There are no specific educational qualifications required to become a CSO ( Customer Service Officer/Operator or call centre adviser/ representative, customer service representative) in a call center. It is a good option for plus two or fresh college graduates as well as even housewives and retired people.
Personal Skills and Attributes: The skills required vary depending on the project and the type of business that is being handled. A very good command over English language is the main skill required. Computer literacy, typing speed, knowledge of consumer behaviour, marketing skills (a certificate or Diploma in Marketing in case of 'outbound' telemarketing is preferable), the ability to enter and retrieve information quickly from databases and an ability to analyse problems are other useful skills that come in handy.
Good communication and listening skills are important. CSO ( Customer Service Officer) should have the patience to listen to and comprehend the need, be unfailingly polite, good natured, reasonably intelligent to choose between options and remedy problems effectively to the satisfaction of the customer. Persuasion skills are needed in an 'outbound' contact centre where you either collect money from defaulting customers or try to promote sales and encourage customers to use your client’s products. They may be required to work at odd hours especially in International Call centres where the customers may be calling from places where the timing may be several hours behind IST.
Training: Freshers have to undergo intense training to make themselves suited for the job. The training include accent training, listening skills, 'slang' training, accent neutralisation, telephone etiquette, telesales etiquette and cyber grammar, interaction skills, customer relationship, management skills and call centre terminology. They will also be given a thorough knowledge about the product of the company, even how it could malfunction, breakdown and fail its objective, to deal with complaints from customers. Continuous training at regular intervals including updation on the latest references and slang the callers are likely to use, updation on the new products, developing faster ways of accessing information is a must for growth in this field.
There is no standardised training period. It can be between two weeks to twelve weeks depending on the project. There will be an initiation programme, which includes familiarising the companies work culture and the international environment in which they deal with their clients to have an awareness of the culture abroad. Then the actual training begins which includes both theoretical and on the job training.
In India, the training is usually done by the company itself. There are many institutes that give training in this field abroad, recently the trend is picking up in India also. International certifications from STI Knowledge, a leading provider of call centre training in the US have recently been introduced in India. STI offers international certifications following a Web-based exam after completion of the course. The certifications are Help Desk 2000, Call Centre 2000 and Knowledge 2000 for all the three tiers, that is the operators, managers and director.Related Informations