One of my main reasons for starting this blog is to help you realize you can successfully be part of the work from home lifestyle. Unfortunately, so many of you tell me you can’t get a job because you don’t have the right experience.
Judging by the title of this post, you can assume I’m going to talk about call center jobs.
* Gasp! *
You’re right, but I’m going to take a different approach to this kind of work. Today, I’m going to show you how being a work at home call center agent will get you a better remote job.
And not just another customer service job, either.
Don’t Virtual Call Center Jobs Suck ?
Just to be clear: I’m not talking about a call center job as anything permanent (although that could be a good thing), because – I’m just going to come right out and say it – call centers have a bad reputation. Rigid, outsourced customer service jobs with high employee turn-over rate ? Not a fun day at the park, that’s for sure.
But get this: Call centers have changed over the years, with more companies opening up here in the USA. In fact, call centers are expected to add the most new jobs for Customer Service Representatives, growing 36 % from 2016 – 2026, with an average pay rate of $12.98 an hour.
What I am suggesting is a work from home call center job as a short-term growth opportunity.
These jobs are easy to get, they’ll train you, and there are a lot of them out there. What’s better, the skills you pick up will transfer to other, non customer service jobs. I’ll list the better call center companies later on in the post, so I hope you keep reading.
Here’s Proof Of Better Jobs
Take a look at these 4 job description excerpts. They are with companies that are known for respecting their employees, paying well, and their jobs are remote. At first glance, you might be the perfect candidate; you inherently have the ability to do the job…until you come across some requirements you don’t have.
I’ve highlighted the special skills you may not have right now but will get by working as a call center agent.
Customer Success job with Harvest:
-You’re patient and enjoy solving tough problems. You take pride in explaining and helping others understand problems and solutions.
-You’re an exceptional communicator and you treat people kindly. You can gracefully break down, solve, and explain, even the most complex problems. Listening, talking, and working with people makes you happy.
-Your writing skills are flawless. We mean it. You must have a savvy style and a firm grip on grammar.
–You can de-escalate a tense situation with ease and grace—working through a tough issue or bug with an upset customer not only doesn’t scare you, it’s a challenge you’re eager to take on.
-You’re a hard worker with a history of getting things done carefully and efficiently. You’re thorough—no detail go unnoticed. You’re self-motivated, but also enjoy contributing to a team.
-You have the ability to switch gears quickly and readjust your focus appropriately.
Contract Specialist job with Toptal
-You must have outstanding attention to detail.
-You must be focused on and see the importance of operational efficiency.
-You must be highly organized.
-Your positive, can-do attitude is something you will bring to work daily.
-You must be driven and self-motivated.
-Outstanding written and verbal communications skills, as well as perfect grammar and command of the English language.
–The ability to work under pressure and adhere to tight deadlines while never sacrificing quality.
-Ability to communicate clearly and constantly with teams via Slack and other collaboration tools.
–Remote work experience preferred.
-You must work well with individuals across all functions.
Senior Customer Operations Lead job with Clerky
This is a great fit if you want to work:
… at a customer-centric company where customer support is truly a top priority
… at a company where providing customer support is unusually intellectually challenging
… in a company that strongly values efficiency, autonomy, and self motivation
… with bright people who are extremely passionate about their work
… where you’ll be a key early team member
Group Travel Specialist job with Remote Year
What You Bring
-Minimum of 3 years experience in one or more of the following: travel industry (airline, corporate travel, or travel agency preferred), hospitality, and/or customer service.
-Budgeting experience- ability to build, track and beat budgets.
-Data skills – amazing attention to detail and confidence in dealing with large amounts of numerical and non-numerical data.
-Organization skills – great time management skills, ability to multitask.
–Communications skills – ability to handle multiple, constant communication channels; ability to effectively communicate with program teams and with customers directly.
Here’s Why Working In A Call Center Will Lead To A Better Remote Job
Notice how the above jobs want specialized skills in some aspect of customer service? Here’s what you can gain by working in a call center:
#1 It’s Free Training
Free is always good ! Training as a remote agent usually takes place virtually, is free, and can last up to 4 weeks. You’ll learn how to use different communications and time tracking software, which is something that a lot of companies rely on. You’ll also hone your everyday organization, detail-orientation, and communication skills.
#2 Acclimates You To Working Remotely
Wonder why the above job description for Toptal wants previous remote work experience? So they know you have the chops to actually work remotely. It’s no secret that working from home comes with distractions and temptations but there are obstacles, too. Not only things like a proper work environment, technical equipment, and knowledge in communication tools, you have to learn to be autonomous. These are things that aren’t always considered when looking for a remote job, but as a home-based call center agent you’re set up for success because of their rigid ethic. And don’t worry…a lot of companies aren’t nearly as rigid as call centers.
#3 You Learn Focus, Motivation, and Discipline
Focus, motivation and discipline are three of the most important aspects to working remotely. You need to have the self-discipline to be motivated enough to get the day’s work done, all while focusing on doing your job to meet your expectations. Having experience in a call center environment will amplify these skills because you often have to work within a set schedule and have performance goals to meet.
#4 You Thicken Your Skin
“Eh. Don’t let it get to you…” My co-worker once told me after a very moody vendor wanted his money. Oh, just to clarify, not my money – the company I was working for wasn’t paying their bills. Anyway…Sometimes you really need a thick skin to get through touch situations. A lot of call center jobs have you reading a script, trying to appease your customer with a bunch of words that mean nothing to an angry person. But it’s true, sticking with the script lets you put your emotions aside and not take anything personally.
#5 You Learn Different Ways To Handle Situations
When something goes wrong with…ummm…my satellite tv (a frequent occurrence, by the way), I like to try anything on my own before I call “them”. And because calling customer service is a last resort for a lot of people, complex challenges are the norm. When you work in a call center setting, you learn how to get to the bottom of a situation in a relatively short time. Your outside-the-box problem solving skills will evolve from a little band-aid solution to a full-on remedy. A big turn-on for a lot of companies.
#6 You Build On The Skills And Experience You Already Have
Work at home call center agents might have hundreds of conversations each day, resolving each issue with the skills they’ve developed over a short period of time. From offering a friendly greeting to escalating a concern, each call is a learning experience that builds on what comes naturally to you. You learn how to de-escalate and put out fires, polish-up your organizations skills, and become comfortable working alone. And most importantly, you learn your boundaries.
Be A Virtual Call Center Agent Now, Be A Better Remote Worker Later
So now that you know why I suggest starting your remote career as a call center agent, it’s time to get busy. Here are some of the better companies that always seem to be hiring:
I have read elsewhere that the pay is about $10.00 an hour and you work on a temporary basis as an Independent Contractor.
Most of the Virtual Customer Service Agent jobs with Amazon are seasonal and the pay is $10.00 to $12.00 an hour.
Part-time, with the possibility of going full-time during busy times, Apple’s At Home Agents perform chat and phone customer support.
Blooms Today hires Independent Sales Representatives to assist customers with flower bouquet purchases. They hire in all states – except California, Florida, and Texas – with an average salary of $15.00 an hour.
You can work up to 40 hours a week as part of their virtual call center team, providing services in customer or technical support.
With the pay starting at $12.50 an hour, a full-time Customer Service Representative will assists customers with their vehicle rental.
Nexrep has a nice selection of clients, such as Grubhub and Priceline, and they are pretty flexible with the hours you get to work.
Their work at home jobs are available to residents of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. The positions the frequently have available are Customer Account Specialist, Technical Support Representative, and Customer Care Representative.
The jobs with Uhaul are typically part-time, temporary, with one weekend day and holiday requirement.
Hiring in the following 14 states: AZ, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, MD, NJ, NV, NY, OH, TX, UT, and VA, VIPDesk has openings for Bilingual Customer Care Reps., Customer Service, and Inbound Sales. You can read their FAQs here.
As an Independent Contractor, a Working Solutions Agent can work flexible hours and earn anywhere from $9.00 to $30.00 an hour, depending on the client program you’re working on. Their FAQs can be found here.
Over to you:
Are you ready to take the leap and start working from home as a call center rep. ?