by Diane Cuaresma

Work in an inbound call center is fun but requires a sheer amount of patience. Callers are of garden variety, some of which may not be the type you want to speak with.

To succeed in the actual “work”, here are some of the things I apply:

Stay alert – all the time
Before I go to work, I take a bath to keep me wide awake. For coffee drinkers, have a cup first before logging on so that the caffeine takes full effect. Just imagine the aroma and the hot sip. But be careful: Your cup of coffee might spill, makes you jump out to seriously wake you up!

Be tolerant
We Filipinos are polite and respectful, but the world does not revolve around us. The world is so diverse we have learned to adapt in the way other people respond or react to certain situations.

As a call center agent, I learn how to smile even if the caller does not see me (and it shows in my tone of voice). Take a deep breath. Learn how to be open-minded to make it easier for you to deal with customers, whether they are rude or not.

Read, read, read
Read the newspapers. That way, you are abreast of the world around you. There are times when a customer asks about a current event. If you are informed, you know how to take that discussion further. The call becomes a great way to connect and thus make that interaction a pleasant experience.

Exercise
Working at night time is not an excuse for you to neglect exercise. Flex those sleeping muscles, and shed off those unwanted fat! Not only does it maintain your weight but it keeps you stay awake because of the blood pumping in your veins.

Laugh
Laugh. Don’t frown or get mad. A positive attitude affects your productivity. It just feels good to be happy all the time!

Learn to have empathy
Love your work for it brings food on the table. Take care of your customers, whether you’re doing outbound calls or a technical support. Care for the people around you too.

Most of the people I know ask me, “Why don’t you go back to teaching?” I tell them, “I have a life here. I love my job and I am happy.” With all the detours I have made in my work journey, I know I will return to teaching. In the meantime, I am taking advantage of the unique opportunities the call center industry offers me, and loving it every moment of the day.