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How Do You Land a Customer Service Work at Home Job?

Aug 19, 2008
Customer service positions are going to people's homes more and more. And why not? Equipment needs are minimal and it saves employers a ton of money not having to maintain huge offices. It's surprisingly efficient.

Not only do many companies hire people outright to do customer service work from home, there are others that will allow you to work from home once you have proven yourself as an employee. It can be a pretty good deal.

So how do you get in on it?

The first thing to do is to make sure that you qualify for the position. Do you have any experience in customer service? If you want to start out working from home, this will help a lot. Employers hear from so many unqualified people when they offer at home positions that they get overwhelmed. Experience counts.

You also need to be sure that you have a setup at home that will suit any potential employers. While you may take different kinds of calls for each company, there are many factors that all employers will want.

1. A quiet workspace.

Really quiet. As in no background noise whatsoever. Doubly so if the noise identifies you as home based. Many people doing customer service from home lose their jobs over background noise.

2. A noise-cancelling headset.

As there's no way you can get rid of all background noises, a noise-cancelling headset is a huge asset. You're going to need a headset anyhow, as you can't do this job while holding a handset. These are quite affordable and you can often get them at Target or Walmart.

3. A fairly current computer.

You don't need to have the latest and greatest, but you do need to have a decent quality machine.

4. A dedicated phone line.

No extra features on the line, just unlimited long distance calling. Call waiting and so forth are not necessary, and you really do not want non-work related calls coming in on this line.

5. High speed internet.

This means cable or DSL.

With this equipment and some basic customer service skills, you may be appealing to potential employers. The equipment needed is common enough and/or affordable enough that you generally need to buy it yourself, although you may be reimbursed by your employer for some things.

A few companies will hire you at home as an employee, but many prefer to hire independent contractors. This is a part of what determines whether or not they reimburse you for anything and has implications for your tax situation as well. Independent contractors have to handle their own taxes!

Depending on the company you work for, you may take calls for just that one company's products and services, or you may take calls for a variety of companies. Be aware that many companies are very sensitive about being discussed online. There may be privacy issues as well.

As with any work at home opportunity, be aware that there are scams out there. Do some research and be sure that you know what you are getting into. Don't pay for a job. Taking some time can save you money and a lot of frustration.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.homewiththekids.com/ as a resource for people looking to work from home. Her site lists many customer service jobs from home .
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