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Virtual Call Centers
Many Wahms find work at home opportunities with virtual call centers. These call centers marry two important needs: the needs for women to work out of the home and the need for companies to have polite and professional telephone customer service representatives. Virtual call centers help both the business and the work at home mom.
Wahms are hired as customer service agents to inbound callers. They use their own home phone and computer to do their work, and are networked into the company’s customer service system.
Virtual call centers are growing in popularity. Today there are roughly 100,000 people working at home in the United States, and many of them work for virtual call centers. It is estimated that by 2010 there will be 300,000 work at home individuals. Virtual call centers allow large companies to save money by hiring people to work out of their homes. There is also a low turnover rate for work at home jobs, which makes it beneficial for the company to hire Wahms.
Call center Wahms enjoy their jobs because there is a flexibility that they just don’t get when working outside of the home. Most call centers allow their customer service agents to schedule their own work hours. This can be a great convenience to a mother who needs to arrange her work times around their child’s naps and/or school hours.
Getting started as a virtual call center customer service representative is fairly easy. There are currently over 1,000 companies in the U.S. who hire people to work from home, and most of them are virtual call centers. You’ll need a computer with a high-speed Internet connection and reliable landline phone. You’ll also need a quiet place to work. Beyond those things, there is nothing else that you need to be a successful virtual call center worker.
Applying for a call center position normally follows the same method. You visit the company’s website and fill out their online application. If your application meets their standards, the company will e-mail you to arrange a phone interview. The phone interview is your chance to show them your assets as a telephone customer service rep. Schedule your phone interview for a time when you know your house will be quiet. Answer your phone in a professional manner and keep a light and friendly tone to your speaking. As a customer service rep, you’ll be challenged to sound helpful and agreeable on the phone at all times so this is your chance to display your communication skills.
You may also be required to pass a typing, writing and computer skills test on the company’s website. This will be used to test your ability to do the basic functions of the job. In some cases, you may also need to pass a drug and background screening as well before you are hired.
Once you are hired, the company will have you download a piece of software that will analyze your computer. This analysis will tell you what you need to do to your computer to make it usable in their network. Most of the time, you’ll just need to update a few programs and add the virtual call center’s website to favorites folder.
Typically, your calls will be scripted so you’ll never have to worry about what you have to say. The most successful customer service representatives take some time to practice their script so it sounds more conversational and less like they are reading. If you want to succeed in the long term, it’s well worth the effort to make your script sound conversational. Think about the worst experience you had with calling a company’s customer service department and then do the opposite.
Working for a virtual call center is not for everyone. However, the Wahms that are self-starters and have the requirements to work the job enjoy the steady paychecks and flexibility of working as a telephone customer service representative from out of the home.
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