How Do I Become A Virtual Call Center Agent?

Home-Based Customer Care Agent

If you’ve been thinking about working from home but thought this type of work arrangement was only for web designers, writers, or computer “geeks”, think again. There are numerous call center companies that have adopted this work-from-home model. And the number of virtual call centers are growing. This means more job opportunities for Americans who are interested in working from home as customer service representatives.

There are two types of virtual call centers: in-house and outsourced.

In-house refers to large companies that develop their own virtual call centers. Their human resources team oversees the hiring process, from call center supervisors to call center agents. These companies own their own dialing equipment and systems. They conduct their own agent training. Often, agents that work for these companies are or become company employees, not contractors. For example, American Express is a well known, large company that has their own call center and uses their own Customer Service Representatives. Candidates apply for customer service positions directly through this company.


    • Pros: Company often provides full benefits: Health/dental insurance, vacation pay, 401K, etc. Higher pay than smaller companies. Equipment may be provided, such as computer, special headsets, webcams, and software.

    • Cons: Very strict rules about your home work space. For example, they may want proof of a safe electrical system, fire prevention and evacuation set up, and even the they type of chair you sit in must pass their check point as being ergonomic. May have to travel for initial paid training.

Outsourced customer service companies take on other companies as clients. These companies hire outsourcing companies to handle their customer care needs so that they do not need to manage a call center, purchase equipment or software, or take on new employees. Very often, customer service agents are independent contractors. For example, Convergys hires home based care agents throughout the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. These agents are independent contractors who are serving the needs of Convergy’s clients, and these clients come from a wide array of business industries. (Hotels, airlines, flower shops, travel agencies, clinics, and more.)

  • Pros: Workers have more flexibility when it comes to choosing their work days and hours. Training is usually online or virtual. Providing you have a quiet workspace, some of the other safety requirements are not necessary.
  • Cons: Pay is generally less for an independent contractor of a smaller company. Little, if any, equipment is provided, other than the company software necessary for you to do your job. There are usually no health benefits. And training may not always be paid.

Regardless of what type of virtual call center you chose to work for, there are some common skills you need before either will hire you.

Experience & Education–The basic requirements to work as an At-Home Express Customer Care Representative for Xerox include:

  • Possess a High School diploma or GED.
  • Type 30 WPM
  • Ability to utilize English verbally and written.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office package desired.
  • Ability to work independently in a fast paced environment.
  • Familiarity with Windows and MS Office applications, as well as basic web navigation skills.

Skills–To be an E-Customer Service Agent for UHaul, you must have, at minimum, the following skills:

  • Must be highly PC literate.
  • Ability to download software is required.
  • Applicants must have good verbal skills.
  • Fluent in the use of Instant Message.

Personality–Being friendly is a great start, but it takes much more than a cheerful voice to make it as a successful customer care agent. According to a recent job ad from Enterprise Holdings, these are a couple of must-have skills for their home-based Customer Service Representative:

  • Ability to remain resilient, project patience and empathy, and provide excellent customer service when dealing with stressful situations.
  • Increased level of problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Office Requirements–Enterprise is very picky about their agents’ home office set up. They are an in-house call center (see above description), so they exert a lot of control.

  • Computer (PC, no Mac) OS Version: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8 Computer.
  • USB Headset with Microphone or PC speakers and microphone.
  • High speed Internet access provided by a cable or DSL provider (Satellite broadband does not meet our requirements).
  • Minimum up load speed of 1000 kbps (1.0 mbps) Minimum down load speed of 3000 kbps (3.0 mbps) Use of wireless and WiFi “air cards” is prohibited.
  • Enterprise reserves the right to verify that your PC meets or exceeds the following requirements.

Office Set Up–When you work from home, it’s very important to have a “real” working environment. 1(800)Flowers tells prospective home-based Customer Service Agents that they must have:

  • A sturdy desk and a comfortable sturdy chair at a comfortable height with adequate back support. (5 legged chair highly recommended.)
  • A workstation in a private, quiet area away from others in your residence and background noise.


Rules of Conduct–Other requirements by Enterprise, regarding general interaction with clients, are:

  • Provide exceptional customer service and collect required information from the customer on every call per established criteria.
  • Use experience to identify customer needs and handle accordingly.
  • Demonstrate sincerity and empathy when appropriate by using the proper voice/tone pitch and word choice.
  • Provide timely and accurate information reflecting a customer-oriented image for the company.
  • Demonstrate and maintain professional oral and written communication with customers, co-workers and other company staff.
  • Communicate information considered unsatisfactory by customers in a tactful manner.
  • Offer alternatives and options to overcome objections.


Background–In all cases, regardless of company, you can expect a thorough background check, drug screening, work history verification, and possibly credit check. APAC tells their potential [email protected] Customer Service Representatives:

  • After successful completion of a comprehensive background and drug screening, the applicant may receive an offer to join Work at Home’s fantastic journey in our virtual classroom as a Customer Service Representative.


Related Knowledge–It’s always best to have some knowledge or understanding about the business a client or company is in before applying to work for them. According to a recent job post for Home Based Representatives by Norwegian Cruise Lines:

  • People who aren’t passionate about CRUISING need not apply!
  • People who aren’t passionate about building DREAM VACATIONS need not apply!

Rules and requirements aside, what makes a good customer service candidate, from an employer’s perspective? According to Sean Hawkins, a Call Center Manager, and co-founder of Call Center Weekly, “When selecting call center agents, soft skills are most important.”

These skills include:

  • Being a good listener
  • Being a good communicator
  • Showing good problem solving skills
  • Possessing empathy
  • Ability to follows instructions


Armed with this information about what is needed to become a virtual call center agent, and the skills necessary to succeed, it’s clear that this profession requires much more than just a telephone and some spare time. There are equipment needs, mandatory office standards, desired personality traits, and background and work experience criteria involved. None of those are difficult to overcome; but it helps to have a good picture of what’s involved before proceeding.

Have you ever considered a career as a Virtual Call Center Representative?

Bio: Pamela La Gioia has been researching and writing about telecommuting issues since the early 1990s. She is the founder and CEO of Telework Recruiting, Inc., a website that helps professionals in all fields find telecommuting employment.

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog


  1. Hi, I have been following your web site for some time and always liked checking for your new posts. Your writing technique is pretty different and I like the approach you generally take in dealing with your subjects. Keep doing what you are doing!

  2. Hi there, just needed to say that you have a fantastic site. However, I discovered that you might be having certain broswer compatibility issues. Your web site seems ok in Chrome, yet when I looked at it in internet explorer, I noticed that it had some overlying challenges. Just simply thought I ought to give you a heads up. Aside from that, I feel you have a fantastic website.

  3. Heya. I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I had to ask. Does managing a well-established website like yours take a large amount of work? I’m completely new to operating a blog but I do write in my journal daily. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my own experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it.

  4. Right now it looks like Expression Engine is the best blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?|

  5. Aw, this was a very nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to make a really good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.|

  6. I seriously love your site.. Very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this site yourself? Please reply
    back as I’m planning to create my very own site and want to know where you got this from or what the
    theme is called. Appreciate it!

  7. 나는 온라인 카지노 게임을 좋아하고 항상 큰 가입 보너스와 인스턴트 리베이트를받는 YesBet88에서 게임을합니다.

  8. Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.

    Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll
    be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  9. certainly like your web-site however you need to test the spelling
    on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and
    I to find it very troublesome to inform the reality then again I will certainly come back again.

  10. Super post. Do you have any other ones you can deliver? I highlyrate it. I have actually tried Dux Forex as a signals provider and they are amazing. I will keep you guys posted. :)

  11. I’m not certain the place you are getting your information, however great topic.
    I must spend some time learning much more or figuring out
    more. Thank you for magnificent information I was on the lookout for this information for
    my mission.

  12. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  13. 909425 707094The subsequent time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a good deal as this one. I mean, I know it was my option to read, but I truly thought youd have something attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is really a bunch of whining about something which you possibly can repair need to you werent too busy on the lookout for attention. 312321

  14. 323022 357299What a exceptional viewpoint, nonetheless is just not produce every sence by any means discussing this mather. Just about any technique thanks and also i had try and discuss your post directly into delicius but it surely appears to be an problem within your blogging is it possible you need to recheck this. thank you just as before. 436783

  15. 747884 404050Naturally I like your web-site, even so you want to check the spelling on several of your posts. Numerous of them are rife with spelling problems and I uncover it really silly to inform you. On the other hand I will surely come once again again! 155792

  16. 202931 289432Hi, Neat post. Theres a problem along along with your web site in internet explorer, could test this IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a good portion of people will omit your excellent writing because of this difficulty. 928716

  17. 658647 413913Oh my goodness! a wonderful post dude. A lot of thanks Nevertheless We are experiencing problem with ur rss . Dont know why Can not sign up to it. Could there be anybody discovering identical rss difficulty? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 645126

  18. 779431 670485Cheapest player speeches and toasts, or maybe toasts. continue to be brought about real estate . during evening reception tend to be likely to just be comic, witty and therefore instructive as effectively. best man speeches free of charge 525494

  19. 781038 245260The truth is and see if the Hcg diet protocol and as a consequence HCG Drops undoubtedly are a in fact quick strategy to be able to shed pounds; although the healthy diet has a strong will most likely moreover sizable focus to undertake positive. hcg diet drops 852946

  20. 264160 422983Oh my goodness! a wonderful post dude. Thanks Nonetheless My business is experiencing concern with ur rss . Do not know why Struggling to join it. Is there anybody acquiring identical rss issue? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 599818


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here