Money

3 Tips for Earning Money While Helping Others from Your Own Home

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If you like to help others and are a good problem-solver, you can turn those into real assets (AKA cash) as an at-home customer service representative! Keep reading to see how you can get started.

1. Land a gig.

As a remote customer service agent, you’ll do everything from placing orders and providing tech support to making reservations and answering questions—with average hourly wages of $10 to $19. 

“Remote customer service jobs are listed under a number of different titles, including customer service representative, customer care representative, guest services representative, client success manager, even customer happiness engineer,” says Brie Reynolds, senior career specialist at FlexJobs. “So be sure to do several searches using a variety of terms.” 

Where to look? Try general sites like FlexJobs and Indeed, plus sites that specialize in home-based call centers, such as Arise Work From Home, LiveOps, Sykes, and Concentrix. No traditional customer service background? Don’t let that stop you! “We’ve heard from employers that any customer-facing experience counts, from volunteering with a nonprofit to working as a police officer to working retail,” says Reynolds.

2. Prep for success.

You’ll need an up-to-date computer, reliable high-speed Internet, a landline, a quality headset, and any necessary software programs, such as instant messaging programs. Be sure to ask your employer if they offer a stipend for office supplies, such as an ergonomic chair and equipment upgrades — some do! 

Another key to success? Having a dedicated work space. While it may not have to be a separate room, it should be in a quiet, well-defined area of your home free of distractions like TV.

3. Guarantee high grades.

You’ll ace customer satisfaction surveys and have a higher ratio of successful interactions if you use empathy and positive language. Put yourself in clients’ shoes and show you care: Try, “I understand why you’re frustrated! I would be, too!” or “I’m sorry you were inconvenienced. We’ll see to everything from here on in.” Avoid negative phrases like, “No, we can’t,” and “I don’t know.” Much better: “Let me check with a colleague who’s an expert in that area. Is it okay if I put you on hold for a few minutes?”

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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