- May 16, 2018
As a college professor, I’m to used finding ways to solve problems. Those problems can include anything from complex academic quandaries to a student complaining about his or her grades. My job also requires me to communicate clearly. Good communication skills ensure that I can transmit my knowledge to my students.
Problem-solving and communication skills: these are two aspects of my job that enabled me to moonlight as a customer service representative. During midterm and summer breaks, I often have to look for ways to earn money. I’ve tried online teaching and tutoring, but this year I decided to try providing customer service.
The customer service industry is booming. And companies such as The Chat Shop looked like a great way to earn from this booming industry. Do you have great communication and problem-solving skills? If so, you might want to give this a try. I tried out The Chat Shop, and below is my Chat Shop review.
What is the Chat Shop?
The Chat Shop is a UK-based company that specializes in outsourcing customer service requirements. Client companies hire The Chat Shop, and The Chat Shop hires people such as myself to work as independent contractors.
The company provides live-chat services to companies. Because of this format, writing skills are also a must. (I’ll be discussing job requirements in a bit)
Working for The Chat Shop
The company expects you to handle multiple chat callers at once. This is extremely taxing - but also oddly exhilarating. In one chat box, you might be assisting a customer reformat their computer, while in another chat box, you might have to help a caller with their airline points.
Needless to say, multitasking is an important skill while working for this company. Every call is different, and you need to be able to shift gears whenever a new service request pops up.
I’m sure people with call center or hotel experience will be able to ace this job. As for me, being a teacher equipped me with the patience for dealing with my callers.
Earning Potential and Schedule
The all-important question! Chat agents can make up to $10 an hour, which is not bad for part-time work. They do require you to be available for 35 to 40 hours per week. The schedule is flexible, but you need to let them know if you’re taking time off for work. It’s a bit unusual for part-time work, but I understand that things are different in the customer service industry. The Chat Shop needs to manage the schedule of its workers more closely due to the nature of the work.
What are the requirements for working with The Chat Shop?
The Chat Shop is super-particular about your skills and qualifications - and for good reason. A customer service representative is basically the front-liner in a company’s operations. You will be representing the company you’re servicing, even if you’re not actually a full-time employee. That doesn’t make a difference to the person requesting assistance - all they want is for you to address their concerns and solve whatever problem it is they have.
Here are the requirements you’ll have to meet:
Native-level English – This means you’ll have to know how to speak English like native speakers. That includes knowing colloquialisms and slang words.
High levels of organization and attention to detail – This isn’t the kind of job you where you can daydream and space out. Callers expect you to take note of every detail of their concerns. It also goes without saying that you need to be able to understand and process their concerns.
Strong ability to multi-task and stay focused in high-pressure situations – You may have to handle multiple callers, who may sometimes be grumpy or irate, at a given time. To pull that off, you will have to be able to both focus and transition from one task to another.
Meticulous learner and inquisitive mind – You will be handling clients from various industries and backgrounds. This means you need to be able to learn about the companies, and the requirements, pretty quickly. You’ll always have to be on your toes here.
Upbeat and positive personality – I’ll be upfront: some of your callers will be absolutely annoying… and some can be downright mean. You need to have a positive mindset to work with these kinds of callers. Personally, I’ve been tested by my students. Having to deal with irksome students has given me the ability to deal with irksome callers.
Typing speed of 80+ WPM, error-free – Like I mentioned a while ago, service is provided via chat. That means you’ll have to be able to write at least eight words per minute without any errors. Writing properly here is akin to having good speaking skills, in other customer service companies.
Able to work 35-40 hours each week – They’re pretty demanding with their time - they require at least the same amount as a part-time job. That was fine by me; I had quite a bit of free time during the school break.
If you meet all the above criteria, and want to give this job a shot, head over to their website and check out their application page. Here are the links:
Application Page: https://www.thechatshop.com/jobs-apply
The page clearly states which documents you’ll have to provide. You will have to send your CV, passing a typing test, and answer a few questions about yourself. You will also have to prove that you’ve got high-speed internet where you plan to work.
The Chat Shop will provide you with training, which is pretty standard. But take note, some people have commented that the training wasn’t very adequate. Since I didn’t have prior customer service experience, I didn’t know what to expect with the training, so I just went with it. But looking back, I can definitely see that some additional training with have made things move more smoothly.
The Verdict: Legit or Scam?
The Chat Shop is legit! The company isn’t perfect (it should improve its new worker training) and the job can be difficult. But it’s super-rewarding, both mentally and financially. Definitely a great part-time gig for those who are into customer service.
The Chat Shop Screenshots
Click to Zoom
This post is based on my experience with The Chat Shop. Now it’s your turn to share! Have you tried working with The Chat Shop or similar companies? What was your experience like?
Let’s hear your stories!