Faced with unprecedented levels of disruption and redundancies caused by COVID-19, many have found themselves in need of a new direction in their career. Hospitality and retail workers are some of the worst affected, particularly as their employers spent months completely shut down, leaving business owners with very limited ways to generate revenue.
For three months of lockdown, many shops, restaurants and bars were forced shut by the UK government, and for weeks before that, the government had advised the public to avoid such venues. This had a devastating affect on their bottom line, and 30% of pubs have suggested they may have to shut. Retailers too haven’t escaped the brunt of redundancies, with high-end department stores shedding hundreds of jobs between them.
Recovery is certainly on the horizon, and the country does show signs of a gradual upturn. With initiatives like Eat Out to Help Out driving footfall into restaurants, recent statistics show that the average is down just 14.8% year-on-year as of August 8th 2020.
However, with budgets tight, many hospitality and retail workers are either furloughed or at a real risk of redundancy. With many unanswered questions, sometimes it feels as if the coronavirus recovery is balancing on a precipice and no one knows what the future holds for the country. Will there be a second lockdown? Will the pubs have to shut again for the schools to reopen as Chris Whitty has warned?
The pivot to working in a call centre
Hospitality and retail workers are rightly concerned. If there are no jobs available, what’s next for them?
That’s where we can help. At Search we have been making a difference to people by helping them re-evaluate their job search; guiding them towards the sectors where there are jobs and immediate starts available.
If you have previously worked in hospitality or retail, you will have many transferrable skills that are highly sought after by call centres. Whilst you might think you’re out of luck in the current climate, there could be many local employers who would consider you an asset to their team.
We have highlighted the top transferable skills that retail and hospitality workers can put to good use in a call centre.
1. Customer Service
Hospitality and retail are both industries that focus on creating a memorable experience for customers, and providing a top class service. This skill comes in very handy when working in a call centre. Turning a negative into a positive, making the customer feel like they matter and that they are being taken care of, are all vital skills in a call centre environment too.
Good communication skills, both oral and written, are important for call centre roles. Any previous experience in dealing with people, be it colleagues, customers or clients, will help. It may sometimes be necessary to provide an easy-to-understand explanation over the phone, or give some news that the caller may not be pleased to hear.
Listening is another essential skill honed within retail and hospitality that is transferrable to a call centre environment. Workers that have patience and experience with complaint handling can often turn a bad situation around, perhaps with a dissatisfied customer. This kind of experience and attitude is invaluable to call centre hiring managers, and should be emphasised on your CV for any subsequent applications.
This one is very important, and it is something that most retail and hospitality workers will have in droves – resilience. As most of us are aware, working in a public-facing role can often be challenging, and that is no different whether you are over the phone or in a shop.
Having a thick skin, and the resilience to move on to new tasks despite some ongoing set-backs is key. Patience and perseverance, whether in person or over the phone, will set you up for a long and fruitful call centre career.
“We’ve received quite a large number of enquiries from retail and hospitality workers who have the skills you need to succeed in a call centre; particularly because a good deal of these roles offer job security which appeals to those who are out of work due to the pandemic. Many candidates have also found the hours more sociable, working evenings and weekends on a rota basis rather than the fixed shifts that you tend to find in retail or hospitality.
More and more candidates are enjoying the increased earning potential you find in working in a call centre; where bonuses can significantly boost your income.”
Here at Search Call and Contact Centre, we’re always looking for candidates who have gained valuable skills and experience in other sectors. We can make a difference to your job search by helping you redraft your CV to stand out, even with limited experience. I’d encourage anyone who is interested in finding out more to get in touch.' said Rachel Taylor, Search Call and Contact Centre
COVID-19 has seen more people pivoting within their career than ever before, taking the opportunity to start over in a career that is flexible and steady. If you’re currently looking for work, then take a look at our call centre jobs. Or if you’d like to talk to one of our call centre experts for advice on moving into the industry, then get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
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