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How to make BPO jobs interesting!

March 28, 2005

what skills do call centre professionals need?

What can you, a working professional who wants to join a BPO, bring to the table?

illustration Our expert Nasha Fitter answers your questions:

Could you give us some tips to crack call centres interviews?

Also, tips to improve voice quality would be appreciated.

- Rajshekhar

Call centre interviews test your ability to listen, speak English correctly and have a neutral accent.

I suggest you watch American television programmes. Make sure you are familiar with the accent. Tapes given in TOEFL books are also useful for listening comprehension.

To improve your English skills, read magazines like The Economist and pay attention to how sentences are constructed -- the use of nouns, verbs, etc.

To neutralise your accent, practise elongating your vowel sounds and sharpening your consonant sounds. 

I have an engineering degree and worked with a call centre in India for four months before I left for London to do my MBA. I now work as a branch manger with Microhard Communications.

I want to return to India and would like to apply for a managerial position in a BPO. What are my prospects?

- Gurmeet Pahwa

An MBA from an accredited university and prior work experience in handling a team usually results in a Team Leader to Assistant Manager level position in a BPO firm.

This depends on your experience and the company you are applying to.

Additionally, the role you could play in a BPO would depend on what you have specialised in while doing your MBA (HR, Finance, Marketing, etc).

Finally, your leadership skills and people management skills are important.

Today, the BPO industry has the highest attrition rate despite the good salaries.

The main reason is that the nature of the job is monotonous.

Is there any way to make BPO jobs interesting so as to reduce the attrition rate?

- Paddy

Most attrition in call centres happens due to people joining other call centres -- inter-industry attrition.

The ways that BPO companies can tackle this problem are by creating incentives: in the form of bonuses, vacation packages, loan packages, higher education packages, etc.

I strong disagree with you that age is not an issue in the BPO industry.

I am 39.

Despite my 20-year experience and exposure (including two years in a BPO company), I have been rejected time and again, solely due to the age factor.

- Kannan V

My answer on age was more focused towards young people feeling insecure that they cannot attain a good job because they lack experience.

I firmly believe that young people can attain good positions in companies if they are intelligent and confident. 

In your case, the opposite is happening. I do agree with you that, at times, having too much experience can work against you. This is especially true in industries where managerial promotions can start before the age of 25.

That being said, I know of numerous operational level managers who are above 40. Even in my company, I have hired trainers who are post 40 to focus on our clients. 

In general, I prefer younger trainers. But I make exceptions for those who possess youthful energy and who can relate to people under the age of 30.

Our BPO clients have been very happy with these trainers and have never complained about their age.

The point here is that, yes, it does get more challenging as you get older to work in certain industries. But there are people who have overcome this challenge.

I have a vernacular accent.

Could you suggest tips I could use to improve my pronunciation as I want would like to try for a voice process job. 

- Sheela

Try to make sure 'air' comes out of your mouth when saying 't, p, k and ch' sounds. 

Focus on elongating your vowel sounds.

Speak slowly. One way to do this is to elongate your vowel sounds -- this will automatically slow down your rate of speech.

Listen to English songs and sing them out aloud.

Make a habit of watching news channels like CNN and BBC, so you can pick up global pronunciations.


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  • Got the skills for a BPO career?
  • Assess your BPO skills!
  • Why do people join BPOs?
  • Want excitement? Step into a BPO!
  • Rise fast in a BPO!
  • MBAs can work in BPOs too!
  • How to handle abusive BPO customers

    Do you have a question for Nasha? Write to us!

    Nasha Fitter operates Fitter Solutions, a communication and training organisation with expertise in public and interpersonal communication.

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    Number of User Comments: 1

    Sub: regarding bpo

    sir how much salary does an average bpo provides. i m comp engg student in final yr and am interested in joining bpo.what will be ...

    Posted by ajit


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