What are transferable skills and why do you need them? What does it mean to be employable today and in the future?...
- Requires excellent customer service skills, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- With experience, option to move into human resources, resource planning, marketing, and training
- Many companies offer full-time or part-time hours, or flexible working, sometimes on a shift system
As a call centre operator, you could work in a wide range of sectors, like finance, mail order, product promotion, IT, local government, legal, advisory, and recruitment services.
- Answering calls, emails and web chat enquiries from customers
- Making telesales and market research calls to new and existing customers
- Dealing with customer orders, card payments, enquiries and complaints
- Advising about products and services
- Supporting customers to fix technical problems
- Updating customers' records on computer databases
You'll spend most of your time at a computer wearing a telephone headset. Most operators will work in a contact centre although some employers may offer options to do some work from home.
The ideal candidate for this role will have excellent customer service skills, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure.
There are no set requirements, although you should have a good general standard of literacy, numeracy and IT skills.
Job interviews often include practical telephone and keyboard tests. Employers usually look for people with personal qualities like confidence and a good telephone manner.
Some jobs may require more specialised knowledge, for example an IT support helpline or an advice service.
For these you may need to have suitable qualifications, or be willing to be trained. You can start by doing a course like Level 1 Certificate for Introduction to Customer Service and Level 2 Certificate in Contact Centre Operations.
You could also get into this job through a customer service practitioner or contact centre operations intermediate apprenticeship.
Temporary work can be a useful way to get started in this career and can lead to permanent jobs.
With experience and training, you could progress to team leader and management level. You could also move into human resources, resource planning, marketing and training.
You may get extra responsibilities, like training, call monitoring and quality control. You may also receive bonuses and commission payments, depending on your role. Many companies offer full-time or part-time hours, or flexible working, sometimes on a shift system.