Call-Center Culture, All the Difference in the World

Male call center operator with headset
Being a great customer service representative (CSR) is decidedly tough work. Most of us can only imagine what it’s actually like eight hours a day, being on the receiving end of people who might not be in the most agreeable moods. Who better to turn to for insights on how CSRs feel about their workplace and jobs than the Aerotek recruiting specialists who help them manage it all.

Culture matters
Feeling good about what we do for a living is important, and how our success on the job is measured can be a key ingredient in having a satisfying work life. For some of our clients, customer service success is measured in hard metrics like calls handled and average call length. Others measure outcomes like customer satisfaction and problem resolution. According to Kaitlin Morkel, one of Aerotek’s top customer service rep recruiters, this makes all the difference in the world when it comes to ultimate job satisfaction.

“I think it’s important for CSR candidates to understand the culture and environment of a call center. Some call centers are strict on metrics and being at the desk the entire shift. Others are more laid-back and open to longer calls or not being at a desk all day,” Kaitlin told us.

Keeping calm under pressure
Customer service reps working in call centers where they are measured on call length and volume can feel the pressure for much of their shift. We asked Kaitlin how the CSRs she works with keep calm under pressure.

“It’s a great question. I’ve had CSRs tell me they always have something creative or distracting to do in-between calls. Everything from Sudoku, to reading to – my favorite – coloring! I was surprised to find that many of our reps turn to coloring books in between calls. They tell me it helps keep them calm throughout their shift.”

Career pathing
Kaitlin also told us that the best customer service reps are always in very high demand. “Some of my best representatives get ten to fifteen calls a week from potential employers or staffing companies. For the talented professional, it really is a seller's market so they can be very selective about where to work.”

We asked her about the typical career path for the CSRs. “Some of our most talented reps want to be in a CSR role forever. I’ve had contractors who stuck with seasonal call centers year after year because they like the fast paced, sales-driven environment for four months every year, allowing them to run their own business the other eight months. But we also see lots of entry level grads start in call center roles because the company they want to work with prefers to promote out of the call center into other departments – the call center role allows them to learn the company from the ground up!”

Choice is good
We’re fascinated by the different types of people who work in customer service and the reasons they choose their jobs. The wide diversity of work environments and cultures means that the professional customer service rep, especially the talented ones with a passion for their work, have a range of choices when deciding where to work.

If you’re a CSR or considering becoming one, we invite you to create a career management account and to check out our current openings.