How To Find A Work From Home Chat Agent Job

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 10, 2020

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As companies step up their customer service game and turn to chatbots, there’s a demand for real people to chat as customer service agents.

Companies are looking to hire remote customer service representatives to help customers navigate their products and services, creating the perfect opportunity to make some cash right from your home.

The best part about working as a chat agent is that you can do it on your schedule and from wherever you are. Most chat agents are only responding to instant messages or emails, not picking up the phone, so it’s an easy way to get some extra work and income.

Unfortunately, since being a chat agent is fairly easy and doesn’t require lots of certifications or degrees, there’s some misinformation and scams to be wary of. We’re going to break down what exactly a chat agent does and give you some tips so you can avoid the scams and be on your way to snagging this great remote job.

What is a chat agent?

Chat agents are the people behind the online support messages. Have you ever been shopping online and seen a little message pop up asking if you need help? The people on the other side of those conversations are chat agents.

Chat agents work to help customers, whether they’re looking to buy something from a company or just need help once their product has arrived or service fulfilled. They can also act as salespeople, helping facilitate returns or even trying to upsell customers while they talk.

Companies also use chat agents as a way to research their user base, from gathering data about what questions people have before purchasing a product to evaluating the consumer’s review after using the company. As a chat agent, multitasking like this is a key part of the job.

Usually, chat agents only need to log into their phone or computer to answer customers. Chat agents are limited to written responses and rarely have to get on the phone with customers, but double check the job listing to be sure you’re not required to do phone support too.

How much do chat agents make?

You can expect to make around $14 an hour as a chat agent. The salary varies depending on the type of company you work for and how much experience you have.

Most chat agent positions pay between $9 and $20 an hour, so it’s a great way to make money and bring in extra cash. If you work a 40 hour work week, you can expect to earn an average of $28,000 a year.

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Just be aware that when you first start out, you’ll be earning on the lower end of the pay range as you learn more and gain more experience. Most entry level chat agent positions offer between $9 and $15 an hour to start.

What educational requirements and experience are necessary to work as a Chat Agent?

Good news- you can become a chat agent with no experience and very few requirements! Most companies only ask that you have a high school diploma or GED.

Chat agents also don’t have to go through any specialized training, except for the company onboarding. You also don’t need experience to find work as a chat agent, though companies do have a slight preference for candidates with some kind of customer service experience.

What skills should a chat agent have?

There’s no specific skill set that someone has to have to be a chat agent, but there’s a few skills that will make you stand out as an exceptionally good one. Take a look at this list to see if you’d be a good fit for customer support chatting.

  • Customer service. If there’s one necessary skill to being a good chat agent, it’s customer service. Since you’ll be dealing with customer needs, you need to be kind, compassionate, and a good listener. If you like giving advice to your friends or working to resolve issues, this could be a great job for you.

  • Positive thinking. Think back to times when you’ve used customer support. The bad experiences are ones where the service agent didn’t listen to you or help you solve the problem. You want to think positively and have a good attitude about helping customers solve their problems so they walk away from the experience happy with their needs met.

  • Quick typing. You’ll be responding to messages all day, so you want to make sure that you’re a good typist. Try taking speed typing tests or even typing classes online before applying to a chat agent job. Sometimes companies even ask for your typing speed during the hiring process.

  • Communication. You need to be able to listen to a customer’s issues and communicate a resolution to them as a chat agent. If you’re a good listener and an effective writer, the job will be a breeze for you.

  • Multitasking. Often chat agents need to switch between conversations and tasks to help customers get what they need. Expect to answer messages, do research, and troubleshoot all at the same time as a chat agent.

  • Computer skills. Since chat agents work remotely for the most part, they need to have good computer skills. There isn’t anything fancy involved, just email and accessing websites, but it’s good to have strong computer skills. Sometimes companies will need you to use their customer service software, so you’ll need to learn the system.

  • Niche knowledge. Consider what unique skills you have before applying to chat agent positions. Maybe you can be an asset to a company where you know their products inside and out because you’re a big fan, or you speak another language where a particular company does business. Think about what makes you unique and target companies with positions that match your skill set.

  • Organization skills. Chat agents are constantly multitasking, so knowing how to stay organized and on top of your responsibilities is a must. Keeping everything well-documented is another key organizational skill that will help you succeed as a chat agent.

  • Following procedure. Usually companies have particular procedures for chat agents to follow so that there’s a clear record of customer questions and different support cases. Being able to follow directions and adhere to procedure will make you a great chat agent.

  • Problem-solving. At the end of the day, support agents are there to troubleshoot with customers to solve their problems. Having a creative and critical approach to resolving issues will make you a great chat agent to work with and have on a team.

How flexible is a work from home chat agent job?

Chat agent work is a very flexible work from home option. As always, different companies allow for different levels of flexibility, but at the least you can expect to work from home and set your hours. Being a customer service agent is one of the best jobs from home you’ll find.

While browsing job boards, check the job postings for specific information on the position and the hours, location, and other details. Sometimes you can find jobs that let you log on whenever you want, or others will require that you’re online for specific hours.

The nature of a chat agent job is very flexible, so don’t worry too much about time constraints. Sometimes you’ll have days where you’re constantly responding to messages and some days where only a few trickle in. You can multitask your work life and home life sometimes to get more work or chores done as your workload fluctuates.

Where to find chat agent jobs?

There’s three main ways people find chat agent jobs: directly from a company, on a job site, or through a third party company. Depending on what you’re looking for and your preferences, you might want to pick one of these methods to find a chat agent job.

Lots of the time, your best bet is to go straight to a company’s site and look for chat agent jobs. This is especially true if there’s a specific company or industry you want to work for.

If you’re browsing the web and come across a company site with a chat feature, take a look at their job openings. This way you already know the company has customer service agents and you’re somewhat familiar with the company’s product or service.

Better yet, target certain companies that you already know and love for a chance to work for them. Sometimes employees will get extra perks like discount codes or exclusive access, so it’s a great way to get paid and stay up to date with a company you love.

Some companies that are almost always hiring customer support agents are Apple, Amazon, Uber, and Best Buy.

Other times, most job sites will have postings for chat agents and you can apply from there. This is a good way to look if you’re not sure what industry you’re in, or if you’re just getting started and need to get your foot in the door.

As with any job posting, do some research on the company when you apply from these job boards. Sometimes they can be a scam since chat agent jobs are everywhere and lots of people are looking for them.

There’s also a third option for finding chat agent jobs where you can work for a customer support company as an employee or a freelancer that works with a large number of companies. This is a great option for people who like to switch things up and try something new. You’ll be exposed to lots of different people and companies when you work for a middle man company.

Some companies like this include Contentrix, The Chat Shop, Arise, and Accolade Support. There are many more out there and each company offers their own unique pros and cons, so do some investigating when applying to a large company like these to find your best fit.

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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