Call Centre Operator


What does a person in this occupation do?

Call centre agents also known as call centre operators respond to questions and inquiries, about products or services and handle and resolve complaints. Call centre agents are a first point of contact between the company and the customer. As such they serve an important public relations role i.e. of representing the company to the customer. Customers may be individual consumers or other companies.

They communicate with customers through a variety of means—by telephone; by e-mail, fax, or regular mail correspondence; or in person. Some customer service representatives handle general questions and complaints, whereas others specialise according to the product or service. The service needs of customers vary from one request to another and should be treated accordingly.

Most call centre operators deal with routine questions and requests for customers. For instance, the New Accounts department may have call centre agents helping customers with new products or services and general complaints about service. In handling customers’ complaints, agents attempt to resolve the problem according to guidelines established by the company.

An additional function of most call centre agents is to make changes or to update a customer profile or account information. Call centre agents have access to records of transactions and update and maintain databases of information. Account information can be pulled up on a computer screen while the agent is dealing with the customer. The advantage of this is that the agent can answer specific questions relating to the account and deal with these queries immediately. Customer service agents have often provide standard answers to deal with common customer questions or queries. They also have guidelines for dealing with complaints.


Personality Traits

  • Ideally a Call Centre Agent should possess very good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Must be well-versed in the required language
  • Courtesy and telephone etiquette cannot be overstated and are vital to good customer feedback
  • Being able to work shifts (often after hours) is a prerequisite for the job
  • Understanding of what customer service entails
  • Typing skills and computer literacy
  • Ability to handle stress
  • A friendly, positive disposition


Learning Pathway

Working as a Call Centre Agent / Operator may be the first step on the ladder to success. As one learns more about the company and show positive attitude, the company may then train you for a higher position with more responsibility and more pay.

Some Call Centre Agents / Operators may be employed with no experience. You will then receive on-the-job training.

Other companies expect previous call centre experience. Call centre training will obviously be an added advantage and will give you a heads-up on other applicants applying for the same position.

The following are recommended as qualifications:

  • Matric Certificate
  • Call Centre courses/qualifications
  • Computer Courses
  • Contact Centre Operations Learnership – NQF Level 4


Employment Avenues

  • A wide selection of commercial Call Centres including Bank Call Centres
  • Government departmental Call Centres
  • In-company Call Centres
  • Insurance companies
  • Telephone companies
  • Wholesale establishments such as mail-order and Internet-based companies