Call centre workers, and the nature of the job

From a slightly cynical, and possibly jaded view, are we rather like robots?

Lets face it, we sit at a computer each working day, wear a headset connected up to computer and telephone, and repeat the same few introductory words more than a hundred times in a working day. Alright, the calls might vary slightly from there forward, but not greatly it must be said, most of the words are the same, and just flow accordingly. So yes, its pretty mindless stuff, just perfect for a robot! And yes, its fair to say there are times you just slip into that mindless, robotic state, and…

But equally, current robots just couldnt cope with the variation in calls, however slight, because as we all know, current automated services can offer you various options, but in the end, anything more complex still has to be put through to a human operator. So yes, at present call centre workers are safe in their jobs, but in the future…

Mind, there are times when we call centre workers might be better off if we could just switch off, and go over to automatic robot-like mode at times. I know, I’d enjoy it far too much, especially if we had to undergo some for of mental processing pre-shift, but all the same…just imagine it,

“Welcome to ………, you are through to Stevie, how may I help?…Bleep!”


3 thoughts on “Call centre workers, and the nature of the job”

  1. The thing about technology is that it could be used to free all of us to be truly human, with everyone having enough, or it can be used to make us all part of the machine, all a bit more robotic, with a few getting really, really rich.

    What you describe is a bit of the latter. So the call centre workers won’t lose their jobs, they will just be completely robotized in a generation or two.

    Unfortunately, for as much as you profess a desire to be the robot, you have that so very human, so very creative soul inside you, seeking expression . . . absolutely no use to the CEO trying to maximize his own bankroll.


  2. One of the things that we have in common is that I also have a call center connection…used to supervise in one, and have designed them from a technology perspective. Yes, I know all about how call routing works, those stoopid IVRs, etc… 😀

    Amazingly, the call centers profess to want to move to a “contact center” philosophy, letting the “customer” contact them in any way they desire…voice, chat, email, fax, etc. The problem is that, in order to be cost effective, all the personality is drained out. The all important ‘AHT’ (average handle time) stat annoys the hell out of me. Sometimes a call just takes what it takes. I get the idea that they have to handle all the calls and that there have to be boundaries. But in their quest to get as much volume in, something is just…lost. Efficiency does not always equal quality.

    Plus, you miss out on gems like a call center worker I used to supervise telling a customer, “sir, this is not ‘Let’s Make A Deal’. You don’t get to choose what is behind door #3 because there *is* no door #3”. Ah, good times…. 🙂


  3. Thankfully being a contact centre for the betting shops, we only get phone calls, they dont trust the shop staff (probably wisely) with anything more than that! Yes, when I was in telebetting we had AHT to deal with, but its not a factor in current role, thank goodness.
    And yes, I had a few gem calls back then as well, believe me.

    I’m not sure if ours are amongst them, but I suspect some bosses would like to be able to robotise at least the minds of call centre staff for our shifts if it was possible, at times you feel like one anyway. Especially when the phone keeps bleeping at you lol!

    I might love the concept, just not sure how many others would agree though! 😉


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