the call centre
at work | cigarette break | office parties | biog | news | sponsors | words

Agency: an employment agency, who provide call centres with many of their telephone operators/ex-telephone opertors

Bonus: extra payment to telephone operators for bringing in new staff; a reward to people for persuading their mates to work at the call centre

Campaign: each campaign has its own team-leaders, scripts, data, commission structure, targets and products to sell. At any one time there may be several in progress. There are some campaigns you do not want to be on

Commission: payment made to workers on the basis of sales made. Different campaigns have different commission structures; on some campaigns no commissions are paid until targets are met or exceeded. These campaigns are not popular

Data: information which is used to make calls in a campaign. Campaigns are occasionally hampered by a lack of data, or wildly inaccurate data

Exemptions: in insurance policies, many people and situations can't be covered: for example, members of the armed forces, bungee jumpers, drunks or the under eighteens

Inbound: taking calls initiated by the public, for example, calls made by prospective gamblers wishing to know the opening hours of their nearest casino

Inertia: a sales technique where a prospect is offered something free of charge for a limited time, on the understanding that they will pay after the trial period expires. They are free to cancel at any time, but usually forget

Outbound: calls made to the public, for example, to sell insurance

Objection-handling: In a script, many common objections are listed, along with possible responses to those objections, for example "Did you know Mrs Smith, that in the UK on average 629,000 die each year"

Podwars: a competition between different pods within a team to see who can rack up the most sales. The winners are rewarded with wine, beer or alcopops

Presentation: if a telephone operator manages to speak to the person listed in the campaign's data, they are considered to have made a presentation.

Quality-control: 1) What?

Quality-control: 2) all calls are recorded, and monitored the following day by the quality-control team. If a salesperson is found to have misinformed a prospect while making a sale, the sale is cancelled. Similarly, if a salesperson has made improper sexual suggestions, the sale is also cancelled

Script: a program on the computer system used to make sales. Each campaign has its own script. Deviation from the script is possible, within limits established by quality-control (see above)

Southend: according to a 2002 survey by the Addeco employment agency, Southend is the 187th best location in the UK for call centres

Target: expressed in sales per hour, and also as a number of sales to be made by a whole team in a single session. Two sales an hour (per person) is considered to be pretty hot stuff, even on inertia campaigns

Team-leader: an experienced call centre worker who is responsible for a team on a single campaign. Duties include meeting targets, calculating commissions, training, giving out incentives, keeping staff motivated, sacking staff and dealing with day-to-day disasters

TPS: Telephone Preference Service, a government run database of people who have requested never to receive sales calls. Ever

back to top