The purpose of hiring callers in BPO (call center) is to communicate with someone on the other side for a purpose like replying to queries (inbound) or making a sales pitch (outbound). Hiring of candidates at times is based too much on accent. You are more often asked to speak something about yourself. Similar questions could be narrate what you did before coming to the interview today. This is perhaps not just to check your fluency but whether you can speak neutral English that is free of mother tongue impact. Here is an excerpt of experience of a former IBM, Microsoft, AT&T, Dell call center agent: The passing rates were very low due to high benchmarks set by reputed clients (Fortune 500)….

If you are selected, it is great. The way forward for someone repeatedly not selected could be to focus on core area. If you are supposed to sell products to UK customers, you definitely need to speak in a way that UK people find comfortable with. So, accent is definitely important. Now, if you have English as second language in secondary examination, you have perhaps a base to start with.

Follow accent/pronunciation guide. Take a course regarding the same. Go to the root. Avoid temptation of getting frequent feedback. If after making calls, you are getting complaints of breaking voice, investigate rhythm, tone, speed, and other elements of speaking. At the end of the day, there are only few variables to be mastered. Remember your initial limitations. You are not here to please or impress someone with your voice or act like a trainer in a big call center. You just want to make few sales (outbound) or reply to queries in a professional way (inbound).

After not selected in interview couple of times, it is advised to get employed in a BPO as back office executive or content writer/transcriptionist/SEO. Learning curve for SEO for entry level job is shorter than transcription and as far as content writing concerned, grip on writing English with correct grammar and punctuation needed. Over all, these are the areas where your acquired expertise should help make living beyond calling where the industry appears to be heavily biased towards young callers (18-30 yrs).

Training regarding the basics of customer support should help you develop as a better professional passionate about delivering customers a satisfying experience, irrespective of the accent training which may or may not come with the call center training package and the level of improvement that you exhibit in your accent leading or not leading to an immediate call center job. While accent improvement is usually an important area of focus for Indian BPO training arms as English here is not the mother tongue, the same may not be the case with the training that is imparted by western call center training agencies as they appear to focus on other variables like phone etiquette assuming that one does not have a problem with the accent as faced by the majority of Indian candidates.

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