Executive Boutique

CALL US - US: 1-888-700-9555 US | UK: 44-12026-18056 AU | AU: 612-8015-5330 AU| SGP: 65-6653-6528SGP
Your Call Center Partner in the Philippines

Call Center Agent Training

Life as a Call Center Agent 03

You have to learn the rules of the game. And you have to play better than everyone else.” For a start, I don’t have any philosophical quotes to give. But what I just gave was a simple statement which I’ve always believed to be meaningful and can be related to my experience as a call center agent. In a call center life your world is different, you go to work in a different time frame, you work while others fall deeply into sleep, you sleep when everyone else is working. It’s not an easy life… that’s why you have to condition your mind and body from all the changes of what we call “the call center life”.

When I graduated from college I always told myself to practice the profession that I graduated from. Few years back call center companies had boomed and became very popular as for people who are in great need of money. I remember before in my freshmen years I had a classmate, she was very daring and confident just by judging on how she speaks. I thought of her as someone very influential and maybe someday can become one of the famous speakers of our school but then the second semester came she didn’t enrolled back unlike the rest of us. I heard she got a job as a Philippine call center agent and had a starting salary of 10,000 pesos. I said to my self “wow, that’s big money” well perhaps someone who never experienced working would think the same as me. And then I asked myself. Is that job really worth giving up your education so you could be earning that kind of salary? I was intrigued by people’s amazement about me getting a call center job and thought to myself… I could do the same in the future. But when I graduated, I got very fond of my major. I have gained so much in my four years of studying and learning on how to become a dignified teacher.

When I had my first Job as an ESL teacher I met some people who came from contact center companies, they’re stories about stress, sleepless nights, insomnia, coffee addiction and of course the powerful influence of smoking scared me. They say your life becomes boring and meaningless as the days go by, reiterating the same script everyday and you also get shouted at by irate customers, calling you names which you don’t even know what they are talking about. Attacking and hurting you emotionally and mentally. I was blown out of the water. Whew! I never thought it would be that alarming. And so I thought, I would never imagine myself working for a call center company.

Three years later here I am in working at a inbound call center in Cebu.It’s very funny though because of all the stories that I have heard is not exactly how scary I imagined it to be. Somehow here at this call center I found new friends and a new life. All through the months that I’ve worked here, I find my new job experience an enjoyable one.I learned how to be at your best especially when you’re working for a client. The kind of job that I started is a personal virtual assistant. What makes this one different from other call center is that most of the agents work from Tuesdays to Saturdays only and get to spend the weekend with their families. We get to work for professionals in the U.S which is rewarding because these people are willing to train and help you do your job well. I’ve been very lucky so far because I’ve been working for my client since I started here.

At first I was a little worried about my computer skills but thanks to my client and my on the job training I was motivated to push through and learn. Never once did my client reprimanded or make me feel that she was not happy with the work I was doing for her.

The owners at my business process outsourcing company care a lot for their agents, our minds and feelings means a lot to them. As much as possible they want their agents to be dedicated and happy with their job and so far in my years of working for foreigners they are the only ones who care more for their workers. I am truly happy for what the company has achieved after eight shaky months. We have earned our way to the top and are becoming a great call center company. There might have been some moments which were very difficult, some agents left while other new agents are always joining. New rules, old problems but finally we know this company has more to offer for all people… clients, and Filipinos out there who need work.

Read More »

Life as a Philippines Call Center Agent #02

I woke up and just when I was still half awake, and all wrapped up with my blanket, “where am i?

“oh… thank God I’m at home…is it late in the afternoon?” I asked myself, my eyes were still closed. Then I suddenly gasped, and all of the sweet, cozy feeling of having to sleep more went away,

“I’m at work!” I confirmed. “it’s my one hour break! And I’m just in the sleeping lounge.” I said disappointingly to myself. And at times I would ask, “It’s Wednesday today, isn’t it?”.

“No, it’s Thursday here and it’s Wednesday there in the US” my colleague replied. “Ohhhh yeahhh..gosshhh…days seem to run so fast.

It’s like today, it’s Monday and then, the next thing you’ll know, it’s way past the middle of the week.”

But this is just a common situation you know even to people who are not staying up the whole night working in Philippines call centers, it just happens so often. We get disoriented with time and because we work for clients in an opposite time zone, we get it all really mixed up. Well, maybe for a time before having to adjust.

Anyway, this is my second job working in a call center. The first was not really that good. I was a customer service rep. I handled complicated accounts of customers like billing, hours of usage, verifications,

What affected me most was the customers. Some were so mean and irate and some were kind and polite. Well, I tell you, most of them are irate but I can’t blame them because most of the time, they have a point and that they’re not mad at you but they’re mad at what they got with the services, the company and especially, when they’re charged more than what they expect.

Then there were the supervisors who kept pushing you all the time, yelling at you, even in the middle of a call that makes a really “perfect” day at work. It gave me a terrible headache every day. And literally every day, just minutes before the start of my shift, I would pass by the clinic and ask for a hot water bag, a pain reliever, and Salonpas, a muscle pain reliever wherein you’ll just stick it on the part where your muscles feel sore but they don’t help that much. It was really awful to have felt that way.

Even if the pay was quite good…it just can’t help the headaches. So, I quit. I only worked there for 3 months. Then now, my 2nd call center, I’m going to be on my 6th month this month of March. It’s an achievement on my part that at last, I was able to stay this long. I can hardly believe it really. With this kind of lifestyle? You go to work at 11 in the evening and go home at 8 in the morning. And when I get home, and in my bed, I hear the cars passing by, honking their horns all day and the heat rising up especially on mid day to 38 degrees Celsius or 105.4 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m like toasted inside my room. Like a turkey in the oven even if the electric fan is already on number 3.

So, how am I supposed to get a good sleep with that? And if I really get so sleepy, I would get a wet towel and lie on it or cover myself with it on the bed. It’s cooler and I can sleep at least without having to sweat that much. It would be really lucky for me to be able to sleep 8 hours straight during the day but that’s totally impossible. How I wish that would happen every day you know. So, after almost six months, I’m already used to having only 4-5 hours of sleep and some naps and eat once or twice because I would rather get some sleep than eat. Sometimes I would drag myself to work especially when it’s night time already and it’s when I get to sleep better because it’s dark, quiet and cool.

I wanted to sleep more on my cozy bed with my cozy blanket and pillow but I needed to get up to go to work. But every time I get to work, I sit on my station, I’m just comfortable and happy. I guess I’ve found a place. Maybe working in a call center is not really bad at all. With little work experience and being a fresh graduate, I would not get a salary as big as this but since it’s an offshore call center, it gives me good pay, incentives, good health and insurance benefits. So, it puts good food in the refrigerator…. things that you can’t buy or can’t do when you’re working on a day-time job. Yes, that’s life in a call center.

Read More »

Life as a Call Center Agent 01

Socrates once said, “An unexamined life is a life not worth living.” My life is a series of exams. Each day begins with a clean slate. I have a plan, but I don’t know the outcome. In reality, I’m writing with a pen so I can’t erase my answers but I can correct them. Whatever I do or say will affect the final score called success. I have to answer three questions: who am I, what am I doing, and where am I heading. I don’t know when the result will be and if it shall be given today, did I answer these queries well? If I fail, do I have one more chance to pass?

A year ago, I lost three things consecutively – my ESL job, my facial spa business and my father. At a certain point, I felt melancholic, discouraged and uninspired. Not knowing where to go nor what to do, my best friend named JK contacted me and offered me an opportunity to regain myself back. I waited patiently for the opportunity for a month. While sending off my brother to the airport, I received a message to report for an interview at one of the inbound call centers. I applied, and got hired but it wasn’t an ordinary employment. I’m the only employee who started working part time in the company, working 4 hours a day and got paid half initially.

In a call center, life is a continuing process of acquiring new skills and maintaining a positive attitude. When my cousin came along to help strategically manage the company, modifications had to be made to enable the company to grow. I felt threatened because I’ve been working for some time without a client. Yet, it was another challenge to prove my credibility. Some of us went through SALES 101 training. The training made me realize that in any transaction, I have to inspire, motivate, persuade and negotiate to close a sale. SALES 101 brought me a different perspective and transformed me to be confident, assertive and assumptive. I am proud working in a Philippines call center because I’m surrounded by indefatigable managers and versatile workers ready to adapt changes. Life in a call center is surprising, too. I would never know who’s going to pick up the other line. When the phone starts dialing, I asked myself whether I will make a lead or talk to an irate customer.

Mere acquaintances became good friends. We have lunch together, sit near each other and yet chat online to share a little secrecy. Some of my good friends left to look for a greener pasture while I opted to stay waiting for the next payday. Working in a call center is like conquering time and space. I increase my purchasing power but I live in a different dimension. I wake up when my kids go to bed. I work while the rest of the world has fallen into a deep slumber. I’m earning enough revenue to pay off my bills and save some into my bank yet has to sacrificed the sweetness of sleeping beside my significant partner in life under the dark velvet sky. However, along with this sacrifice is the realization of how colorful life in a call center could be. I could be laughing out loud with green-minded friends or working with a boss who sees things in black and white. I could be making a lead, waiting for a probable client or anxiously waiting to see the company grow. It dawned on me also that what comes around, goes around. I might have lost three things last year but I was given another present to cherish. In these times of economic adversity, I’m so blessed that I have a call center job.

My life in a call center is a test of trust and faith. It’s a test that confirms trust in my ability and faith towards the strategic plan of our managers. I have integrity to the management to lead the company to the right track. Now, I have the answers to the three queries I mentioned above. I am a Virtual Assistant striving to satisfy my client simultaneously working to improve the quality of my life. I could foresee where I am headed to. Someday, I would succeed with what I am currently doing in. If at certain times, I might have failed to write something on my clean slate, I know I have another day to do it again perfectly. I’m not afraid to fail anymore. If anyone wants to find out why I dare to be different, well I belong to the right company. Are you living an unexamined life? Tell me and I’ll show you the difference in Executive Boutique where you can find the executives making lives worth living.

Read More »