Experienced Call Center Agents: Company Asset or Liability?

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Published: 05th April 2011
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They say experience is the best teacher. Applied in the Philippine call center context, however, this may or may not be true. The truth is absorbing experienced agents can have both positive and negative influences on the company.

In a positive perspective, experienced agents are very marketable. Most of them can rest assuredly reach and even surpass sales quotas. Philippine call center agents who have had experience as customer service representatives can also get perfect customer ratings and breeze through QA checks. Call volumes are not an issue with them and they are very capable of pleasing customers. The performance of these experienced Philippine call center agents may reinforce the image of the next company they would be working for. Often, they seem to be so versatile that any script you give them, no matter how complex, they can get it right with no sweat.

But there is a catch: experienced agents tend to have out-of-this-world salary demands. For many growing firms in the Philippine call center industry, especially those that are homegrown and domestically rooted, hiring them is a risky undertaking. It is not always a guarantee that they would maintain their high performance in the event BPO companies accommodate their whims.

It is a misnomer to believe that Philippine call centers are like money fountains where agents can just extract cash without a corresponding action on their part. More than anything, regardless of their needs, experienced agents should appreciate the beauty of work and see it as an end in itself rather than a means to an end. If they choose to work in a company, then they should do so with conviction - not just out of financial considerations.

Lest they forever hop from one company after another, what agents really need is to motivate themselves and love what they are doing. Only then would they stop the vicious cycle of 'hopping.' Ironically, hopping and experience are two sides of the same coin among many agents, which can be self-deprecating in the long run.

On the brighter side, at least even with the number of hoppers plaguing the industry, the overall performance of Philippine call centers remain sky high. That's because not all agents are as narrow-minded as some and they tend to work in the same company for years on end 'til they get to climb up the career ladder. These agents are a rare find, but once found they are for keeps.

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