Flexible hours, attractive salaries, reduced drudgery – working in a call centre has several advantages for people looking for extra income.
Whether you want to work part time or full time, the main advantage of working in a call centre is the time flexibility that it offers. For Ernst, a 25-year-old student who has worked in call centres for close to 5 years, this is a big argument. Last December, when he told his superiors that he wanted to switch to part time to attend a film school, he was easily able to adapt his schedule. “It was really easier than I had thought. It was first noted that I had applied for a full-time position and not part-time, but when the time came to return to school in January, I gave my class schedule and they simply reduced my hours.”
An interesting salary
In addition to time flexibility, the second strength of call centres is in the pay. Ernst, who is at his third call centre, currently earns $800 for two weeks, part time. “For someone my age, it’s an interesting salary. I can put it aside,” explains the young man who lives with his mother. He is now able to pay his share of the rent, his bills and help his mother to pay hers. “It most often begins at $15 per hour. The highest salary I have received is $22,” Ernst smiles.
“You take calls, you sit at your computer, you answer questions and you get $19 an hour! Who is going to refuse that?”, Ernst asks. Regarding the number of calls to manage, it all depends on the type of call centre, incoming or outgoing, and departments. “In the emergency service calls that I work for, it’s the length of the calls that is studied rather than the number. I can receive as many as 120 calls a day or more, but these are very short calls. People in customer service have longer calls.” For the rest, even though it does not require particular physical effort and there are regular breaks, you still have to have nerves of steel. “In a context of complaints,” Ernst explains, “certain customers let more things go, because you don’t see them, while in the store they will think twice… It is important not to take anything personal, this is essential! The first thing we are taught in training is that an angry customer is not against us…”
Not having any call centre experience is not a problem if you have the will and the ability to learn quickly. “In all the training I took, there was always someone for whom it was their first time. At the end of the day, anyone can do it,” Ernst testifies. Provided, on the other hand, you are bilingual and have basic knowledge of computers…