5 Tips For Getting Hired At A Remote Customer Service Job

By Sky Ariella and Experts
Jul. 26, 2022

Find a Job You Really Want In

If you want to work from the comfort of your own couch, a remote customer service job might be the answer that you’ve been searching for. It’s an accessible field to work in remotely, whether you have prior in-person customer service experience or are interested in making a career shift.

In this article, we’ll share tips on how to get hired for a remote customer service job, as well as more information about what working in customer service remotely generally looks like and requires.

Key Takeaways

  • You can find remote customer service jobs by searching online job boards, asking your professional network for leads, and researching companies that often hire for these roles.

  • Earning an online customer service certification can be beneficial in helping you get a remote customer service job.

  • Some customer service jobs may allow you to negotiate a remote work schedule even if they aren’t listed as remote.

5 Tips for Getting Hired at a Remote Customer Service Job

5 Tips for Getting Hired for a Remote Customer Service Job

  1. Consult a reliable remote job-search website. Many reliable job-search websites specializing in virtual work have emerged with the rise in attraction to remote work opportunities.

    Even before the pandemic, people were pursuing location-independent work, and there are many websites out there to provide these types of job listings. While a lot of these remote job websites cater to particular niches, some examples with available customer service positions include:

  2. Ask around your professional network. The purpose of building a strong professional network is to turn to colleagues as a resource.

    If you’re someone who constructed an entire career history of customer service jobs, then you probably know at least a few people with knowledge of remote opportunities in the industry. Reach out to them professionally and inquire.

    Even if you’re new to the customer service field, ask around to people in your former professional circle. You never know who happens to need a customer service representative working remotely for their organization.

  3. Research companies that hire remote customer service workers. A little research can go a long way when it comes to forming a list of new potential employers for a customer service job. Many companies that employ virtually for this type of role are very open about their acceptance of this flexible work environment.

    With an idea of which remote-friendly corporations you’d be interested in working for, start browsing their open positions.

    If you can’t find any open roles with the company at that moment, return in a few weeks or reach out to the recruiting team with your resume.

    Some examples of top companies that currently hire remote customer service employees include:

  4. Earn an online customer service certification. For candidates who have been on a long job hunt for the perfect remote customer service position, but haven’t had much luck finding anything solid, consider earning an online certificate to emphasize your skills.

    For individuals who are making a career shift into the realm of customer service, making the effort to learn more about the industry can make a world of difference in your job-seeking success rate.

    Some examples of online customer service courses include:

  5. Apply to customer service jobs and ask the recruiter about the possibility of a remote schedule. When all else fails, job-seekers always have the option to communicate their needs with a potential employer and try to negotiate an ideal work situation.

    While the strategy of asking a potential employer if they’d be open to a remote schedule won’t work with every company, it just might open the door to a schedule that’s more suitable for you.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Remote Customer Service Job?

The responsibilities of a remote customer service job will vary based on the company, but generally, they include responding to customer questions and concerns.

Every business strives to make their customers consistently happy, but they still need their most interpersonally-inclined employees on the frontlines for when expectations aren’t met. That’s where the responsibilities of remote customer service personnel come into play.

These are the folks who help when you’re calling in to process a monthly credit card payment, ask questions about subscribing to a new phone plan, or file a complaint about a recent computer repair.

Most of these client interactions take place over the phone or via an internet chat, making it an ideal industry to be taken fully online. With service being a sector that’s required by nearly every industry around, there is a bounty of job opportunities that you can get involved in from the comfort of your couch.

Examples of Remote Customer Service Jobs

Customer service jobs are an overarching definition for a wide range of different kinds of positions. Based on your preferences and passion, there are a few routes you could take towards making remote customer service a full-time career. Below are a few of the most popular examples of remote customer service job titles.

  1. Call center agent. A call center agent is the stereotypical customer service employee who works through inbound and outbound calling.

    Their role consists of identifying the reasons for a customer’s call and assisting them in whatever manner necessary. This could include things like placing an order for them, answering a product question, or solving a billing issue.

    If a call center agent is unable to work out the question or problem, they must route the customer to the proper channels. After each incident, a call center agent must properly document the event and final result for company records.

    Since the majority of this role takes place through phone communication, being comfortable speaking to strangers in this manner is a must.

    Depending on the company you work for, a call center agent might also handle making outgoing calls for scheduling purposes and perform other remote clerical tasks, like emails.

  2. Live Customer Service Chat Agent. A live customer service chat agent’s job revolves around similar responsibilities to that of a call center agent.

    However, they communicate with customers through a live chat function, as opposed to hearing their voice over the phone. They work diligently to solve customer problems and answer users’ questions virtually.

    Many customers prefer a system of service that doesn’t require them to talk on the phone and remain on endless holds. Plus, chat records remove the need for agents to provide documentation of the situation and solution that transpired.

    Since the job responsibilities take place on a live chat interface, a fast typing speed and proficiency with accurate virtual communication is necessary.

  3. Technical Support Representative. A little more niche-specific than some of the other remote customer service positions on this list, a technical support representative handles customer issues related solely to computer software and hardware.

    They usually communicate with tech-troubled customers over the phone, but they’ve also been known to work through virtual chats as well.

    Based on preliminary information given to them by customers, they assist by providing a series of steps that attempt to fix the problem. If the issue goes beyond their capacity, a technical support representative helps the customer in submitting service requests for further analysis.

    Similar to other remote customer service roles, technical support representatives are expected to keep a record of all calls handled.

Benefits of Remote Customer Service Work

You might already be getting cozy with the benefits of working from home thanks to Covid-19, but there might be even more value to transitioning out of a traditional working environment, and into a remote customer service job. Below are a few of the many positives to working a remote customer service job.

  1. Eliminates long commutes to the office. Most people assume their commute to work as a normal part of their day that they just have to accept, but a remote job eliminates that factor of employment.

    While the loss of a commute doesn’t sound like the world’s greatest benefit, it can save you lots of time and money in the long run. The average American spends 200 hours a year commuting to and from work every day.

    The possibilities for what you can do with those extra hours are extensive.

  2. The ability to travel freely with a steady income. One of the biggest benefits of transferring your career to a remote customer service job is that it provides the opportunity to be location-independent.

    That means whether you’re living in the same city as your employer, or sitting beachside on the other side of the world, you can be working and making money.

  3. Enhanced work/life balance. While working hours traditionally take place within the strict confines of a company location, this schedule might not be the best option for maintaining a satisfying work/life balance.

    Working remotely does wonders for evening out the balancing act between putting equal time into work and home life because they’re all happening in the same place. Having the comforts of home can improve a workday in ways you didn’t know were possible.

The Qualifications You Need for Remote Customer Service

With the benefits of remote customer service work fresh in mind, your next thought might drift to wondering if you have what it takes to be hired for this type of role. Luckily, there isn’t much formal education that the career requires.

Preferred schooling requirements vary depending on the company you work for, but overall, having a high school diploma or GED will satisfy the demand.

During the onboarding process, a company may require its remote customer service employees to undergo training and certification courses before officially becoming qualified to work.

Key Skills for Remote Customer Service Jobs

Skills are more crucial to getting hired and working as an excellent remote customer service employee. Working with potentially disgruntled customers daily can be tolling without the right attitude and abilities. Some examples of key skills for a virtual customer service position include:

  1. Organization. Working from home requires a more committed effort to keeping your professional life organized. It’s easier for the lines to blur when you’re working in your personal space. Additionally, a remote customer service employee is expected to keep meticulous records of their calls, which requires sharp attention to detail.

  2. Confidence. Poise and command that’s felt by everyone, even over a phone chat or conversation, are required for handling customer questions, concerns, and everything in-between. Your knowledge of products and confidence in being the voice of a company must prevail in every interaction you face at work.

  3. Comfort with technology. Since a remote customer service specialist does all of their work from the comfort of home, a certain level of experience with technology is expected. While you don’t have to be an IT wizard, you should know your way around a computer.

    Most companies will coach their new employees on using their preferred software for things like virtual clock-ins and record-keeping. You should be able to pick up on these skills quickly.

  4. Communication. There’s a big difference between communicating with a customer face-to-face and speaking with them over a remote medium. The detachment of the interaction can make it more difficult to build a connection with the customer and reach a mutual solution.

    Having a firm grasp of written and verbal communication is particularly important for a remote customer service role for these reasons.

  5. Empathy. When customers call into a service provider, more often it’s not because they just want to let the company know how thrilled they are with them. It’s because they need some type of professional guidance in either making a purchase, clarifying questions, or fixing an issue.

    To effectively work in a remote customer service job, you must be able to empathetically understand a customer’s emotions and needs from a distance.

Advice for Succeeding in a New Remote Customer Service Job

After applying to so many remote customer service jobs that your eyeballs started pulsing, it finally happened. You’ve gone through all the steps of the application process, have been offered a job, and you’re ready to begin work at a virtual customer service job.

To ensure that you thrive in your newfound responsibilities, review the following advice for succeeding in a new remote customer service role.

  1. Keep a clean and organized workspace. Even though you’ll be working from your home, the designated office space that you use should maintain a professional atmosphere.

    There are many benefits to keeping a tidy workspace when your job is remote, such as being prepared for the unexpected video chat or avoiding getting overwhelmed with a mess. Keeping a clean space organizes your work and boldens the boundary between your professional and personal life.

  2. Take time for mini-breaks when needed. While you shouldn’t be taking extended breaks to watch a new Netflix season while working remotely, using short breaks from work to gather your thoughts can be helpful to your performance.

    After receiving a few strenuous calls in a row, you need to bring the same positivity and problem-solving to the next customer. Taking a moment to step away and breathe assists you in providing the best possible customer service.

  3. Strengthen your patience. Remote customer service can test your patience more than some other professional fields. You constantly hear faceless voices behind a phone and need to be the person who solves their problem or inquiry. To perform in this responsibility of the role the most effectively, practice your patience skills.

  4. Build a community. Just because you work from your living room doesn’t mean you need to be isolated. In fact, it’s a good idea to reach out to people who work in similar positions to you so that you can lend each other moral support and swap ideas.

    There are a number of online communities that will help you do this, including:

    • Support Driven

    • Nomad List

    • We Support

  5. Improve your communication skills. Yes, you need to have excellent communication skills to serve your customers, but you also need to know how to communicate with your coworkers and boss well.

    Not being able to communicate in person makes it easier to misunderstand or miscommunicate information, which, in turn, makes working remotely even more frustrating and isolating.

    Practice overcommunicating with your coworkers in both the information you share and the tone in which you say it: Even the friendliest person can sound cold in an email or direct message, which doesn’t help foster positive working relationships.

  6. Take advantage of any equipment stipends. If your employer gives you money to buy office equipment, use it. It’s amazing how much a supportive chair and a larger screen can improve your workday and, by extension, your mood.

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Author

Sky Ariella

Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

Expert

Matt Warzel, CPRW, CIR

Matt Warzel a President of a resume writing firm (MJW Careers, LLC) with 15+ years of recruitment, outplacement, career coaching and resume writing experience. Matt is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR) with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing Focus) from John Carroll University.

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