Numerous work at home opportunities exist these days thanks to the Internet and other advances in technology. One such opportunity is that of home-based call center agent (also called a virtual call center representative).
While there are many benefits to handling telephone calls from the comfort of your home, it’s important to evaluate the pros and cons of the position before seeking out a job. The last thing you want to do is invest time and energy into an opportunity that isn’t a good fit for your situation.
In this brief guide, we’ll look at both sides of home-based call center positions and explain what aspects of the job need your consideration.
Cons of being a home-based call center rep
You have to be 100% free from distractions while you’re working
Unlike some work at home jobs, being a call center agent requires your full attention. You’re typically on the phone the entire duration of your shift, leaving no time to care for your kids, answer the door, or deal with other situations that arise around the house.
You can’t easily rely on your peers for help and support
One downside of call center work in general is that it is often very repetitive. In a traditional call center environment, being amongst fellow employees helps to ease this problem and make the work more enjoyable. You can also look to your peers for quick help when you’re uncertain of what to do. When you’re working at home, you’re all on your own. There are obviously ways to chat supervisors and others for assistance, but you lose the ability to easily build relationships and get quick feedback.
Not all call center jobs are created equal
Call centers that provide work at home opportunities come in all shapes and sizes. For this reason, it’s important that you seek out a position that matches your competencies. Handling callers or situations that you aren’t comfortable with can make the job a nightmare. If you aren’t good at sales, don’t take on outbound or sales oriented work. If you don’t feel comfortable calling people who are in debt, don’t work for a debt collection service. This may seem obvious, but often the idea of handling calls from home overshadows the actual nature of the work.
Okay, now let’s talk about the positive aspects.
Pros of being a home-based call center rep
Very flexible schedules
Many call centers operate 24/7/365, so it’s typically pretty easy to set a schedule that meets your needs. Whenever you’re available, it’s likely there are calls that need answered, especially if you’re working for a 24 hour answering service with consistently high call volume.
Though you may need to go onsite initially to receive training, call centers are often entry level positions that provide you all the training you need to do the job. People comfortable with customer service and talking on the phone are obviously ahead of the pack when it comes to working as an at home agent, but the reality is that almost anyone can be trained to work as a virtual call center representative.
While it’s true that not all call center jobs are created equal and that some are more rewarding than others, many allow you to help people on a daily basis. When you pick up the phone and are able to help someone solve a problem, there’s no better feeling. Many jobs can’t provide this benefit, which makes call center work especially unique.
Whether working at home as a call center agent is a good fit for you or not, I hope this list has provided you with some helpful information. If you have worked in an at-home call center position before and feel something is missing from this list, feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear your insight.
About the author:
Melanie Cartwell is a blogger currently working with CMS, a nationwide call center and order taking answering service. Learn more at http://www.continentalmessage.com.