Marketing manager corrects myths about call center jobs
Marilyn Ventenilla, the communication and marketing manager of Teleperformance Philippines, provides fresh insights about working in the call center industry. Contrary to myths that being a customer support representative is a boring job, she says it is actually an exciting career that one can pursue as a long-term profession.
“When we communicate with students, we remind them that there is a good, progressive career waiting for them at Teleperformance,” Ventenilla says in an interview with Manila Standard. She says aside from call center agents receiving income above the minimum wage, they are rewarded with various incentives and get the chance to work in a dynamic environment filled with opportunities such as job promotion and overseas work.
“We had senior executives who started out as agents and they moved their way up. From contact center agents, they became team leaders, then supervisors, assistant call center managers, and then they moved up to become contact center managers, site directors, vice presidents and executive vice presidents,” says Ventenilla.
She says these people love their jobs, as evident in their long years at Teleperformance. She recalls that in 2012, Teleperformance recognized 400 employees for spending at least five years in the company, including some who have stayed for 10 to 15 years.
“If anyone will be eager to learn and be passionate about keeping their jobs and growing with the company, there is a career waiting for them,” she adds.
She says the basic pay of BPO employees starts from P14,000, but the gross salary actually reaches P19,000, if all benefits and incentives are to be included in the tally. “But this depends on the capability of the employees and the account that they handle,” she explains.
Ventenilla says higher positions in the BPO hierarchy also command better incentives and salaries, and it is not uncommon in the industry for people to get monthly income above P50,000.
She disputes that call center agents are bored by the simplicity of their jobs. “Taking calls is actually a very challenging role, because you get to interact with people from different countries. You have a very consultative role. They come to you and they consult you for their problems and issues and you offer solutions to them,” she says.
“It is not just taking calls and answering some basic questions but trying to give solutions to them. That is a very challenging role that requires strategic thinking, logical thinking and of course extra customer service,” she adds.
Ventenilla says being an expert in customer service prepares agents for leadership positions. “It is a very important role for them. If they become experts in that capacity, that will already prepare them to assume bigger leadership responsibilities,” she says.
She says Teleperformance offers competitive package to its employees. Non-monetary benefits include free flowing coffee or tea, affordable meals in the cafeteria, and opportunity to use the sleeping quarters, the lounge, gym and other facilities of the company.
Teleperformance employees also get the chance to participate in various activities such as sports fests, fun run and family day programs as well as join the company’s many corporate social responsibility projects to build homes for the poor or preserve the environment.
Globally, the multinational company operates 270 contract centers in 46 countries serving 78 markets. It has over 100,000 computerized workstations, manned by 138,000 employees. Ventenilla says Filipino employees have the opportunity to train or work in other sites of Teleperformance across the globe.
Teleperformance established its first facility in the Philippines in 1996. “We opened our operations here in 1996 and we had our first base in Taguig. We had 100 employees then and that has grown to 17,000 employees today,” says Ventenilla.
The company now has nine sites in the country, including seven in Metro Manila, one in Bacolod City and another in Cebu City. The company will open two more facilities soon, including a site in Antipolo and another in Davao, which will involve hiring 2,000 more this year.
Ventenilla says the fact that Teleperformance has been operating in the country over the past 17 years only shows that its employees can have a long-term career with the company.
“Teleperformance is one of the more mature BPO companies in the country having been here for 17 years. In fact, we are celebrating our 17th anniversary on April 24. That already gives us a good time frame to really understand the market and be mature in serving the customers and giving opportunities to the talents,” she says. RTD