A view of the city, exercise rooms and video games to unwind… It must be admitted that call centres have gotten a makeover in the last 10 years. But behind the image, has the job of telephone interviewer also evolved? Quick peek.
Despite the opportunities offered by new technologies, the nature of the job has not really changed, admits Patrick Courtemanche, vice-president of operations at BIP, a firm that offers comprehensive survey and polling services. “There are rules to be followed to obtain reliable data,” he explains. “Surveys can be done over the internet, but the telephone is still the best way to reach people.”
However, employees working in call centres are not handcuffed to a phone and computer as we might think. The job of telephone operator affects a host of areas, such as commerce and health, for example. So depending on their interest, telephone operators may be involved in research, analysis, recruitment, solicitation or sales.
This is in addition to the opportunities for advancement offered so employees can develop in the organization. Recall as well that versatility, perseverance and a sense of customer service are qualities that are highly sought after by many employers. In this sense, the experience gained in a call centre can provide access to more specialized (and lucrative) careers: analyst, quality controller, representative, supervisor, sales manager, etc.
What about the working conditions in all this?
In addition, Patrick Courtemanche believes that it is rather the working conditions that have evolved. Although employees were subject to the minimum wage in the past, they can now receive a salary between $15 and $20 per hour. Some companies are able to compete with salaries offered elsewhere by offering sales commissions, benefits and other advantages.
With work-family balance being increasingly sought for by job seekers, labour is attracted by the flexibility of working hours. At least that’s what led Patrick Courtemanche to leave the advertising field to work for BIP. “We understand that people want to take advantage of other things besides pay,” he says. To meet this desire, remote work is often possible… provided, of course, that good performance is maintained.
With regards to the hiring process, training is usually between one and two days. The new talent must then participate in a coaching session over two weeks with one of the organization’s employees. The job of telephone interviewer is particularly sought after by students, retired people, part-time employers and people looking for extra income.
Related article: Call Centre – Much More than Just a Telephone Operator!