Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service


Also called : CBX Operator (Computerized Branch Exchange Operator), Communication Specialist, Information Specialist, PBX Operator (Private Branch Exchange Operator), Switchboard Operator, Telecommunications Clerk

What they do


Operate telephone business systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.

On the job, one would


  • Answer incoming calls, greeting callers, providing information, transferring calls or taking messages as necessary.

  • Operate communication systems, such as telephone, switchboard, intercom, two-way radio, or public address.

  • Page individuals to inform them of telephone calls, using paging or interoffice communication equipment.

  • Relay or route written or verbal messages.

  • Place telephone calls or arrange conference calls as instructed.

KNOWLEDGE


  • Customer and Personal Service
    Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

  • English Language
    Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • Telecommunications
    Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

  • Administrative
    Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

SKILLS


  • Speaking
    Talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Active Listening
    Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

  • Social Perceptiveness
    Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

  • Reading Comprehension
    Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

  • Service Orientation
    Actively looking for ways to help people.

ABILITIES


  • Oral Comprehension
    The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

  • Oral Expression
    The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

  • Speech Recognition
    The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • Speech Clarity
    The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • Near Vision
    The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

PERSONALITY

People interested in this work, will do well at jobs that need;

  • Dependability
    Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

  • Integrity
    Job requires being honest and ethical.

  • Self-Control
    Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

  • Cooperation
    Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

  • Concern for Others
    Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

  • Attention to Detail
    Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

  • Stress Tolerance
    Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

  • Independence
    Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

  • Adaptability/Flexibility
    Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

  • Social Orientation
    Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

TECHNOLOGY

  • Data base user interface and query software

  • Electronic mail software

  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software

  • Office suite software

  • Operating system software

  • Presentation software

  • Spreadsheet software

  • Word processing software

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

  • Preparation

    Some Preparation Needed

  • Education

    High school diploma.

  • Experience

    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed.

  • Jobtraining

    Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

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