Contact centre operator, call centre assistant
Call centre operators answer enquiries from customers by telephone, email, webchat, text and post.
Salary range: £13,500 to £28,000
How to become a call centre operator
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You can start by doing a course like:
- Level 1 Certificate for Introduction to Customer Service
- Level 2 Certificate in Contact Centre Operations
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
You could get into this job through a customer service practitioner or contact centre operations intermediate apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
There are no set requirements for applying directly for jobs, though employers may ask for some GCSEs. Basic computer skills and admin experience can be useful.
If the job requires more specialised knowledge, for example on an IT support helpline or an advice service, you’ll usually need a relevant qualification.
Employers look for people with personal qualities like confidence and a good telephone manner. Job interviews often include practical telephone and keyboard tests.
Temporary work can be a useful way to get started in this career and can lead to permanent jobs.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with others
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- excellent verbal communication skills
- active listening skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
Depending on your role, your day-to-day tasks may include:
- answering calls, emails and web chat enquiries from customers
- making telesales and market research calls to new and existing customers
- dealing with customer orders, card payments, enquiries and complaints
- advising about products and services
- supporting customers to fix computer problems
- offering counselling, welfare and benefits advice, legal information or help with careers
- updating customers’ records on computer databases
You could work in a contact centre.
Career path and progression
With experience and training, you could progress to team leader and management level.
You could also move into human resources, resource planning, marketing and training.