Virtual call centers have expanded globally. Because many people want to work from home, this has led to the growth of both jobs and similar home-based jobs. Companies that offer these jobs divide their employees into groups of smaller call centers, but ultimately they all work from home and perform the same tasks.
Virtual call centers offer customer care services, and sometimes offer sales via telephone–rather than meeting with the prospect face to face. They either receive inbound calls or make outbound customer service and sales calls, or a combination of both. When the company receives a call, they place it on hold until one of the reps is available to receive it, and then they service the client according to their needs.
Big companies hire call center staff to interact with their customers or sell and upsell products and services. The companies can include insurance, utility companies, customer support for software and hardware companies, mail order catalogues, banks, and telesales companies. The main reason why call centers hire virtual agents is that they save money: they do not have to offer full benefits like fulltime in-house staff do; also, the call center requires less investment because they rely on virtual agents to purchase equipment and work at their own place.
To work as an independent agent, you need the necessary tools and equipment. This includes a fast computer and Internet connection, a landline phone, headset, an instant messaging account, and a quiet and comfortable working space. This may mean having another person take care of a baby if you have one since any noise easily transmits via the microphone. You also need to speak fluently in English and/or another language like Spanish. You must have impeccable communication skills, have a pleasant and professional attitude, and communicate coherently on the phone, and have flexibility to work odd hours (weekends and holidays).
Many companies that offer these jobs hire independent contractors, while a few others will hire you directly as an employee and give you similar benefits that you would receive with a regular job. The amount of money that you can earn depends on for whom you are working, and the number of incoming or outgoing calls that you handle. If you are working in a sales environment, the employer may pay your an hourly rate plus commissions. Other employers may pay you per minute or per call. On average, companies pay $10 to $15 per hour.
Companies that have a large customer base hire virtual assistants. These can include insurance companies and banks, retail outlets, or you can get a job with a contracting call center who hires you on behalf of another company.
You can find a job on the Internet. Many companies advertise open positions, most of which are temp. agencies and local staffing agencies. These agencies can guarantee you regular workflow, if not a permanent job, because they are well established and they have regular orders from their clients.
Your employer will expect you to answer incoming calls in a courteous manner and represent the company. The company may require you to make customer support calls, or make cold calls to customers and generate leads for their sales people. The employer might hire you as a sales person to make outbound calls to potential customers, and close the sale on phone. You will also be required to report all inbound and outbound calls, track closed or pending sales, as well as other tasks that the employer will instruct you to do.