If you’re new to the idea of working from home or lack customer service experience, you may be wondering how you can determine whether or not this line of work will be ideal for you?
Before I go over the pros and cons of working a customer service job, first I’ll explain some of the basics about the position.
What Type of Work-From-Home Customer Service Positions Are Offered?
Customer service jobs are pretty self-explanatory. Just like if you were a customer service rep at a traditional job that you had to show up to in person, you’ll be responsible for enhancing customers’ overall experience, answering important questions, solving issues, recommending products and services, and son on.
Many virtual customer service reps do all their work via phone or online chat. If you’ve ever called a company and asked for customer service, those individuals may or may not be working from home, but the role they take on is pretty much what you would be doing.
Many jobs require training which is nice especially if you don’t have much experience but overall, the work is pretty straightforward. You need to be a good communicator and problem-solver. You may be given a few scripts to memorize so you’ll be ready to handle common customer requests.
How Much Can You Earn and Who’s Hiring
There are tons of work-from-home customer service jobs available. A few companies that hire include:
- American Express
- 1-800 Flowers
- BCD Travel
- Hilton Worldwide
- Starwood Hotels
The list can go on and on. You can also check out a site called FlexJobs to find even more companies offering work-from-home customer service jobs that may fit your interests.
In terms of compensation, most employees earn an hourly rate and can work part-time or full-time. Sometimes the hourly rate depends on experience, but it usually just depends on the company’s standards. Generally, you can earn anywhere from $9 – $18 per hour which is a wide range.
According to Glassdoor, the median hourly rate for customer service reps is between $12-$14 per hour. Again, it really depends on the company because American Express offers full-time virtual customer service reps $16+ per hour along with bonuses.Considering a work-from-home customer service job? Here are the pros and cons. Click To Tweet
Clearly, there are quite a few benefits of work-from-home customer service jobs to acknowledge. Here are some of the most important ones.
The schedule is generally flexible.
Since you’ll be working from home, you can expect a flexible schedule to some degree so long as log your work according to company´s management software such as that from Advance Systems Inc. You won’t have to worry about commuting back and forth and getting stuck in traffic each day or being presentable for the office. You can work in your jammies if you wish 🙂
Some jobs will even let you choose your hours, offer a flexible schedule, or require you to work a certain number of hours each week.
Earn more than minimum wage with little skill.
Most jobs will start you at a competitive rate that is higher than minimum wage which is good as there are some online jobs that are a waste of time because they hardly pay anything. On the other hand, other work-from-home jobs require you to have a lot of experience and credentials in order to earn a livable wage but virtual customer service jobs are easy to do and don’t require any complex skills in order to earn a decent wage.
Possible to receive employee benefits.
This can be a huge benefit seeing as how many people who work from home don’t receive any benefits as a result of being a contract employee or a freelancer. Receiving employee benefits will limit your out of pocket costs for medical care, take advantage of paid time off, and can even help your retirement fund.
To say that customer service jobs are perfect and would be great for everyone would not be entirely true. Just as there are benefits to pursuing this type of work, there are downsides as well and some of them are outlined below.
May have to work an odd shift.
While work-from-home customer service jobs are quite flexible, that doesn’t mean that the hours are always going to be best for you. Some companies may have you work odd shifts like a split shift, a night shift, or a weekend shift which is something you may not be used to.
For example, when researching opportunities, I found a company that required customer service reps to work a daily shift from 8am-12pm then to pick back up from 4pm-8pm. While this may not be an issue for some, if you aren’t used to working evenings or have kids, this schedule may be flexible, but it probably won’t work for you.
People can be rude.
Another downside of working in customer service is that people can be extremely rude and difficult to communicate with. It’s best to have a thick skin and always stay professional, but if you tend to take things personal let jerks get to you, this may not be the best job for you.
Some jobs are seasonal.
A seasonal job may or may not be a con depending on what you’re looking for, but when you’re considering job leads, you must realize that many work-from-home customer service positions will be seasonal. If you’re looking for long-term and consistent work, you’ll need to find the permanent positions and apply for those instead.
Some opportunities are falsely represented.
When it comes to work-from-home jobs, there are many scams out there to look out for. I’ve personally seen virtual telemarketing jobs advertised as customer service positions which can be very misleading because they are two completely different jobs. Generally, telemarketing is more difficult to do than customer service because you are calling up leads and trying to sell them something vs. answering calls and helping answer people’s questions and direct them toward a solution.
Telemarketing creates a much more hostile environment that you may not be looking for which is why it’s important to thoroughly read through the job description and ask questions throughout the application process.
So, Is a Work-From-Home Customer Service Job Right For You?
It really depends. On the surface, work-from-home customer service jobs seem flexible, pay well, and are easy. But, you need to explore the many options available to you. Consider the daily responsibilities of the job, important factors like benefits and your schedule, and determine whether the pay will meet your needs.
Would you ever consider working from home? Do you think you would like a customer service job?