A Call Centre Agent handles a business's incoming and outgoing phone calls, the focus of which may be customer support, complaints or queries. The calls are often in large volumes and the agent is equipped with a computer and headset.
There is no set route into this role, but candidates may gain higher chances of employment if they have taken an NVQ course in contact centre operations. It is mainly experience in this field, or in a sales environment, that will give candidates an advantage. Many call centres will issue staff on the job training.
A competent knowledge and skillset in word processing software, databases and email or chat technology will also be beneficial. Certain companies may require staff to be bilingual, but this is specific to its individual needs.
Various industries recruit call centre agents, including banks, insurance companies and supermarkets. Call centres exist in all major cities across the UK. The trend of businesses using offshore call centres is demising, and more UK businesses are recruiting staff in the UK.
Average salaries are around £16,000, which is fairly low for the sector; rises in steady increments, up to around £30,000 at supervisor or management level can be expected.
Jobs in this field are available through recruitment agencies or direct applications, and are on either a temporary or permanent basis. Competition for jobs is reasonably high and employers will seek reliable and consistent staff.