking for ways to save money so they will be more likely to outsource.

 

I have heard this “global crisis equals more call center work for Philippine outsourcing” argument many times and I wonder if it is really true.  Aren’t US companies and all businesses, for that matter, always looking for ways to save money.  I do, however, see  some logic to this argument because when times get tough, businesses are more likely to look for ways to save money that they may have overlooked when business was going great and outsourcing to the Philippines can prove beneficial to the bottom line.  But is the global recession the kind of catalyst that will make a company outsource to the Philippines and is the increase in outsourcing enough to make up for the lost revenues from other call center business that will be lost.

 

For example, lets say you own an airline and you use inbound call centers to process you reservations and ticket sales.  You may employ a vast number of call center agents when business is good but what happens in times like now.  People are flying less so there are fewer reservations and call volume is way down.  You probably aren’t going to need so many reservation agents  so you force the Philippine call center to reduce staff and employ fewer agents for your inbound calls.  Jobs are lost and business is not so good for that call center you were using.

 

This also works when thinking about a customer service campaign.  You partner with  a Philippine call center to answer customer service questions about the scooter your company is selling but now you are selling 40% fewer scooters.  Shouldn’t you expect to get 40% fewer inbound calls and therefore need fewer agents.

 

I spoke with  a human resources specialist to get his take on how the crisis is affecting hiring.  “On one hand, you have some call centers that have gotten really slow here in the Philippines.  But on the other hand you have a lot of small call centers that are growing fast.”  He added that some contact centers have had to drastically reduce staff because their clients in the US have been slow in paying.  But in general he feels that the slowdown is evident in Cebu City where he does recruiting.  “It has made it easier for us to find talented call center agents with lots of experience.”

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