The IT Call Center Jobs Prospect.
IT outsourcing business is at the moment one of the biggest booms in the employment market, be it in Malaysia or world wide. In fact, Malaysia was ranked as the third best outsourcing country after India and China by AT Kearney. India tops the list because of the cheap labor cost and availability of skilled workers especially in the IT sector, while China gains a lot of interest due to labor cost as well as the materials. One of the areas in the IT outsourcing is the IT call center or customer service center.
And personally for me, as far the call center job is concerned, Malaysia remains a preferred partner compared to those 2 countries due to one reason. Language versatility. Malaysia is well known to be one of the few countries that has skilled workers who are able to speak in multi-languages including English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Cantonese. In fact, we also have call centers that support other languages like Japanese, German, Thai and so on. Really, Malaysia is a host for call centers.
Some of the established companies in Malaysia that provide IT call center services are CSA (Computer System Advisers), IBM, Scicom, VADS, EDS IT Services, Excel Net and Atos Origin. While these companies provide IT call center services to different companies as their customers, some companies also has a sub-division that provides the call center service solely for the mother company. For example, Scope International provides support to Standard Chartered Bank and BASC (an entity of BASF) provides support for BASF Chemicals Company.
Both contractual and permanent jobs are available in this sector.
“How ’bout the salary, boss?”, you ask out of curiosity.
There’s no definite answer for this as this will largely depend on your experience, the company as well as scope of job you’ll be doing. Normally, it comes in the form of basic salary plus other allowances e.g. shift allowance, standby allowance, meal allowance, traveling allowances and all that. If you can speak other tertiary languages like Japanese, German, Thailand and others, most likely they’ll compensate you more with additional language allowance.
As an example, a mid level Support Analyst with 3 years experience and currently supporting Japanese speaking customers may get RM2800 basic, plus RM400 shift allowance and additional RM400 of Japanese language allowance. Yup, a call center job can be that rewarding if you’re passionate enough and willing to learn. The best thing to do to know how fat the cheque you’re getting is always to check with the prospective employer what are your allowance entitlement. And discuss this when you’re already at the job offer and negotiation stage, and not during interview!
The scope of job? As a IT call center officer (some companies call it Customer Service Officer, Support Analyst, IT Analyst and so on), most of the job will require you to attend to customer’s inquiries, complaints and issues and try to solve them over the phone. The scope of problems will range depending on your assigned job scope will be according to your specialization e.g. solving hardware and software problems, email applications, server issues and so on. Unresolved issues need to be escalated to the higher technical team (hence come the 1st level support, 2nd level support and so on).
Basically, the higher the level of support, the more technical the job is (naturally the pay is also somewhat higher) and may require you to solve the issues by remotely accessing the customer’s system or assign a vendor to attend the problems physically. Many of the call center jobs also require you to work on different shifts depending on the region you’re supporting. The shift could be an 8-shift or a 12-shift.
Other than solving technical problems, your performance towards delivering satisfactory customer service will be under close scrutiny too. This will cover the speed, courtesy and follow through. Don’t be surprised when your supervisor ask you to come to his room after receiving complaints that you did not feedback your customer after a problem is solved. Every IT outsourcing company have their KPIs and service level agreement with the customers, for which failure to comply may result in the company thrown off the contract.
Here’s a sample of a job advertisement for call center job:
But always remember, job advertisement itself does not tell you the whole thing. If you’d like to know more details about any of the call center jobs advertised, the best thing to do is to pick up your phone and start dialing.