Working remotely is no longer just fashionable – it's the best way to earn a living. The freedom it provides, the closeness to the family, the flexibility of working hours and the time and money it saves are some of the reasons why many people are quitting their 8-5 jobs to work online. Due to the high cost of employing a full-time staff, most companies also find hiring remote workers like customer support agents cost-effective.
Basically, a customer support representative attends to customer inquiries, offering timely solutions to challenges related to a product or a service and sometimes may escalate to a responsible department. Online jobs don’t have a direct customer-handling role; making it the best to be done remotely since most customers prefer calling or sending an email as opposed to traveling to a physical office. There are thousands of job opportunities for online customer service representatives, targeting the best in the industry. On the flip side, there are equally many experienced and competent personnel ready to take up these roles. Competition is rife, but you can make it. Here are some tips to enable you to become a successful online customer service representative.
Excellent Communication Skills
Superior communication skills are paramount because it is what the role involves anyway. You will have to respond to emails, receive phone calls and sometimes have to talk to customers directly through applications like Skype. If you cannot confidently communicate, then this is not the job for you. Proper email etiquette and phone skills are mandatory.
Deep Subject Understanding
You must understand the subject well to be able to sort out a customer having a difficult time. It is impossible to advise anyone about a subject you have no clue about or where your understanding is shaky. If you are working for a technology company, for example, you must endeavor to master their products and services. It doesn’t matter whether the employer provides a script or not – make it a point to research further.
Since online customer support jobs entail working behind a computer screen, you must know your way around the computer and the Internet. There are times when you may be required to use some technological applications for managing customers, like CRMs, and it will be difficult if your information technology knowledge is shallow. You should also be a fast typist because you will be required to document the cases you handle or prepare reports. The client may provide some tools, but you sure will have to invest in some headphones, a high speed Internet connection, and a phone, among others.
Work Ethics and Self Discipline
Working online, especially from the comfort of your home can be tempting. You may be coaxed into watching your favorite movie, or go out shopping or grab a glass of wine during work hours. You should treat your job seriously and responsibly, even if there is no one supervising. Avoid distractions when working, and strive to be at your best. It might take some training to realize this, but it is important. One more thing: just because you are free to log into your favorite social network for some gossip or chat with friends, it doesn’t mean you neglect your job. It should always come first when you're on the clock. There are apps that can monitor your screens live and you might be courting your way out of employment if you are caught doing things that aren't associated with the job.
Dealing with Difficult Customers
Customer support is a difficult job. You will often come across and have to deal with insensitive customers who will yell and rant. If you are short-tempered, then you sure will find it difficult to keep calm and acting professionally. Train yourself to calm down, relax your nerves and try to sound normal.
There you have it. You can pursue a successful career as an online customer support agent if you can understand and observe the ideas above.