Things you need to know about working in a call center and the BPO industry

By October 23, 2020 Careers with SYKES

The BPO industry has dominated the job market in the Philippines since it entered the country over 20 years ago. In just more than two decades, the industry has contributed over 11% of the GDP* and employed more than 1.2 million Filipinos*.

Despite the large population working in this sector, there are still many misconceptions about call centers and BPO companies in general. Due to the confidential nature of the information that agents are handling, as well as strict precautions that companies are taking to avoid fraud, there is only a handful of information made available online.

In this article, we try to shed light on some of the most common questions that we encounter: how call centers operate, what does an agent really do, and the distinction between call centers and BPO. We hope that you find this helpful as you embark on your search for your next career.

Working in a Call Center vs. Working in the BPO Industry

While most BPOs provide call support, hence being dubbed as a “call center”, most companies actually cater to a larger scope of service outside of calls.

To understand this further, we would need to know their main differences. BPO means Business Process Outsourcing and what the industry does is to provide support for other companies. As the name indicates, this is a way for other businesses to outsource tasks to make their processes more efficient. During the earlier years of BPO, most clients are outsourcing customer service support, which usually comes through calls. Thus, “call centers” were born. However, as technology evolves and new communication channels are developed, companies started to outsource other processes as well such as back-office, chat, and digital support.

At SYKES, we provide an array of holistic solutions for our clients, mostly focused on digital transformation and solutions. While part of our business still handles calls for some of our accounts, we also have developed new services and support, which means as a SYKESer, you will have a multitude of opportunities that you can explore within the company.

Working in the BPO Industry: What will you do as an agent?

As we’ve mentioned, the BPO industry has evolved and now provides a larger scope of services. While responsibilities usually depend on the account, here are some of the common tasks agents handle on a day-to-day basis:

Create reports and organize information

Part of an agent’s work is to create reports for each of their interactions and support. Attention to detail and flexibility to understand what is being asked by the customer is important to create an accurate record of your daily tasks. 

Provide thoughtful solutions

More than just troubleshooting issues, at SYKES, we ensure that we can help people, one caring interaction at a time. This means that our solutions, no matter the type of support, are always carefully crafted. We aim to provide long-term solutions that satisfy both our clients and their customers; thus, every response must be well-thought out and aligns with what they need.

This also means that your task does not end with completing what is asked; it means that, as an agent, you must know how to solve problems and do it with grace under pressure. You must analyze concerns and fix them in a timely manner as each interaction will only last for a few minutes.

Ensure that the customer experience is top-notch

Building rapport is an important aspect of the job. Aside from being able to answer queries, you must also aim to make each person feel heard. Creating a good customer relationship sounds easy, but when you have to do it every day and interact with hundreds of people, it will need dedication and hard work to pull it off.


Now that you know the basics of what it means to work in the BPO industry, you’re ready to take the next steps! If you’re interested in learning more about online job applications and opportunities, you may read our other posts below: