The Philippines has long been a hotbed of call center agents working for foreign business accounts. Filipinos usually, and quite literally, burn the midnight oil to provide clients of such businesses with some form of service in customer care, account maintenance, technical support, appointment setting and many more.
With the changing times, virtual call center jobs in the Philippines are now on the rise – call center agents now aim for better work-life stability and pay rates that are outside the turf of a typical office BPO setting.
Work From Home Call Center Agent Skills
Much like office-based ones, online call center jobs demand the following core skills and traits.
#1: Good memory
An agent is expected to give the best customer service experience to every client.
To do this, you must have a thorough understanding of your company’s product (or service) offerings, and the standard processes involved in them.
For instance, if you only authorized to send out three complementary products to a customer, whereas you could send out five as the standard, it can create dissatisfaction.
It’s also imperative to know by heart how to navigate the business’ systems since those greatly impact customer accounts.
In time, you’ll find it easy to answer FAQs and even complicated ones. But during your early struggles, the following suggestions may come in handy:
- Give your full attention while on your training period (e.g., take notes, ask meaningful questions)
- Put virtual sticky notes on your laptop or desktop
- Keep a copy of the company’s knowledge base
#2: Empathy and respect
“I’m sorry that had to happen.”
“I completely understand where you’re coming from.”
“If I were in your shoes, I’d feel the same way too.”
Work from home call center jobs are not for people who take it personally.
If you do, you’ll burn out quickly and those negative feelings may even spill over on your relationships at home.
Remember that a customer is often frustrated with the business process, and not on you personally.
Even if you’re unable to fully solve the concern, a customer may still hang up feeling pleased because you recognized his frustrations and paid the respect due to him.
When you empathize and pay respect, mean it. It’s not enough to verbally say it for QA purposes.
Practice saying the above statements as genuine as you can in a call.
#3: Effective communication skills
Needless to say, work at home call center jobs are for the brilliant communicators.
Being a great communicator lies in your ability to send across a message clearly – your company’s services, terms, policies, etc.
You need to be firm on your stand while being approachable at the same time.
Avoid beating around the bush to prevent confusion.
Try to be as clear and as direct as possible, even if the resolution or feedback may not always be positive.
Meanwhile, accent plays a huge role in making sure that you and your customers are on the same page.
This is where the importance of having a neutral accent comes into play.
Read this UrbanPro guide for obtaining a correct and neutral accent.
#4: An optimistic attitude overall
Call center work from home requires passionate folks too.
Technical proficiency and glaring credentials will be for nothing if you don’t possess the consistent enthusiasm in every phone ring.
At times, a good call can help an otherwise miserable day for a calling customer. Positive scripting and genuine intention to help can go long ways.
But it isn’t easy to be cheerful and motivated at all times.
That’s why it’s imperative to take days off, get out of your working room, and spend quality time with the ones you love.
And hey, it won’t hurt to reward yourself every once in a while or go out with your friends for a beer or two.
Spending some time outside helps reset accumulated stress.
Call center jobs from home: Technical Requirements
Before searching at home call center jobs, make sure you can comply with the following must-haves first:
A workspace at home that’s conducive for taking in calls
In other words, free from major distractions and clatters.
While working, put signage on your door so as to deter family members from knocking and interrupting unless it’s really needed.
Maintain a significant distance too from the television and other noisy appliances.
If you have small children, make sure a nanny or a family member will accompany them.
Desktops are a safe call since some companies don’t allow laptops due to possible compatibility issues.
Minimum requirements include having a 1-2 GHz processor, at least a GB of RAM, speakers, sound cards, anti-spyware programs, and an installed Microsoft Office suite.
High-speed, wired internet connection
5 Mbps is usually the minimum speed requirement by companies.
Most of them expect a very reliable connection, and that it should be plugged directly to your computer. Others may even ask for a backup connection – the cost being covered typically by your allowance/salary.
Corded phone headset with microphone, having a noise-canceling feature
Obviously, this serves as your means to hear out and talk with customers.
When choosing one, go for comfort, quality, and durability.
Check if it has soft leatherette ear cushions that allow you to work on extended periods without hurting your ear.
Sound quality, meanwhile, must be HD to facilitate good conversations.
In terms of durability, there had been many agents that were victimized by subpar headsets that only lasted a few weeks. Make sure the one you’re purchasing is made of quality plastics and first-rate microphone.
You may check out HeadSetPlus’ review of best-rated noise-cancelling headphones.
Also to do video conferencing periodically to discuss some customer service specifics.
Meanwhile, a printer may be required by some, but not all companies.
Miscellaneous items like locked file cabinets, a specific web browser, and an email account exclusively for work are also included.
Where to Find Remote Call Center Jobs
The Internet is a treasure trove of virtual call center opportunities. You just have to be diligent in finding the best opportunity, arrangement and pay rate for you.
Filipino peeps, below are some surefire sites:
Outsourcely allows you to create a customer support profile for the client’s picking. Spice it up by adding other key skills like email handling, administrative assistance, data processing, etc.
Outsourcely is great because it doesn’t get a cut on your rate, and is not bias as to remote worker location.
They employ around 50 Filipino remote workers (including customer service reps) in a month.
What’s great with Remote Staff is that their recruitment team will represent you in the best way possible to prospective clients.
Your profile will also be made available to such clients 24/7, and you’ll experience a truly conducive home-based working environment. Payments and job security are also guaranteed by them.
It promises cost savings and improved efficiency for startup and medium-sized businesses.
Of course, they’re on the lookout for Pinoys with a knack for customer service, live chat support, medical billing, etc.
Click the ‘customer service’ section and a tab filled with virtual call center jobs opportunities will appear.
As of writing date, the hottest job listing is for a financial account with a P35k salary package that requires two years of inbound/outbound experience in said industry.
Has clients from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the US that constantly offer work from home call center jobs.
Browse through their vast job openings. It might help that a Filipino will be evaluating you in the hiring process. However, they often require 2-3 years of solid experience in a similar position.
It’s quite surprising to know that this popular BPO company in the Philippines also offers work-at-home opportunities.
Filter your search by choosing ‘Philippines’ as the country and by selecting ‘Call Center’ in the job category.
Alorica’s work at home call center jobs may be seasonal though, so always be on the lookout.
Boasting 107% in client company growth and up to 70% cost reduction, the company utilizes Filipino talent to fill in customer support needs in eBay and Amazon. Its main office is located in Antipolo City.
At home call center jobs are scattered across social media. You just need to be vigilant enough to verifying that the gig is indeed legitimate.
Facebook groups like Freelance Jobs Philippines, Filipino Freelancer Online Home Based Job, and Work from Home Jobs in the Philippines have a steady supply of work from home call center postings that include lead generation, telemarketing, and B2B cold-calling.
Engaging in call center work is not a cakewalk. But when you combine that work nature with a home-based setting, being close with your family can make a ton of difference.
Or it can be a great distraction too. Whether it turns out to be a blessing or curse, it’s up to you.
But what matters most is your genuine resolve to help out others, and to make the difference in their day.