With the rise of the web and social media, superb customer service is a necessity for companies. Seven out of ten consumers are willing to spend more with brands that provide great customers service, according to a 2011 American Express survey. While most customer support and customer service are jobs within companies, the growth of home-based customer service agents is increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.1%, according to International Data Corporation.
So if you like to talk and you’re a quick study, you could be an agent for a U.S.-based customer service operation and making money in about a week. In a much-needed turnabout, many U.S. companies are bringing their customer service programs back to the mainland. Small companies are finding that consumers expect more, resulting in a need for more extensive customer support systems. This means opportunity for working from home.
The way it works is that when a customer calls to book a reservation or inquire about a service or item, they are not directed to a customer service center overseas but rather are connected to an agent working from the confines of their own home.
Time spent with customers results in new sales and referrals when the exchange is a positive one from the customer’s perspective. It can cost five times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain existing customers. Negative customer service experiences will cost a business a customer as well as potential sales and referrals. In fact, customers feeling poorly or unfairly treated account for two out of three customer defections. So as a customer support professional, what you do is vital to a company prospering.
There are multiple opportunities in this service industry segment. You can operate independently, selling your services to small businesses. You can operate virtually, developing a network of operators to respond to customer needs. Or you can go to work for another operator like Alpine Access, Arise, , Live Opps, or Working Solutions.
If you’ve worked the phones in just about any business you may be comfortable providing customer support. Offering the service to business sectors you’ve worked in will make you a quick study, able to get up and running quickly. More than any other, sales professionals will fit easily into these positions bringing an understanding of the need for extensive product knowledge and skills at bringing the matter to a close.
If you have no background in providing customer support, consider working for an existing firm before starting your own service. You will obtain training and gain experience or obtain certification from organizations like International Customer Service and the Customer Care Institute.
People able to work from home, bringing income from outside their communities results in spending dollars from outside in their community and thus contributes to community sustainability.
For an initial free consultation to explore this or another sustainable livelihood that bests suits your personality and your community, contact us.
Comments on the substance of the blogs are welcome. If you have other questions, please contact me directly for a consulting appointment.
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