Digital nomads traditionally work as developers, graphic designers or in other online professions, however, there are plenty of other options for digital nomads looking to get their first break and one great area to work in is customer care.
There are plenty of high-end employers seeking people to work remotely as customer care agents but the big question is, “how do you break into remote customer care work?”
If you want to travel and work as a customer care agent, you need to find the right job and land it. So, let’s take a look at how you might find your dream customer care job:
How To Research Your Options For A Customer Care Job
Often, it’s not what you know but who you know. Do you have friends who work in customer care? Do you have family that may be able to refer you to a customer care role? Reach out through your network On LinkedIn and Facebook and see if there’s anybody out there that can either recommend a company, a role or a contact.
Also, don’t be afraid to get online and work through the customer service job boards:
These are among the job boards that offer the most customer service role opportunities. Though, it’s worth noting that just because a job is available on these sites – it’s not always a good opportunity. Employers who advertise online, on these sites, are often those that prefer not to pay decent rates and who are looking to minimize your employment rights.
Do Your Homework On Your Customer Care Job
Before you get around to applying for your job, you want to do some homework on the employer.
Two reasons for this, the first is that you want to avoid being scammed and the second is to better understand the employer so that you can tailor your application to them.
We found from talking to customer care agents that you will almost always get a response from an application if you can understand and articulate, “why this company?”
You can answer “why this company” by taking a careful look at the company’s website and finding something that resonates with you.
If you think about it from an employer’s point of view, there are many different opportunities out there — they want to know what makes them special and why you want this job.
If a company makes or supplies a product, it is always a good idea to get some hands-on use with it. After all, it’s very hard to support a product that you’ve got no experience with.
If you can’t find anything on the company’s website that resonates with you and you can’t get your hands on the product to give it a try, this may be a very good indication that this isn’t the job for you.
We’ve seen many digital nomads argue that you don’t need to enjoy your work in order to do it, but we beg to differ. If you’re going to travel and work, you are going to spend a lot of time alone with your work, if you hate it — then we are pretty certain that sooner or later you’re going to want to go home.
This is a life of freedom. We suggest that this means, you ought to be free to enjoy your work.
We will also suggest that it is possible to create opportunities. If you know of a start-up or new business that you feel that you would be eminently suited to work and which isn’t advertising roles — get in touch with them anyway.
Send them a quick note outlining your experience and why you like to work with them. You’d be amazed at how many times this can ignite someone’s interest and get you an interview for a job that didn’t exist until you sent the application through.
This can also mean that there is no competition for the job.
How To Apply For Your Remote Customer Care Job
If you have decided that the product and the employer are the right fit for you. Then, it’s time for you to apply for the job.
If someone has introduced you to this position, it’s a good idea to send a brief introductory note and copy in the person who made the introduction. This sets up a conversation with a hiring manager who is expecting your application.
If, on the other hand, you found this position online, then it’s perfectly okay to get straight into the application.
One thing we found very useful to know when looking for work in big companies, is that they often use an automated hiring system.
Now, this doesn’t mean you never interact with a human being, but it does mean that your initial interaction with the company is going to be with an automated software tool.
It’s very easy, very easy to get an automated software tool to like you, what you need to do is use similar language in your application to the language used in the job description. In fact, wherever possible, you want to use identical language.
The Purpose Of Your Application
A job application isn’t the place to showcase your design skills or your wit or even your personality. Though these things will come in handy at various points in your career in customer care and wit and personality are definitely advantages in the role itself, these things are best left to showcase at interview.
Firstly, you need to prove you have the skills for the job. This can be a little challenging at first, we found that the easiest way to do this is either to create a sort of example FAQ, which you wrote, that can apply to the company’s products or services or alternatively, you can create a small tutorial video showing off using the company’s products or services.
If you can’t get a hold of the company’s products or services still feel you’re suited to the job, then do the next best thing, and create an FAQ or video that demonstrates using a similar product or service.
Secondly, it is important to demonstrate that you have the relevant experience for the job. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to have years and years and years of customer care experience. It’s perfectly okay to show that you have picked up similar experience in other previous roles and yes, this can include any voluntary work you’ve done.
Your objective here is to simply go through the job description and for each required skill, very briefly, show how you can demonstrate that skill.
Note: if you find that you’re going through the job description and you barely have any of the required skills, you’re either being too hard on yourself or you’re not suited for the job. It’s important not to waste too much time applying to jobs that you don’t have skills but equally, we’d suggest that you employ a little creative thinking – most of us have the skills needed for customer care when we think it through.
What To Do If Your Applications Aren’t Leading To Interviews For Remote Customer Care Work
it is entirely possible that even after following all the steps above that you’ll still be struggling to land interviews.
In this instance, we would suggest that you work on your cover letter and resume with a career coach. It’s entirely possible that your CV and other written materials aren’t quite targeted correctly for the people you’re speaking to.
There’s no shame in seeking help, the only way to learn and to do better is to get inside advice.
Interview Tips For Your Remote Customer Care Job
You may find that initially, online interviews are very different from the interviews that you’ve had face-to-face in real life. This is okay, you will get used to them and after a while, you may even come to enjoy them.
If there is a video element to the interview, we recommend dressing for an interview and yes, that means wear a suit and a tie if you’re a man and ladies smart office where.
Make sure to prep the interview area, have your computer facing a blank wall, ensure that they will be quiet and keep a glass of water to hand. The better prepared your interview area, the less you will have to worry about when you’re on the phone.
The most important things to remember are that smiling is an essential part of any form of communication and demonstrating your energy is a vital part of customer care work.
We’ve also found that it can help to emphasize your values, enthusiasm, and professionalism in your speech. Remember that an employer is not there to fund a digital nomad’s life around the world, what they are looking for is someone to serve their customers to the best of their abilities.
Don’t forget to ask questions when given the opportunity to do so and try to make sure those questions are not about compensation, the overall job package, how much travel you can do, etc. but rather focus on questions which demonstrate your interest in the job and the responsibilities of the job.
How To Keep Your Remote Customer Care Job
Once you land your dream job, you need to keep it. Now, it’s important to note that the essential part of all jobs when done remotely is to overcommunicate what you are doing. In fact, Harvard University researchers have shown that this may be the only skill required to keep a remote job.
When people can’t see you, then it’s much harder for them to get a read on you. So, it’s up to you to keep them informed. This includes telling people what you’ve achieved when you need help and any actions you’ve taken the go above and beyond for your customers for the company.
Yes, this feels a little immodest at first but once you get into the swing of it, it soon feels very natural indeed, and your new employer will love you for it.
The other really important thing is to remember that this is a real job. You need decent equipment to do it well and you must own things like a spare headset in case yours fails during work hours. You have to turn up on time, do the job, and log off when you’re done. There’s no special pass for digital nomads to be flaky when working in remote customer care.
One Last Tip For Your Remote Customer Care Job
It’s worth remembering that there is plenty of online support for customer care agents and in fact, there are many support networks that you can join. We have found that supportdriven.com and nomadlist.com both have decent support channels that can be accessed for a low-cost.
Remote Customer Care Is A Growth Field
While it is true the automation may threaten many remote customer care jobs, it is also true that in the United States in the last decade, there has been a doubling of remote customer care vacancies and that means, there are plenty of opportunities for digital nomads in the near future in customer care.
I don’t do remote customer care work and nor does Megan as my main job but I do customer care work, with varying degrees of success, with my own clients.
I did, in a past life, work in both a call center and retail outlets and have done plenty of customer care work there.
I always enjoyed it. I like working with people and I like solving problems. I think that great customer care agents are often indispensable within their organizations.
However, I do have a thick skin and don’t mind being shouted at (the problem is never with you, it’s always with your company). Not every day in customer care is perfect and, in some industries, it can be downright awful. Choose your company with care.
Remote customer care is not everyone’s ideal job. It does involve a certain amount of stress and can even involve angry abuse. However, it is a relatively easy job to learn. It is ideally suited for remote working. And for the moment at least, it’s a growth industry. This ought to make remote customer care very attractive for those looking to digital nomad and wondering what to do in terms of a career. Good luck with it.