There are over 7 million Call Centre workers worldwide. The conditions that they work in vary from country to country. Contacting a Call Centre can sometimes be distressing as they work straight from information on a computer screen. Call Centre workers are trained to recognise voice and word signals in order to speed up the call, so they can answer as many as possible. I signed a confidentiality agreement with NHS Direct and can’t say anything about their work other than that they do a great job and that they too are subject to time restrictions on certain calls.
Four years ago Max Your Voice employed a company of virtual telephone receptionists. They were a Call Centre but specialised in working for individuals and companies. The feedback we received from our callers was not good. Eventually we found out that they were working against the clock and had so many clients that they were constantly under stress to move on to the next caller. Eventually we were allocated a team, which we then trained in voice and the telephone answering skills, suitable for our company. The situation improved but we still had problems with people not being given the correct information about Max Your Voice, as not always the same team answered. The team leaders were under great pressure and passed this on to the individuals in their teams. This is widespread according to a survey of Call Centres by Unison. The Press Association’s report on the survey includes:
“Staff in such environments were not able to protect their health as a result of target-driven and closely monitored working operations. Seven out of ten respondents cited eye strain as an issue they faced at work, while more than half encountered problems with their hearing and voice. Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: ‘The results of this survey should be a wake-up call for call centre employers, and Unison demands that they act now before the situation gets even worse’.”
Voice Coaches have been campaigning for over seven years for changes in Voice Care and Use of Voice for Call Centre Workers. We believe that Call Centre Workers, like Newly Qualified Teachers would benefit greatly from Use of Voice and Voice Care training and information.
Call Centre Coaching is available through Max Your Voice. For a breakdown of what we can do contact:
Telephone +44 (0) 20 85422777