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Work from Home: 5 Essentials for Customer-Service Jobs

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Work-from-home jobs are gaining popularity amidst the COVID-19 outbreak as lockdowns and social distancing force people indoors. Over time, this has led to staff releases, pay cuts, and job loss across industries.

In March alone, over 450, 000 leisure and hospitality jobs were lost according to records released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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By April, 20.2 million Americans had lost their jobs, with a further 25% of currently employed persons fearing for their jobs according to a recent Gallup poll.

Consequently, people are looking for different online jobs to survive the times, especially jobs that can be done from home. One of such work-from-home job opportunities in high demand is in customer service.

As grim as things appear, it's not all gloom. Certain industries are witnessing a boom. Grocers, video-conferencing apps, social networks, collaboration software companies, etc, are all experiencing growth. A good example is Amazon, which has hired over 225,000 staff since the lockdown began in order to cope with rising online grocery orders.

Companies in industries like these are actively looking for customer-service representatives to join their workforce. Thankfully, many of these jobs are remote, meaning you can work from home.

In this post, I'll highlight what is customer service, where to find customer-service jobs, required qualifications, expected salary, as well as five essential requirements for work-from-home customer-service jobs during this lockdown.


So,


What is Customer Service?


Customer service is providing assistance to buyers or customers before, during, and after purchase. The goal of customer service is to ensure a smooth buying experience and close the sale in a manner that customers would want to return for repeat purchases.

This is key, as excellent customer service ensures business survival and growth. On the other hand, poor customer service leads to churn and business closure. According to Gartner, by 2020, customer service will be the leading brand differentiator.

Who is a Customer-Service Representative?


Customer-service representatives are also known as customer-care officers, customer-experience designers, contact-centre associates, customer-happiness officers, etc. It is their job to ensure positive customer experiences across all touchpoints of the customer journey.

In other words, customer-service representatives are paid to make sure customers are happy and treated like kings/queens.

Importance of Customer Service: Customer-Service Statistics


Customer service can make or break a business. Here are some statistics to buttress this fact:

  • -96% of customers cite customer care as key to securing their brand loyalty (Microsoft)

  • -Excellent customer service is the number-one factor to win customer trust (Dimensional Research)

  • -68% of customers say polite customer-service reps are key to great customer experiences (AE)

  • -89% of customers have left a business and patronized its competitors due to poor customer service (Harris Interactive)

  • -62% of customers prefer knowledgeable customer-service reps (AE)

  • -Americans will spend 17% more with businesses with great customer service (AE)

  • -Companies delivering excellent customer service generate 4% - 8% more revenue (Bain)

  • -⅓ of customers will never return after just one bad customer-service experience (AE) and 56% have withdrawn their business due to poor customer-service experience (Microsoft)

  • -67% of customer churn won't occur if complaints are resolved the very first time (Ameyo)

  • -50% of millennials have complained about a brand on social media (Microsoft)

There are hundreds of statistics showing the importance of customer service.

For the above reasons, businesses pay extra attention to their customer-service teams and are encouraged to treat their customer-service teams well as the success of the company depends on them.


So,


What are the Minimum Requirements for Customer-Care Representative Jobs?

Minimum requirements for remote customer-care jobs include:

  • -Work authorization

  • -High School or Diploma

  • -Computer (4GB RAM, Windows XP and later, webcam,

  • -Computer literacy

  • -Knowledge of MS Word/Office

  • -Antivirus software

  • -Typing speed of up to 30 wpm

  • -Access to dedicated computer

  • -Fast broadband internet connection (Cable, DSL or Fiber, no Wi-Fi)

  • -Headset with microphone

  • -Dedicated noiseless workspace

  • -Bilingual

  • -Research skills

  • -Well organized

  • -Ability to multitask

And,

What is the Expected Salary for a Customer-Care Representative?

As expected, customer-service salary differs from place to place, state to state, and from company to company. Education and experience also count.

Below are starting rates for several customer-service jobs we came across:

  • -Enhanced Recovery Company: $9 - $10/hr

  • -American Customer Care: $10-$12/hr

  • -ROI Solutions, LLC: $10-$13/hr

  • -Williams-Sonoma: $12/hr

  • -MissionSide: $12.26/hr

  • -Faneuil, Inc: $12.50/hr

  • -Vivint Smart Home: $12.50/hr

  • -SpreeTail: $13/hr

  • -LQ Digital: $13/hr

  • -Cotiviti, Inc: $13/hr

  • -FirstSource HealthCare: $13+/hr

  • -QVC: $13.25/hr

  • -Asurion: $13.5/hr

  • -Heard & Smith, LLP: $13.5 - $16/hr

  • -SolvOne: $14/hr

  • -Majorel: $14/hr

  • -Nuts.Com: $16/hr

  • -Teleperformance: up to $17/hr

  • -Navient: $17/hr

  • -WSECU: $16.14 - $24.21/hr


Source: Indeed.Com

Following are:

5 Essentials for Successful Customer-Care Jobs

To succeed as a customer-care representative, you'll need certain customer-service skills like:

1. Communication Skills

Effective communication is two-way, it involves listening and feedback. A good customer-service representative not only listens to the words customers say and how they say it, but they also actively listen for customer's intentions and emotions.

Customers usually contact support when they are frustrated or need help. They must be met at the other end of the line by someone who is calm, calculated, who has empathy and sympathy. This can calm the customer, help them better express themselves leading to quicker resolution.

Under stress, customers often mix and muddle up their terminologies. A good customer care rep should be able to guide the conversation and glue the pieces clue by clue until it makes sense. This is the ability to process information.

Next is feedback or the ability to present feedback based on information provided and processed. This also includes the ability to say no, to break bad news, or to seamlessly escalate customer complaints. For these, excellent grammar and writing skills are key.


2. Organizational Skills

It is important that customer-service personnel stay organized. This is even more important when working from home. This may not be a biggie if you live alone, but for couples, parents, or adults with siblings, this can be an issue.

One of the requirements for remote customer-service jobs is the availability of dedicated, free-of-clutter workspaces. Your desk and home office space should be well organized and soundproof.

You should also be able to effectively manage talk-time per call. Avoid unnecessary chit-chat, and reduce call queues, because customers hate to be kept waiting, especially when they call non-toll-free lines.

You should also be able to prioritize effectively using to-do lists and other task-management tools. Know when to do things, whether now, later, or never. This will boost your productivity and help you close more cases.

3. Problem-Solving Skills

As mentioned, customers often call customer care when they have problems. It could be problems with operating hardware, installing software, or activating a feature. If you're the one your family and friends call when they experience glitches, then this may be the job for you.

A good customer-care representative is creative, you never know what a customer might throw at you, but you must be prepared for eventualities and be on top of your game. Which brings us to emotional intelligence.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, emotional intelligence is "the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically."

Your research and analytics skills should also be top-notch. This is useful when customers need answers and need it fast. You should also be able to troubleshoot effectively and know several ways to solve a problem.

Your decision-making and teamwork skills also need to be up there. Sometimes you need to know when to decide to escalate an issue to someone in position to help. These skills will help you solve problems faster and better.

4. Good Computer/Technical Skills

When working from home, your computer is your best friend. Customers can contact you via live chat, email, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Zoom, or any other channel your company uses. Hence, you need a good computer to make you more effective.

A 4GB RAM, Windows 7, 32-bit computer with webcam should be good enough for starters, but the higher the better. You should also have 24/7 power and broadband internet access. You will need a headset with microphones.

Depending on your line of work you may encounter customer-service software like ZenDesk, FreshDesk, ZohoDesk, LiveAgent, WixAnswers, FreshService, etc. Being a fast learner will prove to be a valuable skill as a customer care representative.

You should have typing speeds of up to 25-35 wpm. Machines can malfunction, sometimes when you need them most. So being able to troubleshoot these tools and equipment will be an added advantage when working from home.

5. Knowledge

This brings us to our last but by no means least point, knowledge. According to AE, 62% of customers prefer to deal with knowledgeable customer-care reps. This is because knowledgeable reps tend to know what customers want and help them solve their problems faster.

As a good customer-care rep, you need to be knowledgeable. You should know your company's products or services to a T. Customers can have questions about anything, your failure to understand them or help them solve their problems will increase their frustrations.

With the right knowledge, you will know the right solutions, shortcuts, and commands to execute in order to help your customers solve their problems. This will help you win customer trust and their continued patronage.

You should also know a lot about your typical customer and how their world functions. Such knowledge will place you right where they are and enable you interact with them as peers. You should actually know a lot or a little about a lot of things so you can interact with any kind of customer.

Perhaps, now you're asking

So Where Can I Find Work-from-Home Customer-Care Jobs?

The following are great places to look for remote customer-care jobs: (Please note that some are paid and some are free)

  • -FlexJobs.Com

  • -Indeed.Com

  • -Glassdoor.Com

  • -LinkedIn.Com

  • -JobsMarket.Io

  • -Remote.Co

  • -WeWorkRemotely.Com

  • -RemoteOk.Io

  • -NoDesk.Co

  • -Remoters.Net

  • -Jooble.Org

  • -JustRemote.Co

  • -SkipTheDrive.Com

  • -AwesomeJobs.Io

  • -Workew.Com

  • -SimplyHired.Com

  • -JobsPresso.Co

  • -ZipRecruiter.Com

  • -Workingnomads.Co

  • -PalDesk.Com

  • -EuropeRemotely.Com

  • -RemoteWise.Io

  • -VirtualVocations.Com

  • -Angel.Co

  • -EuropeLanguageJobs.Com

Conclusion

Customer-service jobs are one of many online jobs you can do from home during this lockdown. And there are many perks of working from home. According to reports, here's why people are loving the idea of working from home:

  • -52% love working from home due to flexible schedule

  • -48% say they save money (on commute, office clothes, eating out, etc) when working from home

  • -47% like working from home due to accessibility to their kitchen

  • -45% want to work from home so they can wear whatever they like

  • -44% don't have to wait until the weekend to wash, clean, etc.

Let us know in the comments section if this has been helpful in your search for remote customer-service jobs.

 

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Olu Bunmi Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Olu Bunmi is a Freelance Copywriter, poet, singer and songwriter. He loves writing and sharing useful tips that help readers become better people.

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