Queensland is home to the best call centre operator in the country with Budget Direct’s Damian Jeffrey taking out the industry’s highest honour, Tele-professional of the Year for 2012.
Mr Jeffrey said he was humbled to win the award and would use the opportunity to help dispel some of the negative stereotypes surrounding call centre operators and telemarketers.
“You definitely have to have the gift of the gab to be a great call centre operator, but there’s a lot more to it than people realise,” Mr Jeffrey said.
“There’s this perception out there that working in a call centre is a low level job and that all call centres operate from overseas, but that’s just not the case.
“Working in a call centre like Budget Direct is all about people - helping people by finding solutions and giving them great customer service.
“There are still quality call centres based in Australia like Budget Direct where you will get great service and you won’t be put through a series of telephone prompts before you reach an operator.
“Gone are the days of the old, negative stereotypes of working in call centres, it’s a real profession with real rewards.
“Customer service is not dead, it is the cornerstone of all professions and a job in a call centre can provide you with the skills to get ahead.
“It takes a great deal of energy just to talk the amount that we do and you’ve got to be match fit.
“The skills you learn from dealing with different people from all walks of life day in and day out are invaluable.
“It’s your own small business and you can earn as much as you want and run it like you want, and the opportunities for getting ahead at Budget Direct are immense.”
Mr Jeffrey started at the Budget Direct call centre at North Lakes just over two years ago after leaving his high-profile job in sports management to gain a better work/life balance.
The father-of-four and grandfather-of-one was commuting to Brisbane to design player and retail gear for sporting teams and worked up to 80 hours a week.
“I was on holidays when I realised my family was growing up fast and I decided I didn’t want to dedicate as much time to earning money, I wanted to spend more time with my family,” Mr Jeffrey said.
“I came back from holidays, made a decision to change careers, was walking through the shopping centre and saw an ad for the Budget Direct call centre in North Lakes, that was it, I thought I’d give it a go.
“I always spread the gospel about Budget Direct, the fact that you are never just a number, they’re constantly developing you and helping you along.
“So many companies bang on that they’ve got a great work/life balance, but not so many follow through on that promise, Budget Direct does.
“If you’ve got an issue with a family member they’re the first to say ‘no, you need to go home, it’s more important’ and I believe in repaying that loyalty.”
Damian Jeffrey beat 85 entrants to win Tele-professional of the Year.
The award is presented by the Australian Teleservices Association, representing 75 per cent of contact and call centre organisations in Australia.