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Thanks For Calling

By definition, a call center is basically a location where high volumes of calls are placed and/or received. They include call-taking organizations that offer customer-service in the form of repair, complaints, ordering, and other assistance to consumers. The flipside is the call-making organizations - or telemarketers - that offer marketing, sales and product awareness to consumers for major companies.
 
Call center operators are often maligned by the customers that contact them or the potential customers they contact. In fact, they are just doing their job. Both sides of this business have drawbacks, but both provide a necessary service to consumers and the economy.
 
Being a call center operator can be a thankless, often difficult and trying job. Phoning a call center often turns into a frustrating, tiresome and exasperating experience for the customer. Complaints abound on both ends, but with a little common courtesy, both consumer and operator can overcome the challenges.
 
When a customer places a call to a call center, he or she is likely already aggravated by the situation leading to the call. Being placed on hold for long periods of time is not going to improve the situation, especially when accompanied by automated messages and unappealing music.
 
Once the call operator answers their call, the customer will likely explain the reason for the call. Operators should listen intently to the customer's situation in order to properly address their concerns. A frequent grievance from operators is the rude manner in which they are spoken to by dissatisfied, sometimes irate, customers. In most cases, the adage "you can attract more bees with honey" applies. Call operators who keep a level head and professional attitude can diffuse a problem situation, using courtesy and attention to keep the customer focused on resolution of the issue.
 
Call center personnel are not generally well-compensated in terms of pay and work environment, nor are many qualified to address specifics regarding the company and its policies. Often described as sounding robotic, repeating the same things over and over, call center employees work from a script and are instructed not to veer from their material. If a customer is not satisfied with your proposed resolution of a problem, explaining your limitations for authorization, and offering to connect them to a manager will make everyone's day a bit more pleasant. Check your company's policy, though. Some do not support offering connection to a manager unless the customer requests.
 
And, yes, the ringing phone during mealtime or in the middle of your favorite show may be a nuisance to anyone, but the caller on the other end just may have something of interest to offer. Be polite, or just don't pick up the phone.

By Michelle Simmons
Get Call Center Jobs, Contributing Editor

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