Are you among the 27% of unemployed South Africans? Stuck in a position with no opportunity to grow? Perhaps you should consider a career in the booming call centre industry.
South Africa’s contact centre sector is developing at a rapid pace due to growing telecommunications infrastructure, government incentives and first-class, cost-effective customer service. “In South Africa, there are more than 210 000 agents working in the call centre industry,” says Jacques de Beer, Managing Director of Talksure, an international contact centre located in Umhlanga.
Call centre agents handle incoming or outgoing customer calls for a business. It is their responsibility to increase customer satisfaction through the handling of sales, enquiries, complaints or support issues. And, it’s certainly not as boring as you might think! In fact, starting your career in a call centre could change your life. De Beer tells us why:
Call centre jobs offer a higher salary than most entry-level positions and, in many cases, include additional benefits such as subsidised medical aid, life insurance and contributions to a pension fund. If you work in sales, there is the opportunity to earn uncapped commission on top of your basic salary which makes your earning potential far greater than similar roles. Most businesses also offer additional financial incentives for reaching specific targets.
2. No tertiary education required
There is no barrier to entry when it comes to the call centre industry. All you need is a matric certificate and a good work ethic
3. Gain valuable experience
Working in a call centre is a great opportunity to develop new skills and gain valuable experience. You will learn how to communication effectively, telephone and email etiquette, customer service, sales, and multi-tasking. As you grow in confidence you may have the opportunity to be creative in solving customer problems and addressing their needs. When dealing with a specific product or service you will also gain an understanding of the industry you represent which will provide you with the knowledge to grow your career.
4. In-house training and skills development
Before working, your company will provide you with training in sales and customer service and teach you how to use their systems. Most big companies also prefer to promote from within as the people already have knowledge of the organisation.
Interestingly, at Talksure, 95% of their Team Leaders were once Talkee agents; 90% of their Campaign Managers were once Team Leaders and 100% of their Sales Managers started as Team Leaders. 30% of Talkees have gone through a full Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) qualification and 41% have achieved the Regulatory Exam at no cost to them.
5. Climb the corporate ladder quicker
Motivated and focussed individuals can work their way into management positions three times faster than any other career. Plus this is the one of the only industries where you can find a young 20-something in a management position.
In fact, Talksure is always looking for potential team leaders and when we find them, we fast track their career through our Rising Stars programme so that they can lead a team of Talkees.
6. An exciting work environment
Call centres are high energy, productive environments where you’ll talk to new people every day and in some cases, help people with their problems. Employees come from many different backgrounds and cultures which makes for an interesting workplace – a multicultural team is never boring! Plus, there is often loud music playing in the office and some companies allow for a casual dress code. Also, a fun environment doesn’t mean that you won’t be admired as a professional either, call centre jobs are mostly offered by multinational companies whose names are well known and respected.
Convinced to give it a try? De Beer says that if you are considering a career in the call centre industry, you needn’t look further than the internet. “Contact Centres are always looking for fresh talent and eager, passionate people who are looking to fast-track their career!”