I have been working at Market Strategies International part-time (More than a year)
Flexibility and freedom on the office floor.
Management/staff: Very friendly and helpful supervisors, managers, secretaries, etc. that go out of their way to make sure you're well integrated with the company and feel adapted to the process with confidence and quality.
Location: heart of the downtown London ON. Every single bus route passing within 200 meters of the work location.
Hours: if you wish to work less hours, you can. If you wish to work overtime, you can. You select your own schedule according to their flexible rules.
Dress code: casual - work casual
Diversity: Amazing coworkers, all unique from dozens of backgrounds and ethnicities, from teenagers to senior citizens.
Dealing with aggressive/angry respondents (very rare)
Occasional long hours of sitting at a computer, though the chairs are actually comfortable
I have been working at Market Strategies International full-time
Flexible time and not very high pressure
A little bit too laid back, doesn't have much challenge at work everyday, benefits not very satisfying
Extremely flexible. You can call in essentially whenever you want and book off time for however long you want within reason. Monotonous work if that is your thing. Training is okay.
I went into this hearing about how it's very flexible and monotonous so I figured this would fit okay with my schedule.
I intended to go to days but I was placed on nights upon hiring which means calling residential numbers to get them to do surveys mostly for their energy companies. Initially it's bearable as you can focus your time at your desk doing whatever but after awhile you kind of get sick of being told off or listen to some guy rant about why we're calling. I prefer days so when I shifted to that, it's when things became a little messy.
Upon switching, I enjoyed the routine schedule and full time hours as I'm a 9-5 person. The day employees were a lot more easy going and most of the supervisors were approachable. There was however a huge shift in policy because you call businesses during the day hours which means less outright hostility but more condescending comments and general run arounds just to try and find the person to talk to.
Days went well for a bit until the rules started to become unusually strict. A common supervisor that I usually had quality assessments from took a bit of leave and suddenly I found myself getting written up for "idling" between calls and not reading verbatim among other minor offences. None of this appears to cause issue in the months before but it became extremely strict when they would tally up my idle time down to the very second to make it seem like I wasn't doing any work. For a 7 hour shift with maybe 45 minutes of break total, idling for a grand total of 18 minutes cannot possibly be this bad?
Over time I found myself beginning to really hate work. I began to look at these surveys critically and found them all to be nothing short of an advertising ploy. When you call on behalf of energy companies in the US, most people have absolutely no choice and question why their company wants feedback in the first place. This is obvious at the usual end of a survey where will try to mention certain efficiency programs or occasionally get them to sign up for things. While they were repetitive nonsense, these surveys were apparently written by university graduates but I have a hard time believing that when there are grammatical errors and needlessly complicated wordings designed for online surveys and not over the phone ones. They're also blatantly copy and pasted templates so you expect to read the same shtick over and over. Some of these calls would literally ask the same question twice in a survey as if the respondent would be too stupid to pick up on that and I found it very aggravating. Time was also an issue. I wouldn't mind reading the poorly written scripts verbatim if they were short but when a survey can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes, (Some go for an entire hour...) you get antsy because if they hang up on you, that's a wasted survey unless you can somehow convince them to finish it at some other date.
So with all this in mind, I tried to do the best job I could. Most completes I had were due to someone feeling pity for me or someone being so bored that they actually had nothing else to do with their time for almost a half hour. Despite this, I got more write ups again for idling or missing certain words (i.e not saying the phrase "exceeded your expectations" three times in two sentences.) and eventually for minor stuff like dispositioning the call wrong or not asking for a person the right way or being too friendly or sniffling? It put me in a bit of a panic mode when I saw that I was being recorded during a call so I tried my best to be as robotic as possible but it just felt like it didn't matter anymore since I was getting nixed for the smallest of things. I somehow went from getting a QA every couple weeks to getting multiple ones in a week from the same two supervisors who rated me 0 or very low meanwhile every other one previously had given me average to good ratings.
I feel that turnover is the major driving force for productivity in this field as it's extremely high and not many can do this for years. Most of the people who are there for long periods of time are there because they are some of the rare ones who can handle this kind of work and if you think that's you, go for it. I feel that the company will put the stress on QA's and such around major slow down times to get new blood in and get the numbers back up to where they want them. Of course this is me being paranoid but when I went from being just another employee to "looks like I'm failing at everything again this week", what am I supposed to think?
All together, this industry needs to be downsized and ignored. Energy monopolies simply want feedback that makes them look good and covertly counts as advertising here and there. Legitimate market research should be compelling and interesting, something you want to do. In some of the "better" centres, you at least get variety by sometimes doing political surveys or other stuff that can help in company and best of all, they aren't wasting people's time but this was almost all the same, all the time.
In terms of what you get out of this job, you get very few breaks (Basically the minimum they can give you which is not enough considering the draining factor of this work.) the lowest required wages, and very little opportunity for growth or development. It's literally a filler point for your life and a point that many former employees reflect on as "so bad it was ridiculous". I know some people who work there for even a few months get incredibly depressed, anxious, and exhausted because the job itself largely attracts people of that nature that find other employment difficult.
So to wrap this lengthy word soup up, MSI is not uniquely bad and it's perks can be quite handy in a pinch but my experience shows that it's not something you want to remain at for more than three months at max else you'll feel stuck. It's
Advice to Management
Management first and foremost needs to tend to the degrading mental health of this industry which is notoriously bad as a whole. People are absolutely miserable and it's really effecting lives. Stop unleashing these rules which penalize people for taking a few minutes here and there to collect their thoughts or use the bathroom. I'd say stop penalizing people for trying to make the surveys logical for respondents but that would require an overhaul which may or may not be in the company's best interest. Every once in awhile, check up on your employees and get THEM to do a survey so you can do better at your location.
Surveys need to be rerouted to be more compelling and useful because I'm not buying the "we care about your opinion" junk and neither are respondents whom by the way should be treated as people and not as just another voice on the end of the phone.
For all the luxury schedule options that lets you work essentially whenever you want, I would trade all of that in (I showed up on time, very rarely late) for better quality of work that doesn't completely drain and depress me.
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I worked at Market Strategies International full-time
Smart people and good work
No real cons. Loved it
Advice to Management
It a good job to work at with great people and great projects.
Some of the job projects can be very long.
Advice to Management
keep up the good work, though i think they should even out the projects more
I worked at Market Strategies International full-time (More than a year)
The people at Market Strategies are great people, some of the best I have ever worked with. There is always something to do as a change of pace. If I was in a different spot in my life, I would have never left. The work/life balance is a great part of Market Strategies.
There wasn't a con for working at Market Strategies. This company gave me exactly what I needed at the time I needed it.
Advice to Management
My manager was excellent. I have never had a more understanding, flexible and knowledgeable boss as I did at Market Strategies. One of a kind!!!
Good job for college student or first job. Old computer programs...boring job..get hung up on alot...some surveys are way too long.
Limited full time opportunities... Boring
People are nice to work with.
The workload can sometimes be overwhelming
I worked at Market Strategies International full-time (Less than a year)
Paid well. Remote work is an option.
Senior level, especially key management not in touch with day-to-day business and employees. Individual goals and career advancement not outlined nor clear. Work environment extremely negative as the culture was nonexistent. Not a team environment. Everyone looking out for themselves and often throwing others 'under the bus.' Very petty and political. Glad to be gone.
Advice to Management
Take a hard look at who is running your IGs. Won't have to dig too deep to uncover the reason for diminished sales and high turnover.
It was a job that paid the bills
Lots of "fire drills", long hours and it was no secret the benefits were subpar.
Advice to Management
Actually staff to the amount of work that needs to be done
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