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No I'm Not in India -I'm in the Dining Room
Customer Service Adviser
Member Name: duchy
Customer Service Adviser
Date: 27/01/09, updated on 13/03/13 (184 review reads)
Advantages: Good workng conditions, flexibility
Disadvantages: None for me
So you need to speak to a company. You call them-press lots of buttons and get through to Tech Support. You're talking to a call centre-right ? Well no sometimes you're not.
Some of the largest companies actually have advisors working from home. To the unware customer it makes little difference -or so they think but in my opinion it's a really good thing for the customers as you have happier and better motivated staff. I know I'm one of them !
I first came across my job on the internet-someone had posted that he thought he'd actually found a real work at home job that wasn't a scam . I admit I was skeptical but the company concerned was a household name (a large TV/internet company) so as this guy was writing a blog of his experiences I decided to follow his progress and see what happened.
He passed the interview and started three weeks paid training. He spoke highly of the trainers and his fellow trainees and explained a bit about how the training was done -remotely using a mix of computer based training and conference calls. So far so good. Payday came around mid training-yes they all got paid-on time and correctly-even better. So I followed his blog as he went into live calls and it really sounded like the kind of job I could do-needed some technical awareness but customer service and been a good comunicator were equally important. So I too applied.
I passed the interview-did my training at home and before I knew it I was taking my first calls.
I had worked in call centres before and the thing I really didn't like about them was the battery farm approach-tethered to your desk-having to ask permission to go to the loo etc. Working from home banished all those bad bits. Yes I have set breaks -just like in a call centre-but if I need a drink or the loo I also have a set amount of time to self allocate for personal time. Some shifts I use it all-some hardly at all.
The only equipment I needed was a PC, broadband connection and a telephone line-we connect securely through a VPN (for the benefit of any techie-types wondering about security) and our data is as secure as if we were in a call centre.
My friends wondered if I'd feel isolated working alone as I'm very much a people person. The answer is no-as well as a steady stream of customers on he line I have screens open to my supervisor and to senior techs for any assistance I might need as well as a general screen with my collegues for the inevitable exchange of chat both work and non work related.
Our stats are consistently higher than our colleagues in call centres-probably because like the battery chickens v free-range-we're less stressed by our enviroment but we have access to the same resources that they do. In fact when we talk to them they are quite envious at times.
Other benefits of working from home-no fares, no lunches to pay for, no work clothes to buy and of course no travelling time. You finish your shift and log out and within seconds you are doing whatever you want without trudging home or even leaving the building first. This also means that when overtime is offered-it's easy to accept. No trotting into work on your day off or late night journeys home-when you finish -that's it you actually only spend the extra time working-not travelling.
I qualify for bonuses. heavilly discounted company products and get free medical cover as well as the usual paid holiday.
Other aspects are just like other jobs-holiday you need to book well ahead of time and you're expected to be logged in and available for your hours punctually-no different to a "bricks and mortar" call centre.
The people I work with are probably as diverse if not more so than the usual call centre-some people are studying, running their own businesses, want to be home based for family reasons. One of the really nice things is that it's a very non-judgemental enviroment. You aren't judged by appearance because no-one can see you (unless you choose to-we have our own facebook community for example) and some of my collegues have disabilities but unless they choose to reveal that fact no-one knows. You are judged on what you are at work not other people's misconceptions. All sounds a bit worthy when put like that but it isn't. Our chatscreens are often full of banter and sometimes you have to stifle a giggle at some of the comments that pop up when you're on a call.
I've now been doing this job for a year -I like the customers (the odd angry one doesn't worry me-I like a challenge and regard it as a victory to end the call with them happier and their issues resolved) and although I would never have thought of myself as a technically minded person realise now that I'm actually a lot more capable technically than I ever would have thought possible.
I think CSAs working from hme has a huge future as companies come to appreciate the huge benefits both for themselves, their staff and their customers.
Four years on and I'm still in the same job -admittedly now employed by a different company but my contract was TUPE'd across-Pretty good for a supposedly "unstable" work at home job. Interestingly the client is now taking a greater interest in the work from home project and new departments are also possible from home - so very slowly the prospects for proper jobs at home are expanding.
Summary: Homebased Customer Service Roles Can Benefit Everyone
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