If you can talk with anyone and have the gift of gab, you might enjoy working from a call center. These positions are valuable to any company that uses them, as they can be used to onboard new customers, retain the ones they have, or help clients troubleshoot an issue, providing immediate positive results.
Many people still want to connect with a live person rather than wait around for an email or a live chat. Regardless of the technical advances, some people would rather talk on the phone than sit on their computers. This explains why so many companies rely on customer-facing teams working in call centers.
The exciting news is that central hubs employing hundreds of call center representatives are becoming a thing of the past. Now, many call center jobs have gone remote. Continue reading to learn more about call centers and the types of remote call center jobs that are typically available.
A call center is an establishment that makes outbound phone calls or fields incoming ones. Typically, phone representatives manage the calls while keeping track of open tickets and transactions — all from the same location. But as modern technology makes it easier to stay connected from afar, and the workforce transitions to more work from home positions, call centers have tagged along.
Remote call centers work similarly to their brick-and-mortar alternatives. The business outsourcing call center services will provide phone representatives with a headset, microphone, required software, and a computer. Remote phone representatives will likely need to take a course to get familiar with a specific company’s policies, products, and other information necessary for customer interactions.
Just like brick-and-mortar call centers, remote call centers can be reactive or proactive. In a reactive setting, phone representatives will receive incoming calls, mostly acting as traditional customer support. On the other hand, phone representatives working proactively will make outbound calls to create stronger relationships with customers or potential customers and capitalize on opportunities to cross-sell and upsell.
With most call centers running 24 hours, your schedule will vary even when working remotely. However, working from home means you can pick your shifts based on your personal preferences, with the comfort of knowing you don’t need to worry about making time for commuting.
Working in a call center doesn’t require a higher level of education, but it does require several service and support skills. Here are some soft skills that are critical to a call center employee’s success.
- Information Retention - Customers or potential customers do not want to continue repeating their problems. They want a fast solution provided by you, their customer service rep. You need to be able to listen, understand, and fix the customer’s issues in a timely fashion.
- Flexibility - As a customer service representative in a call center, your responsibilities change from day to day and are not always predictable. You’ll need to be flexible in your approach and problem-solving when dealing with unexpected, challenging situations.
- Attention to Detail - Customers have very specific needs. Sometimes, the smallest request can get overlooked, but that doesn’t help the customer or you. A good customer service rep will pay close attention to all of the customer’s needs and do everything they can to satisfy each one. This is a great way to gain employer trust and customer satisfaction.
- Organization - Call center agents are on the phone their entire shift. Not all of the calls get resolved and will require a follow-up. These follow-up calls may take place a day or week after the initial call. The way you organize your open tickets will help you with your follow-ups. Keeping solid notes and keeping your files organized will help you and your customers in the long run.
- Patience - Call center agents may deal with very disgruntled customers. It is important that you have patience and empathy toward your customer. Listening skills are extremely valuable, but you must also be able to patiently solve their issues without taking their frustrations personally. If you aren’t able to solve their problem, the most reasonable thing to do is communicate with them through a level of maturity and respect, so that they will at least leave the conversation feeling heard rather than just brushed off.
Working in a call center could present great pay opportunities, career path building, and personal job satisfaction. Before you choose to work for a call center, though, determine your job needs and career goals.
Some questions to ask yourself include:
- What is your long-term work goal?
- Do you have short-term goals to help you meet your long-term goals?
- What do other people in the field like and dislike about their job?
- Does a job at a call center line up with your career goals?
- Why would you consider working in a call center?
- Do you have the right skill sets, personality, and abilities to be a good employee at a call center?
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about call centers, it’s time to look at some remote roles:
- Customer Service Representatives - This role is the first contact with the customer or potential customer. A customer service rep deals with customer complaints, resolving customer concerns or product issues, and explaining the services and products offered by the company they are representing.
This is typically a shift position, so you can determine if early or late shifts work best for you. Weekend shifts, holidays, and nights are often part of the schedules offered. Most customer service rep positions require a high school diploma or GED, but certain industries may require a college degree or similar experience.
- Specialists - This position is often filled by employees who already have experience in the customer service industry. They handle specific issues or duties within the customer service rep role. Education requirements tend to be the same as a customer service rep, but the expectation is that specialists have a greater understanding of the correlation between guest services outcomes and business success. These roles deal with quality assurance, compliance issues, and product specialties. Other duties may include the ability to work with other departments, attention to detail, and prior successes within customer service rep positions.
- Management - If you have experience and skills that reflect prior management or leadership roles, such as training responsibilities or hiring staff, a management or supervisor role might be what you’re looking for. This position is responsible for evaluating individual and team performance, hiring and training new employees, managing escalated calls, and working with other departments to provide the best customer service. If you have a degree in business, finance, or public relations, this could be a good fit for you.
Deciding if you’d like to work from home in a call center job isn’t a simple task, but with the information provided, you now have a better understanding of what the work might entail.
If a call center job seems like the perfect fit for you, but you prefer working from the comfort of your home, don’t fret. It’s possible!
Call centers have started to shift to a more remote workforce, and the process is largely the same. Once you have your headset, microphone, and computer with the proper software, you can field incoming calls or make calls to customers for any company looking for this service.
Remote work makes it easy to get the job done, and Joblist makes it easy to find such a position. Browse hundreds of remote customer service jobs, from call center agent roles to call center specialist positions, and rest assured you’re getting all available positions in one place.