I always feel a little dread when I tell people I work in a call centre, because let’s face it, the term ‘call centre’ is not one that inspires great joy. We have all been there; sitting on hold thinking we definitely should have got up to make that tea 15 minutes ago after all. We have listened to a patronising recording of someone assuring us our call is of vital importance to the company over and over, until we want to throw the phone at the wall. When we have finally got through to a human voice, it not only sounds like they are on the other side of the world; but that the entire world is in their office. It seems nearly impossible to decipher someone reading their script with the constant shrill of hundreds of phones in the background, alongside the throb of voices of colleagues pinned in.
When I tell people I work in a call centre, I know this is what they picture. Yet the reality couldn’t be more different…
Just a dozen of us receptionists are spread out across a bright and spacious office. We sit in our own little pods, with our desk dividers, noise-cancelling headphones and even carpet designed to prevent noise carrying. The loudest thing on our lines are our personalities. We don’t have strict scripts, because ultimately we all know people want to speak with a human not a machine. And thankfully, for the sanity of all involved, there is no need to have a recorded message droning on about how important your calls are to us, because we answer calls straight away, which says it all.
There are no obvious call centre trademarks when you call us. People are generally unaware that companies use services like ours, which means it can often take some time to explain to people exactly what I do. I still don’t think my mum gets it. As far as I’m concerned the best reviews we get are clients telling us none of their customers have ever noticed we aren’t in their office. If people don’t know we exist, we’re doing our job well.
Until next time, Elise
Your call answering team