The BPO English

One of the most important qualifications that any BPO asks for in their advertisements is ‘command over spoken and written English’. Most of the candidates that come to any consultants that I go to for hiring are rejected because of their poor communication skills. When they are given a feedback, most of them go back home wondering as to what is it that they lack in. They have been speaking good English throughout the interview. These are certain questions in the minds of these interviewees that are never answered.
What does “Command over spoken and written English” mean?
If you are not good at English, does joining a ‘Spoken English’ course help?
Spoken English does not mean that you can put together a few English words and create a sentence. English is a language based on sounds and not words. Most of us who speak English are good at joining words to create a sentence. We have a tendency of thinking in our mother-tongue and translating that into English. This is why at times we err in grammar. Our sentences are not properly framed though they convey a meaning.
BPOs and Call centers largely cater to the western market. This mostly consists of English speaking population who would not understand a sentence framed in the way I spoke above. This creates a language barrier thus affecting the satisfaction and service being provided to these customers, which is normal. Even I as a consumer would not want to speak to someone who does not understand my language or, speaks something that I do not understand.
So “Command over spoken and written English” would mean understanding the way English is spoken and speaking it properly. It also means that you have to have knowledge of the written aspects of English like grammar, sentence framing etc. This would hence mean that joining one of those “Spoken English” courses which promises to enhance your English speaking skills in 30 days or, lesser will not help. Promises from lot of these institutes, that they would help you get into a BPO job is baseless because BPO is not what it was 5 years back. The hiring now is much stricter and quality oriented because of the huge attrition that these companies have to face.
So what do I do if I am not very good at English? We would discuss this aspect in a later post.