What is a Call Center Job Like? An Insider's Look at the First Year at The Connection
Interested in working at a call center but not sure what it is like to work in one? Not all companies are like The Connection, but we happen to think we offer an exceptional work environment because we are so people-oriented. What does that mean? We talked with Cyndi McDurmott, our VP of Human Resources, about what you might expect in your first year here.
Our philosophy in our interactions with employees as well as clients is “one size does not fit all.” Cyndi says you can see and feel that right off the bat when you come to work here.
The benefits start with training
“We hire each customer service representative (CSR) with a specific client in mind,” she explains. “Based on your personality and possible experience, we will match you with the client we think is a good fit.” That sets the stage for success – for the client and for you as a CSR.
Step One: Welcome to the Team
Your first day, you will learn about The Connection. We call that “onboarding” because we’re bringing you on board. You’ll learn about our company brand – who we are and what it means to be a part of The Connection team, even though you will ultimately come to work every day to interact with customers on behalf of “your” client.
Step Two: Client-Specific Training
Now that you are an official member of the team, you start client-specific training. This can last anywhere from two days to two weeks, depending on the client. That may seem like a long time, but there is no “sink or swim” here.
“We know that your success depends on giving you a strong foundation in client knowledge as well as call center skills before you ever take your first call,” Cyndi explains.
You will receive instructor-led training (ILT) in a classroom setting. Your training will include e-learning components as well. You’ll learn all about the client’s brand – their core business, their products, their content (information customers will want and need), even how to use the company’s software that interfaces with our own call center technology. This training builds confidence when you are speaking with customers on behalf of the company.
“Next, you will move into nesting training, Cyndi explains. “You will take real calls, but there will be someone right at your side to help guide you through each call as needed.” This can really relieve the stress of worrying you will have to suddenly “go live.”
“You will officially graduate from client training before you are released to go out on the floor on your own and answer calls for the client. Not everyone graduates, although the majority do. If it turns out you are struggling with something, you will get one-on-one help to master that, even if you need more time. The goal is to make you a success!”
Making it work for you
The Connection is unique in that we do everything we can to accommodate your needs as an employee – again, because our goal is your success. For example, occasionally a CSR-client fit does not work well because the environment is just too intense. A client may have very passionate (and therefore demanding) customers, or they may be inundated with calls that keep you on your toes every minute. We know that intensity can feel overwhelming for some people. If that happens to you, we will work with you to try and find a better client fit.
What about promotions?
Cyndi notes that CSRs are assessed continuously – which can lead to quicker promotions than you might expect. “Our Quality Assurance team monitors calls to see what’s going well and where we can improve, and supervisors offer ongoing mentoring.” So you receive both positive strokes as you do well and continue to get the hang of things, and you receive constructive feedback from past calls.
“People have opportunities to move up when clients expand and we need to fill more positions for them, and also when someone moves up and leaves an opening.”
Because it's so heavily based on performance, there is no waiting period before you can be promoted. Cyndi offers a couple of examples:
- “Suppose you walk in the door with previous supervisory experience, and you are nailing it as a CSR, but you have been here just three months. If your client expands and a team leader position opens up, we will talk to you about that. We look at everyone’s experience and background.” And if you go through the interview process and are not chosen, there is no “ding” on your record.
- “You have been with us for six months or so. You are doing a great job for the client as CSR, you have taken ownership and are helping people around you. We may consider you for a team leader position even though you have no supervisory experience. In this case, we appoint you as “interim” and review your work over six months, after which the position becomes permanent.”
Helping you succeed in life, too
The Connection not only provides extensive training to help you succeed at work, but we also offer helping hands to make employees’ personal lives better, too. We give out backpacks filled with school supplies to the children and grandchildren of our employees. And we hand out turkeys or hams for the holidays. Just two examples, but you get the idea.
Want to learn more about joining our family here at The Connection? Learn more and apply today!