July 10, 2021
Imagine saying you’re sorry and how you really mean it to someone who’s been screaming at the top of his/her lungs right from the beginning of a call. That’s just one of the many situations why working in the BPO industry as a call center agent is considered one of the most stressful jobs. This is particularly true if you’re in the customer service department.
I’ve worked in the BPO industry for 7 years, and almost 4 years was on a voice account. Others would find it lucky to have a job at all but might think twice after experiencing working as a call center agent. Here are some reasons why this job is stressful and may not be for everyone:
You know what to do in you’re work. You’re a college graduate, and your English is superb. In fact, you might even think that you’re better than some colleagues, but right from the start of the call, you talk to get to talk to someone who’s asking you to transfer him or her to someone who speaks in English. You know for a fact that you do speak English because right from the start, you greeted them with “Hi! Thank you for calling ABC company. My name is Stressed Employee. How can I help you today?” You then tell them that you can’t transfer them to anyone directly from the United States, but they insist, and the next thing you know, they are already asking for a supervisor.
Most of the Centers in Manila are now around Mckinley. You live in the south, and because the pay is good, you decide to accept your faith. Come the rush hour, you get stuck in heavy traffic. Your total commute time from work to office and vice versa becomes 4 hours daily! Sometimes even longer, especially during the Christmas season. There are times when you find yourself sitting on a bus that’s not moving, and you get to think, what the heck am I doing with my life. It’s unfortunate since even a few seconds to a minute late in work means a lot in your performance metrics.
The people hired to help agents improve and learn how to handle calls better seem to only care about stats and performance. Not all of them, but there’s a large number of leaders who act like a boss instead of a leader. There are even those who no one knows how they manage to land into a team lead position even though their knowledge about the work and process is less than an actual agent.
I’m not sure how far the rules have evolved, but during my time, this was the most dreaded thing about working as a customer service representative. You’ve done your best, you’ve been polite throughout the call, you’ve helped resolve all the customer’s concerns and even gave a few credits on their account, but then the crazy customer still ends up giving you a score of “Very Dissatisfied.” You try to dispute it, but no one really cares since that’s what the customer gave you.
It’s possible to have a morning shift but don’t expect too much. Most of the time, you’ll be working the graveyard shift. Your day off has a chance to be split instead of a normal employee with Saturdays and Sundays. While everyone is resting, there you are drinking coffee to keep you away at night while taking like 100 calls a day. Let’s not forget that you still need to come to work even during the Philippines Legal holiday. The only good thing about it is you get double pay for doing so.
Working as a customer service representative can definitely be stressful for many other reasons aside from the ones mentioned above. It’s quite rewarding, though, if you find the right company. One of which I can consider as a good company to start with is Accenture. The last IT/BPO company I worked at before I started working from home.
If it’s been a challenge to find work from home jobs and clients and you’d like to try working in an office, then Accenture is one of the best ways to get started. I’ve worked with fresh graduates who’re lucky enough to have this company as their first employer. I’m saying this because even though I already left, they do provide good benefits, a very competitive salary with possible yearly increases, promotions, and a lot more.