Customer service is one of the fastest growing remote jobs. Great customer service doesn’t need a greying cubicle or a jam-packed office floor. It needs great people.
This guide will explain remote customer service jobs, including how they are different and the skills you will need. You’ll find tips for writing job applications and interviewing, along with realistic expectations of what a remote customer service job entails.
Remote Customer Service Jobs – How They Are Different
For decades the norm has been big open floors with hundreds of customer service staff taking calls and responding to inquiries. Then employers wanted to save money. So customer service was outsourced to big open-floor offices in countries where labour is cheap, such as India.
But in more recent years there’s been an evident shift towards remote customer service jobs. Removing office overheads helps employers save money without losing quality. With a remote team on different time zones it’s easier to offer 24-hour service, without paying nightshift rates. It’s also easier to have a multilingual customer service team.
The big difference for remote employees is increased autonomy. Customer service was famous for supervisors peering at their workers’ screens and nitpicking exact sign in and sign out times. Remote customer service jobs keep you clear of these unnecessary pressures. You’ll still have targets and deliverables, but the day to day is more relaxed.
A Typical Work Day
Remote employees enjoy more flexibility than employees in an office. However, most remote customer service jobs still have fixed hours. These may be negotiable. Some employers require their service staff to be on a specific time zone, whereas others value a wide variety of time zones. Smaller companies with smaller customer service teams may expect more flexible hours. This can be advantageous but can also lead to overwork and struggling to switch off after work.
As the job title suggests, a typical work day involves providing service to customers. This can be managing inbound inquiries, problem solving for existing customers, complaints and more. It may be over the phone, via email or a CMS system, text support for a website, or all of the above. Some customer service roles merge into sales roles and you receive commission for closing inbound inquiries.
Remote teams implement communication tools that are usually more efficient than communication in a traditional office. There will be mechanisms to record the service you provide and the customers’ needs. You will also have a reporting software, to track the work you do and your performance.
Skills Required for Remote Customer Service Jobs
Customer service foremost requires excellent communication in a variety of forms. You need a friendly and confident manner, along with the ability to troubleshoot and solve problems. Most employers will provide full training and have pre-determined scripts, so whether on the phone or by email you follow a set procedure.
The skills required for remote customer service jobs are consistent with the essential skills for all remote jobs. Working remotely requires great collaboration. You will need to work independently but understand when to collaborate efficiently with colleagues and managers. You must also be a great organiser, able to follow up with customers and manage your own time efficiently.
Remote customer service is completely different in terms of where you do the work. In an office you are stuck behind a desk, staring at the same screen for eight hours a day. Do this job remotely and you can be taking calls while cooking, responding to emails either side of a gym session, and not feeling the pressure of a supervisor finding you on Facebook. However, note that without good organisation it’s difficult to do this well and realise the full benefits of the remote working lifestyle.
Types of Employers Offering Remote Customer Service Jobs
On Search Remotely we see an incredibly broad range of employers looking for remote customer service. It’s broader than any of our other remote job categories.
The most common type of jobs are medium to large businesses with established remote customer service teams. The job specs and requirements can be very specific. You will join a team, receive training, and have the opportunity to work your way up to a supervisory role.
Working for a smaller company will provide more autonomy. These companies tend to be fast-growing and need experienced customer service support to fill all the gaps they leave behind. These roles can be very broad.
Around half the remote customer service jobs on Search Remotely seek very specific skills. The most common of these is tech support. This requires a strong understanding of technical systems and how to troubleshoot these remotely. Language skills are also in high demand, with international companies looking for Swedish, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic or other native speakers.
Recruitment and Interview Tips
A good CV and cover letter is important for every job. Recruiters must handle hundreds, often thousands of applications for remote customer service jobs. It’s essential to keep your CV short and relevant, highlighting skills that match the job description, as well as similar work experience.
It’s the interview that will get you the job. Remote customer service is all about how well you communicate and this is what the recruiter will test. Previous remote work experience is beneficial. You need to be confident in your remote working environment and communicate well over video. If you don’t have this experience, plan some test interviews with friends. Many people find it daunting the first time but after three of four video work calls it becomes second nature.
In both the cover letter and interview try not to overplay the benefits you will gain from working remotely. Anyone can talk about themselves and how a remote job will ultimately make them happier. Focus on how remote customer service is better for the employer, how it’s more efficient, streamlined and flexible.
Highlighting previous remote work experience is beneficial. If you don’t have this experience, try to keep bringing the conversation back to core remote skills, such as communication, collaboration, organisation and working independently of supervision.
Find Remote Customer Service Jobs on Search Remotely
Search Remotely is a leading platform for remote jobs. By only listing remote jobs you don’t need to filter to find a remote job. Find job opportunities on the remote customer service jobs page and apply directly to recruiters.