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Job Descriptions: Working in a Call Center vs. Working Retail

Are you trying to decide between a job in a retail store or one at a call center? The pay might seem similar, but when you look a little deeper, there are a lot more reasons to choose call center employment -- especially at The Connection.

What’s good about a retail job?

  • You can feel proud of working for a big-name brand.
  • There is a chance for career advancement.
  • You get to meet new people – customers as well as co-workers.
  • You get to (or have to) “dress for success” or wear apparel that tells the world you’re part of the team.

What’s better about a call center job?  

1. While working in a call center, you are actually working for the client company, serving their customers. “Your” company may be a household name, or it might be a smaller, more specialized company – because call centers serve all kinds of businesses.

2. Career advancement is a big opportunity – something many people don’t realize. You can move up the ladder as a supervisor, quality assurance expert, etc., or branch out into IT, sales, HR, or other important aspects of managing a call center. We typically promote from within at our call centers, and while so many retail stores are going out of business, the call center industry is booming.

3. Every customer contact is different. You’re answering questions about the company’s products or services, helping people solve individual problems, providing technical support, etc. In retail, the customers may vary during the day, but the conversations do not. You have the same conversation, over and over again. That can get old. In a call center, you will never be bored by the work.

4. You can dress comfortably. It’s like working in radio – customers cannot see you, so it is your voice and friendly demeanor, not your clothes, that will impress them.

So, call centers offer definite advantages over retail. But there are more benefits to choosing a job (and maybe a career) in call center work:

  • Better pay.
    Starting pay is at least as good as (but usually better than) retail. Higher starting pay boosts your future income, too. If you work in sales in an outbound call center, you can earn commissions just like in retail.
  • Better working conditions.
    You are not on your feet all day. You get a cubicle all to yourself, a comfy chair, and you can keep a cup of coffee or a cold drink right at hand. You can stand if you want. You get formal breaks and lunch, but can take quick breaks between calls as well, to move around or get a snack.
  • Better hours.
    You can work a schedule that works for you. In retail, you never know what your hours will be. Companies often keep everyone at part-time to avoid paying benefits. You could be randomly assigned to mornings, afternoons, evenings, and/or weekends. In a call center, you can have a full-time job with benefits and a predictable schedule. That means you can have a life, too. Many call centers also operate around the clock, so you can also choose a swing or night shift, if that is better for your schedule.
  • More fun.
    In a retail setting, you have to act professionally at all times. In a call center, you have to act professionally on the phone, but you can chat and joke around with teammates between calls and help each other with tough customer questions.
  • Skills development.
    In a retail store, you learn to fold clothes, haul and restock merchandise, clean and reset displays. In a call center, you learn and sharpen skills such as listening, problem-solving, and thinking on your feet  – skills that will serve you forever, no matter what career you choose in the future.

Why is The Connection the best call center choice?

We offer more daytime shifts and more regular shifts – and we focus on full-time positions with benefits. We go the extra mile for our employees, handing out turkeys for Thanksgiving and backpacks filled with back-to-school supplies for their kids. We hold weekend BBQs, bring-your-kid-to-work days, and even have an on-site restaurant with affordably-priced meals at our new location in Jamestown, NY. 

Best of all, we are hiring! So let us know if you are looking for a great job at a great place.

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