Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

At Home Agent FAQ List

October 11, 2007

"I want to be a home agent."
I get a lot of e-mails that start off this way. Because I frequently write on the topic, I assume most people find me through search engines. One thing a lot of the e-mails I get have in common is an initial explanation of why the writer wants to be a home agent. I'm disabled. I'm a semi-retired veteran. I'm a widow. I have small children. I don't drive. My pension isn't enough to support me.
 
There's a reason these people reach out to me and other TMCnet editors: there are far too many work-at-home scams out there, and many people with a genuine interest in working from home are wary of falling into a fraudster's trap…for very good reason.
 
So, here is an informal FAQ sheet I've put together for people who might want to seriously consider working as a home agent.
 
1. Do I have to have a college degree to be a home agent?
Not necessarily, but for every legitimate home agent position that opens, there are dozens — or more — of applicants. The more education you have, the better your chances of finding a home agent position. If you've worked in customer service before, your chances are even better. But keep in mind your other interests and education may count, as well. For example, a home agent company with a client that sells gardening supplies through a catalog might value the fact that you've been a hobbyist gardener for 30 years.
 
2. Do the positions pay benefits?
Some do and some don’t. Some companies hire home agents as independent contractors, not company employees. Others do take on their home agents as full employees. If having benefits and being a company employee is important to you, ask this question of any potential employer up front.
 
3. How do I know the home agent employer is legitimate?
Any legitimate home agent employer will never ask you for money up front. If you have to pay or buy into a work-from-home situation, it's not legitimate.
 
4. What equipment do I need to work from home?
In most cases, just a decent computer with an up-to-date Windows operating system and a high-speed Internet connection (cable or DSL), but individual companies may have different demands.
 
5. Is a home agent position good for a stay-at-home parent?
Yes and no. Home agent positions are good for stay-at-home parents in that oftentimes, home agents can schedule their work blocks while children are at school or daycare. But keep in mind that the moment your manager/supervisor hears a screaming child in the background of a customer call, that'll be it for your career as a home agent. While you are working, you will need to make childcare arrangements for your kids.
 
6. Will the company monitor my calls and productivity?
Yes. Today's IP (Internet protocol) technology enables you to be logged in to your employer's monitoring, workforce management (scheduling) and customer service software exactly as if you were working in the physical call center.
 
7. Does it matter that I'm disabled?
Not at all. The companies that use home agents value their home workers' maturity, experience and work ethics.
 
8. How do I go about applying?
The companies that offer home agent positions usually have special pages on their Web sites for you to submit yourself as a candidate for a home agent. Should they find your resume compelling, they will probably schedule a phone-based interview with you.
 
9. Does it matter where I live?
Not generally. Some companies prefer to use home agents based in the same general geographic location as the company headquarters, others don't care where their home agents are physically located.
 
10. Which companies use home agents?
The following is a short list of companies that are either exclusively home-agent based or have substantial home agent programs.
 
Alpine Access, www.alpineaccess.com
Working Solutions, www.workingsolutions.com
 
 
 
Tracey Schelmetic is editorial director for CUSTOMER INTER@CTION Solutions. For more articles please visit Tracey Schelmetic’s columnist page.

Article comments powered by Disqus

Related Contact Center Solutions Articles

Forecast Shows Increased Business Activity in Call Centers Market

Global Industry Analysts, Inc., (GIA), a publisher of off-the-shelf market research, stated that its new global report on call center markets titled, "Call Centers: A Global Strategic Business Report" has revealed the revival of the global economy and an increase in business activity will help increase spending for call centers around the globe. [ Read More ]
08/26/2014

Hinduja Global Solutions Receives High Buyer Satisfaction Ratings

Hinduja Global Solutions Limited (HGS), a company that offers customer relationship and business process management solutions, recently announced that it scored highly on all parameters related to buyer satisfaction in Everest Group's annual report on the Contact Center Outsourcing (CCO) - Service Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix Assessment 2014. HGS has also been positioned as a "Major Contender" in Everest Group's 2014 PEAK Matrix assessment. [ Read More ]
08/26/2014

Omnichannel Gets a Little Moxie

With a focus on SaaS, Moxie is actively looking at tools being applied to the entire customer journey. Moxie provides high volume interaction online for customers and aims to address "omnichannel" communication and offer shoppers a consistent experience. [ Read More ]
08/26/2014

Choosing the Right Metrics to Measure Customer Service

Customer service is constantly evolving due to technological advancements and changes in the needs and expectations of customers. To meet these changing preferences, it is important for call centers to stay on top of the performance of its employees and one of the ways to do so is use the right metrics for evaluating performance. Unfortunately, many managers today choose the wrong metrics to evaluate employee performance and to measure customer service, so they end up incurring more cost for the… [ Read More ]
08/25/2014
Subscribe here for your FREE Contact
Center Solutions
enewslettter.

Events

Weekly Live Demo
Contact Center Solutions

Register Today!


Weekly Live Demo
CaaS Small Center

Register Today!