Work-From-Home Call Center Jobs

By Caitlin Mazur - May. 20, 2021

Find a Job You Really Want In

With work from home jobs on the rise, there’s been a significant increase in interest in jobs for call centers. Not all call center jobs are the same and there’s a different variety of skills and equipment you might need to have on hand to even be considered for a call center position, depending on the company.

Call center jobs are great legitimate work at home careers for many people. Like agents who go into a traditional call center, work-at-home call center agents are responsible for handling incoming and outbound telephone calls for customers. In many cases, these customer service representatives are also responsible for handling live chats and email inquiries as well.

Companies rely on their customer support specialists to provide customer support for their own business or contract to provide virtual call center support for others. Call center agents get paid for telemarketing sales, customer service, data collection, third-party verification, or technical support for inquiries.

Nearly every major company globally has a call center they use to support their products or services. They need live agents to answer these calls and work with customers.

Depending on the type of job and company, the workload may differ. Consider what you’re looking for in a telecommuting job. A virtual call center may require you to be on the telephone for the majority of the day, so be sure you are comfortable with those requirements before you start your job search.

Important Skills for a Work-From-Home Call Center Agent

Contrary to many other jobs out there, you don’t necessarily need years of experience to get a work-at-home job as a call center agent. Most call centers are happy to hire applicants with a high school diploma or equivalent and usually, no higher education is required.

Call center agents really need to develop soft skills that they can bring to the table. With the addition of some computer knowledge, you can be well on your way to make money from home. Below are some key skills required for most call center jobs.

  • Outgoing personality. To be a call center agent, you need to be comfortable in front of an audience. Companies are looking for upbeat, positive, and outgoing people in their call centers who can answer the phone with energy and enthusiasm. If you don’t like taking phone calls or dealing with people, this job probably isn’t for you.

    Having the right attitude can make a huge difference in your success. Experience in retail settings is ideal for this since it builds up your skills in dealing with customers. Call center agents will deal with all types of people from pleasant to irate, to those with accents, to those who have limited technical experience, and so on.

    If you approach each interaction with positivity, customers will leave the experience feeling valued and appreciated. A little enthusiasm can go a long way.

  • Great listening skills. Being energetic and outgoing is important, but listening is equally if not more important. Customers typically call centers because they want to be heard.

    Practicing active listening is a key trait you need to bring to the table. Don’t interrupt customers as they are speaking. Instead, engage with your client and really hear and understand what kind of help they need.

    Oftentimes, their frustration or struggle can be a simple misunderstanding which you can remedy over the phone. Some call centers provide their agenda with scripts to read from, but you can still display your personality over the phone. The key thing is to have empathy for your customers and remember you are dealing with a person on the other end of the line.

  • Multitasking. Most customer service representatives must manage their phone call while inputting data into a program such as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. You must be able to perform the basic data entry needed while still managing the conversation with the customer.

    Additionally, you may need to wait for answers from managers or colleagues and continue a conversation with a client while messaging someone you are trying to reach. This requires essential multitasking abilities and the ability to do them quickly. If you like to be busy and productive, an at-home call-center job can be perfect for you.

  • Being a problem-solver. Customer service is all about problem-solving and finding the answers to questions clients ask you. At any given point, depending on the number of services or products you manage, you could need to know an entire catalog of information and have it available at a moment’s notice.

    Customer service calls are typically scrutinized by how much time you spend on the phone with the customer as well, so the quicker you can solve a problem, the better.

    This is no easy task, but you don’t need to be a math whiz to do this. As long as you are a good problem solver, have the ability to think quickly, and solve complex customer issues in a friendly manner, you can absolutely take on this online work.

  • Staying organized. Playing off the previous skill necessary to do an at-home call-center job, staying organized is key. There are likely a few different software platforms necessary to perform your job as well as various information you’ll need to understand how to find quickly. The ability to keep yourself organized is important to do this job well.

  • Basic computer skills. Computer skills are sometimes overlooked when thinking about a customer service job. However, you will be spending the majority of your time in front of a computer screen, so it’s important to understand how it works.

    Getting familiar with basic programs such as Microsoft Office and Google Suite is incredibly important as many companies use these programs to track statistics and perform basic job duties. You’ll need to have basic typing skills and the faster you are, the faster you can input customer information for maximum efficiency.

    Don’t worry about the specific programs the company will use. There will likely be extensive training when you join as a new employee that will show you the ropes of their calling, recording, and payroll systems. All you need to succeed is a willingness to learn.

Where Do I Find a Work-From-Home Call Center Job?

As mentioned above, most major companies require customer service representatives as a key part of their organization. A quick search for virtual call center jobs brings up a multitude of listings. Depending on your work experience, you can narrow these listings down by industry or experience.

Consider companies that you may not have otherwise thought about, such as companies like 1-800 Flowers or Home Shopping Network. Both companies require engaged customer service professionals who are eager to help inbound callers. Don’t be afraid of thinking outside of the box.

Service jobs in specific industries like the airline industry are another place to start if you are passionate about travel. Airline companies require representatives to schedule reservations and cancel existing ones. You can consider travel reservation companies that help with all-inclusive deals for honeymooners or family vacations.

Hospitality is another industry that requires customer service representatives to deal with reservations or questions.

Necessary Equipment for a Work-From-Home Call Center Job

Of course, working from home requires the most important thing to be successful — a home office, or space where you can work quietly. Before you start though, consider any concerns you may have about finding success in this career path.

You need quiet and minimal distractions to do your job well. Generally, the company you work with will provide you with many of the supplies you actually need, but it’s best to be prepared with a few things before you begin your search.

  • Desktop PC or Laptop. Having a working computer is incredibly important. Desktop PCs are more preferable than laptops, but both can work for work from home call center jobs.

    Most likely, your company will provide you with a company computer, but it’s always good to have a personal one on hand in case they don’t or if you are working part-time or as a contractor.

  • Internet connection. Most importantly, you’ll need to be able to connect to the internet. Ensure your internet connection is with a reliable provider and is steady, stable, and able to handle the amount of time you will be online. Sometimes, companies may require you to be hard-wired into your modem, so be sure you are mindful of that when you are setting up your home office.

  • Noise-canceling headset. Again, this may be a product that your company will provide you when you begin, but it’s never a bad thing to be prepared with the one you prefer. Noise-canceling headsets can be ideal if you have any distractions in the background such as pets or others working or learning from home.

  • Teleconferencing service. It is typically encouraged for employees to have a Skype or Zoom account so that you can communicate with the rest of your team. Again, depending on the type of employment you’re jumping into, the company may provide this during your onboarding. But it is always good to be prepared.

  • Basic office equipment. Since you’re at home, you don’t have the luxury of a supply closet. It’s important to keep stocked up on office supplies you might need to do your job well.

    This could include a paper shredder, filing cabinet, fax or scanning machine, printer, notepads, post-it notes, pens, and any other computer equipment such as a mouse or external keyboard for your computer. Being prepared with these things will help you be more prepared to do your job well and efficiently.

Note that some work-from-home call center employers will provide you with some of the hardware you need to perform your job.

Best Productivity Practices for a Work-From-Home Call Center Agent

Working from home is a dream for many, but without a supervisor standing over your shoulder, you need to be your own boss a lot of the time. Follow these tips to maximize your productivity while working from home:

  • Establish a routine. When you work from home, you can’t help but bring your work home with you. It’s important to set boundaries for yourself and any housing partners you have. A healthy work-life balance means closing the door on your work duties on off-hours so you can recharge for the next day.

    Make sure to discuss the specifics of your schedule before starting a new job to determine what flexibility you have. The great thing about these jobs is that night owls can work during their preferred hours, and early birds can finish up their day sooner than most.

  • Choose a good workspace. An optimal home office is in a separate room with a door that closes. At the very least, try to separate your workstation from your recreation areas.

    At the end of the day, the ideal workspace for you is one where you can be productive. That means it’s low on distractions like TV, snacks, pets, and other housing partners. As a work-from-home call agent, you also need total quiet around your area. Ensure that whatever space you choose won’t become noisy during your working hours.

  • Make your hours known. Speaking of housing partners, you should let everyone know clearly when you’re working or planning on working. A lot of folks make the mistake of thinking “work from home” means “work whenever you want.”

    Make sure that your children, spouse, or roommates know that you have work at certain hours and that you’re not available.

  • Exercise. Working as a call center agent means spending a lot of time indoors, sitting down in front of a computer screen. Don’t forget to take care of your physical needs as well. Start your day with a walk or dedicate some time to working out after your day is done.

    Just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean that food preparation isn’t still important. Make sure that you always have quick and healthy lunches and snacks on hand so that you don’t need to keep leaving the house to get stuff.

  • Get to know your coworkers. Working from home as a call center agent is really engaging from the client interaction point of view. However, it’s tough to feel like part of a real team when you haven’t met any of your teammates in person.

    To remedy this, do your best to communicate with others in your role, outside of just your direct supervisor. When you have peers to speak with about the issues and challenges of the job, it becomes much easier to figure out the best ways to do things.

  • Up your tech game. If you’re not comfortable with common online communication tools like Slack, Google Suite, and Zoom, start familiarizing yourself with them before you start the job. More importantly, take time to become acquainted with any company-specific software, so you can get up-to-speed fast.

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Author

Caitlin Mazur

Caitlin Mazur is a freelance writer at Zippia. Caitlin is passionate about helping Zippia’s readers land the jobs of their dreams by offering content that discusses job-seeking advice based on experience and extensive research. Caitlin holds a degree in English from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

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