What’s It Like Working in a Call Center: Pros and Cons

What’s It Like Working in a Call Center: Pros and Cons

The Philippines is the voice of the customer service industry in the world. There are 700 BPOs in the Philippines alone, and as one of the faster-growing sectors in the country. The call center industry is one of the most popular career paths among fresh graduates and undergraduates that are looking for a solid foundation for work experience. The industry accepts any professionals even in unrelated industries such as nurses, broke artists, and opens a variety of opportunities to those who still haven’t found the career path that they want to take. But it doesn’t mean it’s an easy task to land a call center job, there is still proper screening, training and required skills like effective communication skills, efficient multitasking, and meticulous attention to detail to be able pass the nesting period. If you are someone considering applying for a call center job and wondering what it’s like working in a call center, we will discuss a little overview of the call center industry, types of call center jobs, unbiased insights, opinions, pros and cons and what to expect in the BPO industry according to a customer service representative. 

An Overview of the Call Center Industry

Professionals and aspiring agents are still second-guessing their way into entering the industry because of the bad reputation, stereotypes, and belittlement of call center agents in the country. One of the reasons why professionals have second thoughts of being a customer service representative is because they wouldn’t want to be involved in the negative superficial image of the BPO industry.  Behind the smoke screens of the undeserved bad reputation towards the industry, these impressive data and statistics will definitely change your mind about what you think about our awesome call center agents that have left a huge positive impact in our country with the service they provide. And might even give you the little push you need to apply for a call center job position. 

The first thing you see on Kalibrr are job listings of customer service representative roles which is a high-demand job that offers high opportunity for career growth. Around the world, the Philippines is known to be the call center capital of the world. The call center industry is the driving force of the Philippine economy, with a total of 1.3 million employed Filipino call center agents and contributing about $26 Billion in 2019. Even through the stumbling economy of the Philippines during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BPO industry, along with our brave Filipino call center agents, managed to boost the head count rate by 1.8% in the industry and revenue of 1.4% that was vital in keeping the country’s economy from falling apart. With these positive data and statistics shows that the BPO industry in the Philippines have great positive impact in the country’s economy. Our brave and resilient Filipino call center agents aren’t called ‘bayaning puyat’ for nothing.  

Types of Call Center Jobs

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of working in a call center is talking to an irate customer across the telephone line in a different time zone, which is commonly known as a voice account. But there are more different types of call center jobs that holds the foundation of a fully operating BPO company. In this section of the article, you will learn the different types of account to help you give you a little background of the accounts, measure what’s the best account that matches your skills and abilities, and what to expect when you apply for a call center job. 

Call Center Accounts That You Can Get Into:

  • Telecommunications 
  • Banking and Finance 
  • Health Services 
  • Technical Support 
  • Airline 
  • Food Delivery 
  • Sales and Marketing 
  • Hotel and Restaurant 

1. Inbound Call Centers

An inbound account is responsible for receiving incoming calls from a customer to the company. Generally, these are the types of calls that are coming from an existing customer of the company’s product or service like, or new potential customers that are interested in buying your products and services. Examples of these products and services are internet connection, television cable, telephone line, phone line, credit card billing etc. Inbound call centers may handle: 

Processing Orders

These types of calls focus on carrying tasks like greeting the customer with an opening spiel, collecting information to access their accounts, authentication, then handling the client’s concerns. There are situational calls where you can offer them better purchasing options like providing them with discounts, better deals, and an upgrade to their existing account.  

Troubleshooting Services

These calls are handled by highly-trained, strictly screened customer service representatives with high levels of patience, that ensures providing the best customer service experience to their clients. These troubleshooting services can be as simple as helping you navigate files or email on your client’s computer (most common problem for elderly people), reconnecting your internet connection, and helping you with technical troubleshooting like making sure that all of your cables are properly connected, etc.  

Dispatch Services

A dispatch call handling is most commonly handled in telco accounts. This is when a customer makes a call to the company that may have complaints with internet connection, television, or phone line problems that cannot be solved through basic troubleshooting with a customer service representative. Afterwards, if you’ve exhausted all the troubleshooting steps and guidelines, then a dispatch of technicians or maintenance to your home address to help fix the client’s concern. Outside a telco account, dispatch services like monitoring of dispatch orders, shipments, and deliveries are also handled inbound calls. 

Call Transferring

Call transferring isn’t such a bad thing. It doesn’t mean when an agent transfers a call, it automatically means that they are incapable or incompetent of handling calls. Sometimes, it’s much better to utilize call transferring for productivity and efficiency purposes. Each call transfer involves different types of situations wherein the customer service representative has to weigh in their options. There are two types of call transfer, the warm and cold transfer: 

a. Warm Transfer

Warm Transfers happen for a variety of reasons: (1) When a client has requested to be escalated to the manager, it typically happens when the client is disappointed, angry, or impatient with the process of this service provided. (2) Transferring the call to a representative of a different department when a client raises a concern during the call, that is not under your scope since specific departments utilize a specific set of tools that is trained and provided to the agent.  

b. Cold Transfer

A cold transfer is when you transfer the client to another representative when they call the wrong department for a certain concern. This will allow the agent to be more productive and efficient with their AHT (Average Handle Time) and to save client’s time and patience instead of trying to solve a problem that is not under the agent’s scope of service.  

2. Outbound Call Centers

The total opposite of inbound call centers. The Outbound Call Center particularly handles calls made by the representative on behalf of the company to clients and existing customers. This account specializes in making sales with existing and potential customers while expanding your company at a cost-effective cost. Telemarketers or tele sales people are the perfect fit for this type of position. They gather and identify demographics that are most likely interested in the company’s products and services, then they close deals by pitching the company’s products through making direct calls with clients. Not only that, telemarketers also conduct marketing surveys of existing customers, and reach potential customers to identify the clientele’s interest in the company’s products and services.   

3. Virtual Call Centers

A lot of BPO companies have considered and opted to virtual call centers, cloud-based call centers or even work from home call centers, that are both compatible for inbound and outbound call center jobs. With existing advanced technology for tools and software like Avaya & CRMs call center agents have the opportunity to work from home or remotely as long as they have a stable internet connection (some BPO companies provide  

with a minimum of 5 Mbp/s (In the Philippines) and a desktop (usually provided by the BPO company) that makes working virtually easier to set up and  

Virtual Call Centers Classifications:

In-house call centers are operating under the own company. From installation, configuration, and maintenance of in-house call center platforms and software, to taking care of their own call center agents. 

Outsourced call centers provide a cheaper solution for companies that don’t want to invest in training, office, and software for their customer service. Companies might be worried about how time consuming and the high costs in setting up their own in-house call centers, considering the equipment, programming, and IT services they have to invest in. A BPO Seat Lease is one example for companies that are looking for cost-effective and immediate solutions to outsource their call center and customer services to have instant access to clientele services. 

4. Back-Office Call Centers

A back-office call center job is the dedicated portion of a BPO that is committed to administrative, support, and secretarial positions that glues the function of the industry together. These back-office positions are considered as one of the non-voices BPO positions that don’t require communications between clientele. The back office is responsible for handling the operations and performance of the call centers such as managing company records, accounting, communication across the departments in the company, and basic clerical responsibilities. 

5. Chat and Email Support

Another example of a non-voice BPO position is chat and email support. From the job title, you engage with customer clientele through chat and email from an online chatbot or a messaging app.  A chat support is facilitated by customer service representatives that provides customer support through a live chat that response in real-time. On the other hand, email support provides customer service through customers that relay their concerns through email. Chat and email support are commonly utilized in ecommerce, airlines, government, health and medical industries. 

Tip: If you are someone who is shy and hesitant in getting an inbound or outbound call center job because of their communication skills, this can be a great fit for you in the BPO industry. 

The Pros and Cons of Working in a Call Center

If you are still having second guesses about if you should get and apply for a call center job. In this selection of the article, it will help you compare and contrast the pros and cons of working in a call center. Let me introduce Annie, a call center representative, and a first timer in the BPO industry, who only applied out of necessity but also had high ratings in the nesting period and was the only person who went to production with flying colors.  

Pros of Working in a Call Center According to a Customer Service Representative

1. Training

“When I underwent training for a customer service representative position, I expected to be trained only for handling the calls, but as soon as I finished the training, I have acquired skills that would be beneficial outside the call center role like quick thinking & on the spot solutions, people and PR skills, and my communication skills matured and developed throughout the entirety of the training.”  According to Annie’s experience. 

When working as a call center agent, it is not just about having communication skills, but also having the skill to make a connection between you and client is also important. With the training provided by the BPO company, you will be able to harness those skills, beneficial even outside the BPO industry, making it a good foundation and stepping stone for your career development. 

2. Career Growth & Advancement

“From what I’ve experienced around my coworkers and peers in the call center, if you really see yourself progressing in the BPO industry, career advancement is possible. It can be as quick as getting a raise or a promotion, and it can open doors to a variety of career paths, not only in the BPO industry.” According to Annie. 

As we have stated earlier, the BPO industry is a great training ground for having and building the foundation of solid work experience that could potentially benefit you from as you take another course of path in your career. It is also up to you if you plan on sticking and climbing the corporate structure of the BPO industry like becoming a Team Leader, OM or Support Roles inside the company, such as shifting to other departments like HR, Communications, Training or Events if you feel that the Operations department isn’t a good fit for you. 

3. Great Compensation and Benefits

“One of the most exciting parts of being in the BPO industry, is knowing that you are well compensated based from your performance. If you perform well and made relationships with your clients, or at least made their customer service experience a good one, they can provide you with positive feedback known as ‘promoter’ which you will be compensated to your salary.” According To Annie – that had a salary increase of 25% based off commissions and promoters in one month. 

The BPO industry also provides the benefits of compensating a great amount to your salary based on your performance. This serves as a great motivation to agents that want to earn more than is written in their contracts. 

Some extra pay offs include: 

  • 13th to 16th Month Pay 
  • Profit Sharing 
  • More than 1 HMO dependent 
  • Retirement Benefits 
  • Work From Home 
  • Rice Subsidy 
  • Internet Allowance 
  • Huge Night Differentials 

4. Improved Communication and English-Speaking Skills

“This skill is not only used in the BPO industry, it is a universal skill that everyone is seeking to develop. Specific training of skillsets like proper pronunciation, colloquialism, and confidence in grammar, has helped me mature the way I communicate towards foreigners with native English-speaking skills.” According to Annie. 

Filipinos are born with natural English-speaking skills, but not everyone has the capacity and confidence to speak it fluently. Working in the BPO industry does sharpen your skills not only with English, but also the capability to communicate efficiently.  

5. Promotes Equal Opportunity for Everyone

“The BPO industry and the community is open for everyone that is seeking for a job in the industry. From the LGBTQ+, Elderly People, and Undergraduates, as long as you are willing to learn and enjoy what you do, you will be granted the opportunity to work in the BPO industry.”  

One example is this 73-Year-Old man from Cebu, Philippines who was recently hired as a full-time call center agent. Even surpassing the age of retirement, the old man got a job as a call center agent after lining up at a job fair in their area. He persevered to get through the screening process and was hired on the spot as a full-time agent.  

6. Trains Your Patience

“The overall experience in the BPO industry really tests and trains your patience. You become more understanding and empathetic. Not only do you become patient with your client across the telephone line, but also with your coworkers that come from all walks of life.” According to Annie. 

There will be times when your customer is having an extremely bad day and when you pick up their call, you will be welcomed with anger and frustration just because their internet connection or television isn’t working. In the call center industry, this is a common problem for agents, but they all manage to take calls as it is and not take it personally, that eventually helps them train their patience.  

7. Can Work from Home

“This is one of the benefits that I was able to take advantage when working in a call center. Although, we were required to work onsite during the training period for quality assurance and hands-on training. As a first timer in the BPO industry, I was able to perform with flying colors even working from home. So, there wasn’t any bearing compared to working from home compared to working onsite. It really depends on how you persevere in making your performance better.” According to Annie, that fully worked from home in the BPO industry as a CSR. 

With advanced technology in the industry, you can take and make your calls from your home. As long as you don’t ruin the trust of your Team Leader and integrity of your work ethics, you will be given the opportunity to work from home and enjoy these benefits.  

Cons of Working in a Call Center According to a Customer Service Representative

1. High-stress Working Environment

“The BPO industry does accept anyone as long as they are willing to work and learn. But it definitely isn’t for the weak of the heart. The compensation is great, but you have to work your way to obtain it.” According to Annie. 

The training ground for the industry trains you to be meticulous to details and efficiently multitask while speaking to someone across the line while also throwing their frustrations at you. Although it may not always be like that, it is also important to remember that stressful calls are inevitable.  

2. Work Gets Repetitive

“The call routine is a little repetitive, but the conversation with your customer makes up for it.” – According to Annie. 

It does get a little repetitive overtime but every new encounter with a customer is a unique learning experience that would eventually boost your skills in the industry.  

3. Mentally, Emotionally, and Physically Exhausting

“This is true and I have words to explain about it. Especially getting a dry throat and squeezing your brain juice after your 8-hour shift on a high-demand account like a Telco account with irate customers, your mental and emotional health will slowly disintegrate. But having a coworker who you can share and relate stories with can help ease these symptoms that you can laugh together about.” According to Annie. 

One of the reasons that makes a BPO job a difficult one is that it really drains your overall health. Your mind and energy are constantly adapting and changing to customers with different types of personalities and attitudes where you might have one successful call then the rest will be followed by irate customers, having a bad day vice versa. Always remember that a call center job will be full of ups and downs. 

4. Inconsistent Work Arrangements

“Your work schedule and arrangement can change with given prior notice. Like changes in team members and shifts. These circumstances might happen based on your personal and team’s performance. Several reasons like pulling out of company’s account, change in work operations and workflow, and lacking of manpower in an account can be one of the several reasons where you are forced to have a different work arrangement in the industry.” According to Annie. 

5. Dealing with Irate Customers

“One of the most dreadful disadvantages of working in the BPO industry is dealing with irate customers most of the time especially in telco and billing accounts. When foreigners learn that you are a Filipino, they will sometimes become racist, rude, and always want to be transferred to an American agent even when you’re speaking at a native level of English. They also yell, curse, and spill their anger and frustrations towards you even at the start of the call. There are times where they wouldn’t want to follow the call guidelines and ask for dispatch services without going through the troubleshooting process, especially in telco concerns.” According to Annie in dealing with irate customers. 

The good thing is, there is a policy with regards to racism of customers towards the agent. Once the customer shows signs of racism, a certain number of warnings can be given by the agent. If the customer hasn’t stopped the racism, the agent then can end the call by saying a closing spiel which they have the right to drop the call, protecting the agent against these types of abuse and maltreatment. 

6. Possible Graveyard Shifts

“Personally, I prefer graveyard shifts since it’s much peaceful and you’re more focused in making calls at that time of the day, which is essential when you’re working in a call center. You wouldn’t want your client to hear a lot of background noise during the call. Although the disadvantages of working in a graveyard shift is there is no real sense of work-life balance since most of your friends, family, and peers are functioning in daylight while you are catching some sleep after your graveyard shift.” According to Annie’s experience with graveyard shifts. 

A position or role in the BPO industry is not always certain. There will be constant changes in terms of workload and workflow. There are circumstances where the positions that they offer require you to work on a day or night shift and sometimes may change in-between. Or there will be times where you will be transferred to another account, or to a new team where they lack the manpower to fully function and it will really depend on the team’s account or shift on how and which time you will go to work. 

Frequently Asked Questions Before Working in the Call Center Industry

1. Why Work in a Call Center?

“Working in the call center has its own glory especially with the amount of compensation and benefits you receive from the BPO company. It also provides a wide opportunity where you can expand your skills and open different career paths. Not only that, there is a welcoming community in the BPO industry where everyone accepts you for who you are as long as you have the right attitude.” According to Annie. 

2. What to Look Forward to When Working in a Call Center

“One of the things to look forward to is the money. Kidding aside, meeting new people, getting new experiences, and building relationships while working in a call center is definitely one of the things that you should be excited about.” According to Annie 

3. What Can You Say to Do Those Who Want to Start Working in a Call Center?

“If it something you feel that would benefit you or would do good more than harm, then go for it. Every work experience would bring you negative and positive experience and that’s what makes you a better person than you were yesterday. From all the things that I have mentioned, all of these pros and cons will definitely help you in building a solid career foundation that would most likely give you an edge with the skills you will learn from the industry.” According to Annie’s career growth and development. 


With regards of the image by the call center agents in the Philippines, a lot of people look down on call center agents. Although it’s one of the most fulfilling jobs and careers that would build a strong character as you make your way to your desired path. It really is a stressful job that not everyone can handle, yet no one appreciates them as much. These call center agents are the ones that assist you when you buy food delivery through landline, when your cable or internet gets disconnected, or when you inquire about your credit card balance.  

For BPO Companies

Just a thought, if you are a small business owner or a company that is looking to outsource a BPO and looking for a Seat Lease for their call center operations, check out how Weremote can help you establish your startup BPO company instantly with flexibility at cost-effective rates to help you start your dream team of call center agents through Weremote’s BPO & Call Center Seat Lease.  

On the other hand, if you are a foreign BPO company that is looking forward to invest and start operating their team of call center in the Philippines, Good news for you. Tax benefits such as tax incentives, tax exemption, if your BPO company is in the special economic zones, and 0% VAT charge if your company is outside the special economic zones. 

Click here to contact us and we will get back to you within 1 business day or sooner to help you start in building your team of call center. 

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