In the world of outsourcing, customer support jobs are becoming luxurious for those who want to work lying on their couch.
Let me tell you why.
Suppose you took a career break 5 years ago and the software on which you were working has changed a lot. So much so that you find it boring to learn by your own.
Now assume you are a housewife now and have two below-5 (year) kids to look after. It becomes even more annoying and hard to decide whether you must focus on your kids or should learn a new skill.
You can always find such women in your family or neighbour as it is very common. But the problem is not limited to women only. There are several other reasons why people are not able to join a full time job in an office or want to work from their home.
But the problem is, the ratio of people who want to work remotely vs the number of organisations offering work from home jobs, is marginally low. And the basic reason is, people don’t have the right kind of skill to fit the job requirement or face productivity issues when it comes to working remotely.
Here, customer support jobs come handy because the stake is not very high because of two reason. One, the customer service agents are highly trained for the job and second, there are a layer of support agents working along with AI. So if you are having any productivity issues, it would be immediately reported to the senior management and a quick action would be taken.
Now, going back to the mother of two kid’s example, if she is willing to work from home and don’t have skills to be an updated techie, she can work as a customer support agent for a tech company who is using the same software she want to learn about.
This way, she would get 3 benefits:
- In the process of onboarding, the outsourcing companies train their agents to use the software. She would learn the updated technology.
- She gets to know about the pros and cons of the software in realtime and whenever she would go back to work on the software, she would know exactly how to solve a problem. A problem solver is always loved by the employer.
- A work from home customer support job does not need a long time continuous work hour. She can plan her day and can spend quality time with her kids.
Like her, you can also work from home on customer service jobs and earn money online. There are primarily 5 types of customer support jobs that you can do efficiently while earning decent money:
#1. Email Support Jobs
Email support is a way of getting help from a company (or their outsourcing partners) when you raise a concern about their product or service through email.
The flow of the process is as simple as this:
You face a problem with a product > you find out the email id of the company and write an email to them describing your problem > a team member (either in house or outsourced) receives the concern and forwards to the related department > the agent follows up with the team and with you until the problem is resolved.
Email support is the most commonly used support service as it does not require a realtime support and the agent gets a lot of time to discuss the concern in detail with the team.
Skills needed to become email support agent
- A decent knowledge and understanding of written English language or the language your client’s customers use.
- Clear communications skills to write emails with clarity. Your writing style can provoke both positive and negative emotion in your customers. A clear communication skill would give you an edge over the customer’s bad experience because you would know exactly what you need to communicate for the customer’s satisfaction..
- A basic understanding of behavioural psychology because you can’t see or hear your customers on email. So if you are able to identify the exact problem of the customer, you will be able to solve it very fast and can save a lot of time.
- Persuasion skill. When you are doing email support, you will get a lot of emails about the customer’s curiosity about the product rather than problems. Your persuasion skills would help you convince the customer that they are purchasing (or have purchased) right product.
What would you learn by doing email support
Email marketing is in high demand even if people are claiming emails are dead. Every big or small company want to acquire email ids from their existing customers (to upsell) and prospects.
By doing email support you will learn the basics of dealing with all kind of customers. You will also understand how people behave on emails and you would know how to convince people with a certain kind of product category.
#2. Live Chat Support
Live chat is a way businesses communicate with the visitors on their website in real time. You may have noticed a pop up on the right side bottom of the screen on a lot of websites. (Visit a shopify store if you have not seen yet).
With the advent of chatbots and an extensive use of artificial intelligence, Live Chat is termed as the new king in the territory of customer support these days.
Skills needed to become Live Chat agent
- Decent writing speed.
- Must be fluent in written English (or the language your client is operating into).
- Must have great communication skill as the the chats are happening in real time and you cannot do mistakes while handling concerned customers with problem.
- Good knowledge or the product/service for which you are doing the live chat or at the least, you must know where you would get solution to any problem with the product.
- Understanding behavioural psychology is a great skill while handling Live Chat. It would help you handle a frustrated customer.
- If you are not a patient person, you must atleast not get agitated easily. If you know how to keep patience in a high pressure situation, you would easily rise to the helm of Live Chat career.
What would you learn by doing Live Chat support
Live Chat teaches you problem solving in a high pressure situation. While working as a live chat agent you would build up a habit of having discovered few places in your arsenal to fall back into when you face any situation in your personal or professional life.
#3. Phone Support
Now you have an issue with a product and you don’t want to type a long email detailing the issue. Neither you want to chat. Then you can simply call the customer support number provided by the company and some representative would pick the call and you can get the issue resolved in real time.
Skills needed to become Phone Support agent
- Must be fluent in vocal English (or the language your company is operating into).
- Must have very good communication skill. A customer facing some issue with a product would not tolerate your gap in communication. They expect clarity in voice, knowledge of the product and ability to understand the problem as it is and come up with a convincing solution.
- Understanding of behavioural psychology is a really great skill here. You would not always face a happy customer. In fact you would always have to deal with a frustrated customer so if you hear a harsh and frustrated voice, you must know how to deal with it and make the customer calm and satisfied.
What would you learn by doing Phone Support
Cold calling is considered to be a must have tool for any kind of company who is dealing with outbound sales. Although in digital world, cold calling via phone has got some bad reputation but is considered to be a highly converting tool if done right. If you can close a lot of deals for companies who are still into cold calling (and trust me all the behemoths are) then you will be able to make a really decent money.
#4. Social media support
Are you on Facebook?
Have you ever seen ads on your Facebook wall?
I guess yes because it is very common. You may have also seen companies these days are quite active on social media. This all is a part of social media marketing when a company interact with their customers on facebook, twitter, instagram or other social media channels.
Now there are companies who go a step further and allow their customers to raise their concern on social media. So one do not need to go on their website for a live chat or write a descriptive email or do a call. Simply open their facebook (or whichever channel they are active on) and communicate the problem there. A support agent would respond to the issue and it will be sorted out on the social media only.
Skills needed to become Social Media Support agent
- Knowledge of the social media channels on which the companies are operating. Preferably, you must have a previous track record of activity on the preferred social media channels.
- Rest of the skills are same as of a Live Chat agent.
What would you learn by doing Social Media Support
Once you know how to deal with customers on social media, you would be able to expand your knowledge on analysing the user behaviour on the platform (almost all of the social media platforms have their own analytics tool which you would be using now and then even in your customer support job).
You would learn the social media marketing skill as you spend time as a social media support agent and can apply for any social media analyst or manager role if you can prove your skill as per their requirement.
#5. Virtual Assistant
Every office has assistants who handle administrative, clerical, communication etc tasks for the business (or bosses). A virtual assistant is one who does all these things remotely with the help of technology. So if you are a virtual assistant, you would do all the office work the office assistant would do except bringing your boss a coffee.
Although now a days, VAs are doing a variety of work for businesses from handling their social media, doing technical stuff, PR, sales and so on. It completely depends on what kind of work the business is willing to outsource.
Skills needed to become Virtual Assistant
- You must be a master of communication. While doing a VA job, you will have to deal with you company where the tone may be different and with their clients where you must sound more like the company itself.
- You must know how to plan things and make strategy for the long and short term goals of your company.
- You must be multi tasking but at the same time you must also know how to batch all your multitasking processes if you deal with more than one client.
- You must have an approachable personality if you are planning to be a VA because your client is highly reliable on you. So if you a friendly and approachable VA, they would love to share their deepest concern related to the work which would help you understand the business even better. This would satisfy them and would increase their reliability on you.
What would you learn by doing Virtual Assistant
If you are hired for technical or marketing or sales VA jobs, then you would learn about these skills from your client because most of these VA jobs are outsourced by experts in the same niche to handle repetitive tasks.
But if you are hired for an administrative job (or as a replacement for office assistant), you would build business administration and management skill.
If you are changing your career or planning to learn something new from scratch either you can join somewhere as an intern or can join a customer support outsourcing company like some of our partners.
As an intern, you would learn slow and would not face a real problem directly at your disposal to handle. But as a customer support agent, you would definitely master one skill, of solving a problem in high pressure zone.
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