what does a call center representative do?

  • job profiles
  • September 02, 2020

These days, customers are increasingly quick to make cross-sector comparisons when it comes to customer experiences — comparing, say, their relatively short wait at the Apple store to their agonizing 30 minutes of toe-tapping in the waiting room of their dentist’s office. In fact, this phenomenon, which is often referred to as “liquid expectations,” has become so prevalent that nearly half of organizational leaders don’t even believe they can control customer experiences anymore.

Yet that’s exactly where call center representatives fit into the picture. These empathic, patient, customer-facing pros — sometimes called “remote customer service agents” on job boards in the age of COVID-19 — are the ones who can help leaders wrest back that control. In a nutshell, it’s their duty to ensure that customer experiences remain positive, even when things go awry.

On a day-to-day basis, the following are typical responsibilities of call center representatives:

  • delivering seamless, 100 percent satisfying customer experiences to callers
  • patiently listening to complaints and effectively resolving issues
  • upselling and cross-selling customers as required
  • acting as a critical initial point of contact (POC) for calls from prospective clients, caregivers or pending enrollees
  • managing chatbots and other AI-based customer support tools
  • coordinating the completion of all open cases/tickets
  • handling inbound and outbound calls
  • identifying customers
  • cold calling marketing-qualified leads (MQLs)
  • ensuring broad-based compliance with relevant regulation

how do you become a call center representative?

Becoming a call center representative should be an attainable goal for anyone just starting out in their career, or — perhaps on account of COVID-19 — looking to transition into a new field. After all, the barriers to entry are relatively minimal.

Take a look at the following, for example:

  • high school diploma or equivalent
  • at least one year of previous experience in customer service (not always required)
  • experience with data input, scheduling, document uploading, initiating enrollments and communicating with clients or customers
  • reliable transportation (not always required, especially for remote roles)
  • ability to pass a drug test and background check

However, if you think that additional training or certification are your ticket to your next great job in this space, you should know that there are amazing educational resources available online to assist you. For example, you can check out these top call center representative training courses offered by our learning partner, Udemy, if you need any help getting started.

what are the key skills of a call center representative?

One of the reasons that call center representatives are so sought after today is that their contributions can help companies retain more value from customers. And that, in turn, tends to get reflected in quarterly earnings calls. They impact the bottom line, in other words.

With that in mind — and to help you stand out in today’s crowded job marketplace — be sure to highlight the following soft skills on your resume when applying for call center representative roles:

  • adaptability
  • multitasking
  • analytical problem-solving
  • troubleshooting
  • strategic thinking
  • verbal and written communication
  • organization and time management
  • self-driven
  • resilience
  • empathy
  • patience
  • active listening

how much does a call center representative make?

From a salary standpoint, call center representatives will likely encounter a lot of variability on the job market today, and that can certainly be frustrating to job seekers.

In order to simplify things, we looked at the latest data and broke down compensation into three average hourly rates, as follows:

  • low $11.60
  • mid $13.99
  • high $16.27

Annualized, those rates look something like:

  • low $23,212
  • mid $27,373
  • high $37,394

Looking for a deeper dive into the latest and greatest data around wages in your market? Head on over to our free salary comparison tool. There, you’ll find in-depth and at-a-glance intelligence about pay rates for call center representatives, regardless of your location or market.

key takeaways

As we have discussed, today’s call center representatives are customer service experts and highly in-demand remote workers — of course, by now you should be pretty well versed in everything they do. After all, we've covered:

  • what a call center representative does
  • background, training, experience and other requirements associated with the role
  • important skills to highlight on your resume
  • compensation expectations
  • and more

So if you’re ready to land your next great role, why not start searching for call center representatives jobs across the country? We also hope that you know we’re here and ready to support you throughout your career journey, whenever it is that you’re ready to make the big leap.