Call Centre Versus ESL: Which is Which?

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For today, we will be talking about...

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Call centre versus ESL!

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Seriously guys, we will be talking about Call Centre Versus ESL today. I'm sorry if it took me more than seven days to think of a new topic because as you know, I'm not that naturally-borne blogger so the brainstorming of a new topic took a while. I have thought of this topic because I'll be resigning from my current work right now and I'll be transferring to a new one, although I cannot tell the kind of job I have right now and what new job I'm applying for. The point is that I have experienced working in the two industries so I think now is a good chance to blog about it. So if you are planning to working in one of the two fields of work, make sure to finish this until the end.

So what is BPO? It's still call centre. It's just the formal term of the job and means Business Process Outsourcing. If you really don't understand, do you still remember the time when you contacted the customer service of a company because you had an enquiry or encountered a problem in using their product. For example, if you have questions in using Google, you can call their customer service hotline so that their call centre agents can help you. To explain BPO is quite complicated but I hope you get what I mean.

Here is a simulation of how call centre works:

*I apologise. For some reasons, I couldn't embed the videos that I want to embed in here. That's why I'll just attach the link that will lead you to my chosen videos. Please click this link to view how a call centre job works:

What is ESL? It means English as Second Language defining the job as teaching English to races that don't speak it such as Koreans, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Russians, etc. There are basically two types of an ESL class, the online and the personal man-to-man.

This video shows a man-to-man ESL class:

*Please click this link to view an ESL demonstration class:

So what I'm going to speak of are the advantages and disadvantages of working in each field. I won't be explaining much further about their differences because my goal is to explain to you the above mentioned.

Disclaimer: What I'm going to write about may not be true to other BPO or ESL companies. I'm just writing the facts based on my experience.

Let's go first to Call Centre:


1. Higher Pay

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This is the reason why many people in the Philippines would want to try Call Centre, because the higher is pay. Generally, a call centre agent earns from Php 10,000 to Php 50,000 ( USD 185 to USD 900) per month depending on his company, role, and length of expertise but mostly it ranges from Php 15,000 and up and this rate is already enough to help raise a typical Filipino family. Some people also work in this job to earn good income while waiting for the results of their board exam, to support their studies, and for so many other reasons.

2. Lots of perks and incentives

They also depend on the company. You will have bonuses, gift certificates, raffle draws, insurances, and so many other incentives.

3. You will just have to sit and serve the customers via phone.

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Yes, you will just have to sit while talking to customers and you'll get paid big time.

4. Many lines of business and positions to get promoted.

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If your employer sees that you're doing well and determined with sufficient skill, chances are you can get promoted to other lines of business such as chat support and email support or to a higher position like trainer, supervisor, manager, etc, that's why you should always do your job seriously with the best of your abilities.

5. Good for speedy workers

Call centre requires speed when working because first and foremost, you always have to document what your call is all about during the call while speaking to a customer. If working fast is not a problem for you, you may try BPO.

6. Having fun co-workers

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A typical call centre office consists of multiple phone-with-computer cubicles arranged in adjacent rows and columns so if you're waiting for a call to come in your line, you can just speak with your co-workers who are seated nearest to you. You can talk about the things that you love the most and things like that. And by the way, people in a call centre are generally open-minded so they will respect you for who you are. If you want to wear a provocative dress, they won't mind. What they need is respect and they will respect you in return.


1. Speedy is necessary.

As mentioned earlier, speed is needed at a call centre, so if you're a bit of a slow worker, you better think twice before applying to such company.

2. There is pressure everyday.

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The company will give you lots of dos and don'ts. They will make your body and mind crazy because of those rules so you have to endure all of the pain and pressure so that you can earn good money. And example is the AHT. It means Average Handling Time. If the company requires you to have a three-minute AHT, it means that every call you receive should be finished within or in three minutes. Sounds easy right? What if the customer you're speaking to is really angry? Do you think you can finish the call in three minutes? If you're not able to do it, then your evaluation score as an agent will go down, and if your evaluation score keeps on failing, you can get terminated from the job. Also, call centre companies are also strict with attendance. If you have several to multiple lates and absences, you can also get terminated.

3. People talk about sex a lot.

I just want to be frank and honest. If you're planning to work in a call centre, you should be fully aware that a lot of people in there do. I'm not saying that sex is bad but I just want to stress out that to those people who are reserved and conservative, you can still work at a call centre but you need to know that you should still mingle with them because they will be around you and will be your workmates. However like what I said previously, they will still respect you even if you're conservative because they respect each other's differences.

4. A lot of irate customers.

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Among all of the other jobs, call centre is one of the most difficult and most challenging one. Call centre agents may look like they're just doing an easy job because they just have to sit in front of the monitor and take calls but what you don't know is on the other line where there is a person nagging (and nagging and nagging). Imagine your mom scolding you off? Imagine that kind of feeling but it's more than that. Imagine when your customer cusses you to death just because he's having problems in using the service of the company where you are working at as an agent. The worst part is that you're just an agent and you're just there to help him and you have nothing to do with the problem but he keeps on cussing you to death and he's blaming you for something that you didn't do. I mean, where's even the justice in that?

5. There's a lot of stress everyday.

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With the pressure being imposed on you and a lot of standards that you have to strictfully and perfectly meet, you should make sure that you are physically, emotionally, and mentally strong. If you believe in God, you should also be spiritually strong.

Despite those negativities, a call centre work requires ATTITUDE:

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These are the major advantages and disadvantages in a call centre. I will talk about ESL in Part 2 of this blog.

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