Statistics show that nearly half of American workers are currently working from home to some degree. The wide-scale acceptance of remote work was brought on by the need to adapt to lockdown restrictions amid the pandemic. As a result, more and more companies are assimilating remote employees. Studies further show that the percentage of remote workers is set to rise over the coming years, projecting at least an 87% increase in remote work opportunities by 2025.
Call center and customer support jobs are a natural fit for remote jobs since tasks can largely be carried out with a phone and a computer. If you’re on the lookout for remote work in the customer support industry, we have splendid news for you. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), customer service experience and skills are among the top five most in-demand skills in the U.S. today. Job opportunities continue to open as the demand for customer service professionals continues to rise.
From On-Site Jobs To Remote Work
Across multiple industries, and especially in customer service, traditional in-person jobs are transitioning into remote work opportunities. This is brought on by companies beginning to reap the benefits of lower overhead costs, massive increases in productivity, and more fulfilled employees. Top companies like Amazon, Disney, and Airbnb are just some examples of companies that have embraced remote customer service workers.
If you’re looking for remote customer service roles, we suggest coming up with a list that will help you find the right customer service position for you. Your “wishlist” should include preferences in the following areas:
Top Skills Needed for Customer Service Jobs
Depending on the products or services that each company offers, a customer service professional’s roles and responsibilities may differ. However, the focus is always on providing clients with the best help and support so that they continue to patronize a brand’s products or services.
Here are the top skills that will help you get ahead in the customer service industry:
#1. Great Communication Skills
Customer service professionals should be able to communicate effectively. Since you will represent the company you work for each time you speak with a client, they expect you to have professional communication skills. Most of the work involves talking to customers so an excellent agent assists customers with clarity and courteousness.
#2. Good Decision-Making Skills
There’s usually a tiny window during which a customer has patience during a customer service call. Chances are high that they are seeking customer support because of a problem they’re experiencing with the brand you’re representing. Some customers may seek instruction and clarity regarding a product or service.
Good customer service professionals are expected to make quick decisions on their own without asking their manager for answers at every turn. The goal is to address each customer’s concern in a short time or point them in the right direction in case the concern is out of your purview.
#3. Excellent Comprehension Skills
A good customer service employee should have excellent comprehension skills. To properly assist customers, one must thoroughly understand the customer’s needs or concerns. This requires great listening skills so that the client won’t have to repeat his or her concern multiple times before getting an answer. This skill requires you to have a firm grasp of your company’s products or services and terms of service and any protocols for answering difficult or sensitive questions.
#4. High Level of Emotional Intelligence
Dealing with potentially aggressive or irate clients can be challenging and stressful. A good customer service agent must therefore have a high level of maturity and emotional intelligence that will allow him or her to remain calm and professional in difficult situations. Even when a customer acts rudely or irrationally, you must remain in control of the situation by constantly offering solutions that might help address their concerns and pacify them. Otherwise, getting carried away by your emotions can be damaging not only to the company but also to your employee record.
#5. Multi-Tasking and Great Focus
Nearly all jobs require employees to multi-task these days. However, for a customer support professional, staying focused while things are going on all at once is an important skill. You need to simultaneously process the customer’s information, search for answers to their query, and converse with them. Multi-tasking is controlled by the brain’s frontopolar prefrontal cortex so it is an ability that can be continuously improved with consistent training.
Bonus Tip: If you’re feeling rusty, we suggest joining the Teal Career Challenge to brush up on your professional skills and pick up new ones. It’s a set of daily ten-minute challenges that will help you speed up your growth by providing you with actionable insights and community support.
How to Find the Right Remote Customer Support Roles
#1. Find a Great Job-Hunting Tool
Job-hunting requires strategy. Using a tool that will help you organize your job searches will help you manage your time wisely and find the best job openings.
Teal’s Job Tracker and Chrome Extension Tool scrapes the internet for job listings from LinkedIn to Glassdoor. You can also manually input job listings you’d like to track. Teal allows you to bookmark these listings directly from your browser. It’s a great tool for keeping track of all your job applications at a glance and for keeping notes about each employer.
Teal is free and allows you to:
#2. Maximize Your Professional Network
If you’ve been working for quite a while, you’ll likely have professional contacts in the customer service industry. Maximize these connections by reaching out to former colleagues, people you’ve networked with as well as former clients. You can simply drop a note via LinkedIn, Facebook, or email to let them know that you’re available for work.
Be proactive and include your resume and portfolio to send a coherent message that in case they need someone with your capabilities, they can immediately get in touch with you.
#3. Search for Companies That Have a Great Remote Work Culture
During your job search, you’ll find listings from various companies offering remote job opportunities. Before pursuing an application, do a bit of research on the company by looking at its profile on LinkedIn or Glassdoor. You can also talk to current or former employees who may be within your network. This will give you an idea about the company’s remote work culture and how well-adapted they are to non-traditional work setups.
Bright Outlook for Remote Customer Service Professionals
The prospects for customer service professionals looking for remote work are better than ever. If you have the skills, manage your job search well, and put in consistent effort, you will find a suitable role that allows you the flexibility of working from home.
For more tips on managing the job application process, read more on the Teal Blog.
Start streamlining your job search and get started with Teal now.