The Nature of Call Centers and How to Stay Awake.

Stiff competition amongst businesses have paved the way for better customer relations. Since the client is always at center stage, call centers have become a necessity in ensuring that these people who bring in the profits are well taken cared of. Call center agents are always ready to be at their beck and call, not to mention every whim and fancy. Offshore call centers have been in fashion for some time, as the practice has proven to be cost-effective. Outsourcing this aspect of customer services has been a mutually beneficial partnership for all concerned. The trick is just knowing how to stay awake and provide high quality phone services.

Why so, one may ask? Because they are principally located abroad, there may be a significant difference in the time zone. In Southeast Asia for example, it is nighttime when the United States is experiencing daytime. Therefore call center agents are often concentrated in night shifts to answer calls that are mostly made by Americans who are predominantly awake in the mornings throughout the afternoons and early evenings. Although some agents could swear working constant night shifts have made them “night creatures”, Medscape, an online resource offering robust and integrated medical information reports that the circadian rhythm is irreversible. Simply put, this means that humans are generally programmed to be awake during the day and asleep during the night. If this is the case, then workers at call centers who are servicing a part of the globe with an inverted time zone really must learn how to stay awake at work.

Matthew, a middle-aged worker in one call center servicing a high-end company in the U.S., is a dedicated and highly-qualified (perhaps over-qualified even) call center agent in the Philippines. He retired early in his teaching career to use the retirement money for his family. It is a common scenario in this industry to see people similar to Matthew’s background getting a second chance at a career that pays good money considering. But being his age is not easy in the business as he has a propensity to grow tired and sleepy more easily compared to his younger, more energetic counterparts. But his employer would do well to keep him as he is very knowledgeable in conversing intelligently with valuable callers, and is mature enough to get his priorities right. He is a polished gem and his callers are often if not always, highly satisfied with his service and therefore with the U.S. company being ultimately represented.

One ordinary night, he fell into a micro-sleep in between calls. Oh, if only he had known how to stay awake! It was apparently not a very busy night. He was roused by the repeated prodding of his caller, whose call had already gone through, unknowingly for Matthew. Angered, the client asked for his supervisor. As expected, she gave a mouthful and requested that he be fired. Although he was not instantly relieved from work, he was given sanctions which will forever be in his record.

There are ways and means on how to stay awake, but perhaps the one that stands out the most are sleep alarms, for their novelty as much as for their guarantee. It’s TIME to look into them.