Like I said in the last post, I knew there were a lot of bad effects working in BPO but it doesn’t mean all bad.
Of course, the great experience I got outweighs the adverse effects I felt in this industry. Let me give some aspects I learned plus some brief explanation. I hope I can give a short explanations.
English Language became part of my life! Honestly, despite leaving this industry for more than a year now, even my work uses English but not that frantic pace like before.. I’m lucky to had trainings in my first BPO work. Unlike my last BPO work, there was no english or accent training anymore. Its more on learning your clients/customers thing. My first trainings focused deeply in the English language such as neutral accent, tone, vocabulary, idiomatic expressions and other parts of English that I never learned when I was studying. It came to a point that even I’m home, I’m still thinking English and sometimes, I just don’t like it anymore. However, this ability is such a blessing especially if you are thinking switching centers.
Understanding the customer service as an Industry! Yes, I can’t believe that this customer service thing is an industry, a sheer industry! I can’t be more proud that we Filipinos became number 1 in voice call centers due to our natural hospitable attitude. We had this ability so a lot of companies or fortune 500 companies willing to take a risk in our country due to this ability. The country is earning like $10 billions of dollars for just answering and solving customer concerns, processing transactions and most of all, getting things done. I understand now that even our own customer service call centers are quite average… I can say that it’s not our fault to have this level of customer service, but how we serve is making us money in the BPO industry. Even AI is now a threat, I still don’t think it can eradicate our great customer service to all foreign clients or customers.
Learning the fast dynamics of international business organization! Yes, don’t be surprised at the pace of this industry. Its very fast that a one year of operations it felt like 2 years because of the changes or dynamics in the operations of the company. Changing managements or clients are the norm. Even mergers, or sad to say ceasing operations is quite part of the process in this industry. You’ll learn a lot of industry terms, or how the business work. Like for example, I learned how Dell works and how to do it yourself their troubleshooting because of the website and service tag in their machines. That alone, I can identify what kind of model is that machine or the parts included. You will also know like strategies that the clients use for marketing, operations, and even yes some secrets. hehe So, there are a lot to learn plus a lot of interesting information you will absorb in the course of working in these BPO companies. The tools they use, and yes, the scripts they use. Great example, when you hear “We are doing our best to fix the situation as soon as possible.” That’s a good script for saying yeah sorry, our services are down, we are fixing it now so wait until it get fixed. hehe Yes, the lies or excuses thru scripts, you’ll use that information once you became a customer in other industries or companies.
Overcoming difficult workloads! Damn, when it comes to workloads, working in BPO is one of the difficult workloads to finish. Geez, I’m still frowning at one time, I had a work like to follow up 40 plus difficult cases to SME customers every day. Geez, it’s really damning and yeah exhausting. How about working in a 4 by 11 workweek? Going at work at 1am then going home at 12pm? Very encouraging shift! Yes, when you hear queuing!!! Its the end of your day. Your happy day will turn to very sad day. hahaha Or if you have already a bad day, expect you’ll be very depressed or angry at the end of the day. My last work in a backoffice, wow, 150 accounts to be handled every week and you need to deal with them one by one. Quite sad. But its refreshing when you finish it and yes, if its early, petiks!!!! haha
Dealing with irate customers were a breeze! (over the phone) Dealing an irate customer face to face is still a difficult one. But dealing an irate customer over the phone was excruciating at first. But after like months of taking calls, or how about years of taking calls.. You’ll become immune to it, at worse sadist. hehe You are prone to insults, cursing, racism and other bad responses to customers. For these kind of customers, you’ll just two things, first let them rant and curse all they want. Second, while the customer is doing that, never answer back in the same way (if you still want to work) then be calm and start searching for solutions. I forgot the most important thing, I know this will be hard but it works.. Don’t take it personally, especially come on, they are overseas right?
Multitasking is the best ability I learned. Typing, thinking, and talking at the person on the phone is the only ability you need to stay in this industry other than yes, great attitude. If you can do this consistently, then looking for another BPO company or ramping up your position won’t be a problem. For me, this ability helped me a lot in my other endeavors even sometimes, I don’t need to use it but it really helps. Its a reflex that makes you productive in any other work. If you have a faster typing speed, it will really help in your work. I speak slowly but my AHT is low because I can do all things at the same time, especially if I can navigate the tools easily. Some CSR or TSR now don’t do this but please, push yourself to do it so you won’t coached that you are not efficient enough.
Understanding the BPO company throughly. I know this part its not really a good thing but sometimes, their decisions is for the good of all. Great example, the Dell MOA closure.. I mean at first I was shocked and worried about my job but when they explained and saw all the facts, I understood it why they don’t it. Especially when I did business before, so such decisions need to be undertaken so it keeps running here. I knew it took some jobs away but well, Dell services is still here. Although its very small now and yes, more difficult working here, they were pressed and need to cut costs. Stellar is one of the companies that I can say very transparent. That alone made it very good to me. I was shocked that they give all the numbers plus explainations and not only that, very open to feedback. Although this industry is very volatile but sometimes, you need to be open minded to such strategies, decisions and actions.
Consistency is your lifeline and will define your success. Damn, I almost promoted twice in this industry, which I only did one thing. Consistency passing my scores. I can brag that, but not outscoring all the time. hehe I mean I’m consistent in my attendance, AHT, NPS or QA, plus other things even productivity ratio.. If you can do that in this industry, being proactive and consistent, you go places whether in other companies or in the same company. I always tell to myself, I’ll perform to shut the mouth of my TL or Manager. hahaha I know it sounds arrogant but in this industry, you need to really perform so you won’t be bothered all the time if you’ll survive.
Coaching matters. Yes, I think this is the only industry which coaching is a part of operations. Not a normal business operation gives coaching. I only tell what’s wrong or you need to do in my previous shop. hahaha But not one on one coaching with your TL, OM or QA. Or how about group coaching, team meeting or in team buildings. Coaching most of the them are relaxing, although some coaching sessions can be hell scary! But overtime and if you know the person who will coach you, coaching is fun. hahaha Coaching comes with inspiration, inspiring the one who needs help or guidance. Coaching helped me getting consistent performance plus some life lessons and most of all, you can teach others thru coaching. I full realized that when I became a SME. Wow, plus now I’m an online teacher, it touched my heart that teaching is not only a profession, its a mission.
Liberal thinking – Be open minded and be comfortable working with different clients, customers and even teams. Open your mind in different concepts, products, strategies, policies and even decisions. Plus, yes, gossips from other companies! haha Learn the customers or even the company itself. Your client and their mission. The client’s industry they are working with, the competition and sorts.. You’ll learn a lot even you won’t use it in your lifetime, you know it’s good to know.
Team for the Win! Yes, I think this is the most important thing I learned in the industry besides consistent performance. Working with the elderly, LGBT, newbies, veterans and the ass kissers or assholes (sorry for the french). Yes, at first there will be culture shocked but when you get used to it and please, be friendly or kind to your team. Always look at each other and whoever your Team Leader is, just work hard and follow him/her. Even your TL is so bad, perform at your best because somehow someway, your TL shortcomings will be exposed even you are performing damn good. Talking to higher ups is the norm. Open door policy is a must in a call center or BPO. Check your HR even your company is very good. Be friendly to anybody, even the admin staff, janitor, pantry staff and even the security guard. Don’t be shocked when you ride an elevator with foreign clients! Yes, please follow office policies. Lastly, don’t trust easily to a team mate, especially when it comes to money matters. haha If you are team mate for a long time or became friends, thats the time you trust. Don’t trust your team mate at training period. hehe Be ready to assist all the time. Yes, in a team, all of you are equal, even you are not performing and your team mate is the best agent in the same team. Remember, add fun to your work and to the team!
Enjoying great benefits! Know your benefits of your company and enjoy them! Damn, some companies especially the big outsource ones have benefits that are not used well. Definitely, work to an inhouse BPO company! haha
These experiences gave me life lessons and interesting inputs on how this industry works. I picked up some things that I can use in the future. I might use some if I have my own company. hahaha For now, I’m very grateful to this industry. Comparing to other industries, its a bit relaxed here than other set up.
Anyway, even others say yeah you only work in this industry (I’ll discuss that in other post), but with the environment and benefits you’ll experience.
I dare them to work in this industry!
Let’s see if they can survive 6 months here. 😛