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Helpful (5)

If you hate ageism, favoritism, outdated equipment, and a dirty environment, this place is not for you!

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Customer Service Representative
Former Employee - Customer Service Representative

I worked at Sitel

Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO

Pros

1, Medical benefits are not too bad, and includes dental and vision. 2. Very lax (some would say too lax) dress code. You can look like a hobo or freak and work at Sitel (and many do). 3. Reading/drawing/knitting, etc. at your desk is allowed between calls as long as you are in "available." 4. Decent training with enough time to learn, then you are eased onto the phones through the OCP/nesting process. During this time, you are given support from mentors and training coaches. 5. Most of the supervisors are pleasant to deal with and try to give you feedback when they have time. 6. Break room with free internet (even if slow), free "courtesy" phones, and snack machines. 7. The job can be fun and challenging sometimes. 8. There seems to be a fairly good opportunity for advancement if you are young (more on this later). 9. Paid holidays (although not all are paid, and you must use earned "PTO" hours to get paid for certain holidays. 10. Some flexibility in working hours, though not much. 11. Steady 40 hour work week, and no weekends required (for my department anyway). 12. It's a job and in this bad economy, any steady job is better than none.

Cons

Oh, gosh, I don't even know where to start there were so many things I couldn't stand. 1. THE DIRT. Filthy equipment, broken and stained chairs, filthy rugs and cubicles caked with dirt and grime. 2. OUTDATED SYSTEMS. Too many "systems" to learn, most of them DOS-based relics from the 1980s that have never been replaced or upgraded. You can have as many as 10-12 screens in use at one time for just one call, which slows down handle time and lowers quality (which management was always squawking about). These clunky old systems aren't well coordinated, so there is conflicting information and customers told me all the time they'd get one answer from one person and a totally different answer from another. This leads to a lot of irate customers, frustrated agents, and escalation of calls. I remember so many trainees and new OCP agents being so overwhelmed by the overload of complex information and systems they'd quit--the turnover for new agents is very high who feel (rightly) that the amount of work and learning involved is not worth the low pay. 3. Systems and computers constantly breaking down or not working properly--in our call center we had ONE IT person for over 300 employees. If something went wrong, you were supposed to have your coach submit a "ticket" and your problem could take weeks to get fixed, if it ever did at all. 4. "Passing the buck"--when systems or passwords don't work and you are unable to set a new one yourself (which happens often), you are supposed to call the "help desk" at a different location, who tell you they can't help you and to tell your supervisor or IT person, who in turn say it isn't their job and they tell you to call the help desk. Obviously this became an endless cycle of frustration for everyone involved. It's also infuriating when supervisors and some of the agents with mentoring duties act like these ancient and clumsy systems are perfect and somehow YOU are at fault for it not working properly or that you just don't understand how it works. It's NEVER the equipment, systems, or management that are at fault. :/ 5. Passwords have to be changed every 30 days, and sometimes randomly stop working for no reason at all. When you are working with about 5-6 systems that all use different login IDs and passwords this can make you want to bang your head against a wall. More than once I got locked out of one or more systems DURING A CALL. 6. THE PAY SUCKS. The level of work in our department has a difficulty level and learning curve far greater than that of someone just taking catalog orders, tracking packages, or explaining credit card deductions. The training itself takes 2-3 months and requires regular "uptraining" as well as knowing about ever-changing laws and mandates germane to the service we provide. Yet the pay isn't much better than that of a fast food worker. For the level of work , which involves analyzing sensitive and confidential information, and being familiar with aspects of the law, the starting pay ought to be at least $12-$14 an hour. Non-outsourced jobs of this type usually pay in the $30-$40K range. The chump change paid to Sitel agents is UNACCEPTABLE, even for an outsourced company. 7. FAVORITISM and AGEISM. Some agents in our center, almost always very young, became tight with the equally young coaches and supervisors, and seemed to be given extra opportunities and promotions older agents did not get. So you'd get a bunch of kids running around doing offline work, not having to answer calls, "mentoring" new agents, working the assist desk, or watching the monitor to make sure you were not violating your break schedule. These kids could get very loud, talking to each other and laughing among themselves while you were trying to take frontline calls. Promotions or even higher level CSR duties were almost never given to older workers, no matter how hard they worked or how high their metrics. The supervisors were almost all in their 20s. Some of the young agents who mentored or worked the assist desk had a surly, flippant, or impatient attitude. They seemed to have earned their positions due to nothing more than their young age and being BFFs with the coaches. Older agents (over 40) were for the most part treated like invisible "drones" incapable of doing anything other than taking orders from kids and answering frontline calls. It's pretty insulting to have some 20 year old hired 6 months ago who knows nothing call you out for being 5 minutes late from break when you've been employed for several years, have consistently good metrics, and are still doing nothing but taking frontline calls. :/ 10. Attendance policy is too strict. There should be sick days, not just "paid time off" you have to apply for weeks in advance to get approved for. Sometimes things happen you can't plan for, and you shouldn't get an "occurrence" every time you or a family member gets sick and you can't come to work. 11. POOR COMMUNICATION. You are supposed to have a meeting with your coach every week or two, but they'd be so overworked sometimes months could pass by with almost no feedback. It' was also very difficult to talk to the coaches if you had an issue since they rarely had any time to talk because they were usually in meetings or training sessions all day. Sometimes there weren't any coaches around at all, so if your system suddenly decided to shut down or your password stop working you were pretty much on your own. 12. EVERYTHING IS MICRO-MANAGED. This may actually not be Sitel's fault but the fault of its client. There are way too many insignificant details to remember when documenting calls and if you forget even one tiny detail, or document one incorrectly, your quality for that entire month can really suffer based on that one error. These documentation details are for tracking purposes and mean next to nothing when it comes to the actual level of service to the customer or quality of the call. 13. YOU HAVE TO BE A ROBOT. Management doesn't want you to be too chummy with customers, as it drives up "handle time" and you get points off for being "inappropriate" even if you ask how their day or the weather is. Sometimes we'd have to give customers bad news (due to the nature of the job) to but there was no room or time for any compassion or easing the blow . It's all about the bottom line and moving onto the next call. This could be very stressful. There should be "combat pay." 14. The internal "online support" information system is very difficult and inconvenient to use.

Advice to Management

1. Replace the old, broken chairs, ancient computer equipment, and dirty rugs. 2. The pay scale should be much higher for the level of service we provide in our department. We are not cashiers or fast food workers--we are working with very sensitive and confidential information, the job requires a great deal of mental (and sometimes emotional) effort and some savvy decision making, and the pay should be commensurate with that. 3. Re-evaluate the promotion/growth policies. There is far too much favoritism and ageism, with higher level duties being given to young agents who are buddies with the supervisors, and almost no opportunity for advancement for older workers who are just as or more deserving or have more experience. 4. Mentors and assist agents with rude or immature attitudes (or who can't give accurate information) should be removed from those duties (but they rarely are). 5. The requirements for documentation need to be relaxed. The rules for this are far too stringent and too numerous and results in the overall quality of our department never being high enough for management. 6. Streamline the systems--replace all the old, inefficient systems with one or two Windows based systems that don't require DOS commands. This would vastly improve handle time and efficiency, not to mention accuracy of information given. 7. Hire more than one IT person for a call center of over 300 agents. There should be a whole department for this. 8. Redesign the internal online support system to make it easier to use. 9. Designate a few sick days a year for emergencies and illness.

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  1. Relaxed atmosphere. Good coaches and flexible schedule but conflicting expectations of employees.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Call Center Credit Card Representatives
    Former Employee - Call Center Credit Card Representatives

    I worked at Sitel

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere. Very casual dress code. Great training class. Good coaches. Very flexible hours/overtime available all the time. Lots of incentives for making bonuses. (e.g. adherence bonus) Not a sales job, just customer service.

    Cons

    *Since the client at the Sitel I worked for was a bank and we handled credit cards, there was a lot of information to learn (many times irrelevant to the job) and policies are constantly changing. (e.g. every time a new federal regulation is released, it effects how we do our job. It is almost like being retrained every couple of weeks, which is extremely frustrating. *Tons of statistics to meet. *Conflicting expectations of employees. *The quality team is constantly back and forth with either keeping your handle time on calls low or keeping your engagement high. Both stats effect your quality ranking and bonuses. So if you have a short call and meet your handle time goal then you're required to improve your quality or "customer experience", which in turn makes your handle time high. You can't win.

    Advice to Management

    Know exactly what you need of your employees and don't change quality expectations every week because you have low numbers in certain areas. Employees are not numbers on a chart. Put yourself in their shoes. This alone would decrease stress in the workplace.


  2. Lack of Communication

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Sitel

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, Good people that work here.

    Cons

    Horrible communication with upper management and employees. Management keeps getting bonuses but tells Employees no raises in 4 years.

    Advice to Management

    Share the wealth and communicate


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