Land a call center job!

Last updated: June 20, 2024
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Ashley Wilson
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Content Manager at Jobcase
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If you're a job seeker, you may want to apply for a job in a call center. 66% of the world's call centers are located in the U.S., and companies often advertise for either inbound or outbound positions (meaning you can apply to primarily make calls or answer them).

Do you enjoy providing customers excellent service, answering phones, and working as part of a team? If the answer is yes, then you could be perfect for a call center representative role.

But what is a call center representative? What do they do, and what are their main responsibilities?

We'll answer all of these questions and tell you about the skills you'll need to work in a call center. We'll also talk about how much you can earn in this job and give you tips for your resume.

What is a call center representative?

A call center representative (CSR), or call center agent, is someone who communicates with customers, or potential customers, over the phone.

Customer calls may be incoming or outgoing, and the type of communication will depend on the industry.

For example, a call center agent could work in sales, customer service, or troubleshooting.

If they're in sales, they'll take orders over the phone. If they're in customer service, they'll have to use their listening skills to help people with their inquiries. And if they're in a troubleshooting call center, they'll assist callers with technical questions.

Call center jobs can be full-time, part-time, seasonal, or remote. The job often requires long periods of sitting.

What does a call center representative do?

A call center representative job description will usually include answering or making phone calls.

Call center agents sit at a desk with a computer, telephone, and headpiece. Depending on the role, they may need to answer incoming customer inquiries and handle complaints. Or they may need to call existing customers and offer them an upgrade or special offer.

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Some call center workers call prospective customers intending to secure a sale, complete a survey, or fundraise.

The job can include data entry, and most call center agents rely on computer programs.

It can be a fast-paced industry, as there can be a waiting list of calls during busy periods.

What are the top call center job responsibilities?

Call centers can be busy work environments. These are some of the responsibilities you can expect to have if you work as a call center agent:

1. Receive inbound calls

If it's an inbound call center, the team members are responsible for answering the phone in a timely manner. They’ll usually have a scripted greeting, such as:

"Hello, thank you for calling ‘Company Name,’ my name is ‘Operator Name.’ How can I help you today?"

Depending on the workplace, they may have to answer inquiries, give product information, or respond to customer complaints.

2. Make outbound calls

​Outboard call center operators are responsible for making phone calls on behalf of the company. For example, they may need to call potential customers with a special offer.

Or they may need to follow up an inquiry or contact an existing customer. They also usually have a script to work with.

Sometimes, call center representatives will know who they are calling with a few limited details, such as the customer's first name.

Call center agents in outbound centers need to be confident in cold-calling people.

3. Use technology

Call center representatives often use CRM (customer relationship management) software. These programs may be cloud-based, so agents can work collaboratively in a team.

The CRM software features customer databases, so call center teams can find the required information as they need it. They can view customer details and records of previous communication.

During or after the call, the call center agent may have to use data entry tools to log information about their transaction.

4. Represent the company

Call center operators are often the first point of contact. They have to represent the company and always be professional.

They need to use excellent verbal communication with the goal of customer satisfaction. And they need to follow any company policies. For example, they may need to follow a script and record the phone call.

They also need to follow TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) regulations. Call centers can only call people between certain hours. They can't dial numbers on the do-not-call registry, and they need to be transparent.

5. Upsell business products

If it’s a retail or sales business, call center representatives may need to upsell or cross-sell without ruining the customer experience.

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To upsell, a salesperson motivates the customer to buy a more expensive product. For example, they may buy a king-size bed instead of a single one.

To cross-sell, the customer service representative convinces the customer to buy a complementary product. For example, they may purchase a speaker to go with their new television.

Some call centers offer incentives for high-performing employees, and knowing how to upsell and cross-sell can come with bonuses.

What skills and education do you need to work in a call center?

To work in a call center, you'll need a high school diploma or equivalent. Most jobs are entry-level, with one or two weeks of on-the-job training.

You'll need excellent communication skills, good time management, and active listening skills.

To be successful, you'll need to be confident working with technology. You'll also need a good computer, telephone, and organization skills.

Call centers are often busy work environments, and call center operators need to be good team players. Customer calls can vary, and you'll need workplace adaptability skills.

To become a call center manager or team leader, you'll need a few years of work experience. You may also need to study management or communication.

How much does a call center representative make?

The salary for call center representatives varies between companies and states. The average hourly rate is $14, but those in the wholesale trade can earn up to $19.43 per hour.

If you’re a call center manager or team leader, the pay can vary between $50,000–$90,000 per year.

Top call center resume tips

If you want to apply for a job in a call center, here are our top tips for your resume:

  • Include soft skills such as active listening, good communication, and organization

  • List your work history in chronological order

  • Highlight any previous customer service positions

  • Share an example of a time when you had to resolve a conflict

  • Address the cover letter to the hiring manager

  • Check your resume for spelling and grammatical errors

  • Make sure your contact phone number is up to date

Where to find call center jobs

Not sure where to look for call center customer support roles? We've got you covered.

Browse Jobcase’s job boards for call center representative positions in your area.

Working as a call center agent

If you're looking for an entry-level position in a flexible work environment, you may want to apply for a call center job.

In this article, we gave you a call center agent job description and explained the skills and education you need to be successful in this job.

Now you have all of the information you need — it's time to apply.

You can start by browsing call center jobs in your area. And don't forget to check out Jobcase’s resource section for resume and interview tips.

Would you consider working in a call center?



Jennifer Gray
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I am interested in working from home being a customer service rep

mary mcbride
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Good morning I would like an evening job for a call center

Chrysanthemum Mingo
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Yes I would

Brian Smith
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Business Development Manager at Wolters Kluwer Health

How can I call for evening jobs

April Van De Vanter
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Shift Manager at Teleperformance

Yes, I have worked in call centers

Kwabena Larbi-Ansa
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Sales Associate at Macys Department Store

Yes, I would like to work in a call center.