Amy used to go to a call center to work, but now the call center comes to Amy. Amy’s family lives in the country, in the rural area of the beautiful Hudson Valley in New York. They have goats, ducks, chickens, pigs, plus a dog, cat, a fish and a turtle. It’s a long drive to the nearest town and Amy much prefers being able to keep an eye on the kids, both the human kind and the four-legged kind. Amy is resourceful. She solved her family’s problem with a computer and a headset. Since 2017, Amy has been working for TeleReach Corporate’s virtual call center, which has allowed Amy to earn an income and be at home to take care of the kids at the same time. Working in our virtual call center has also shortened Amy’s 45-minute commute to her job at the brick and mortar call center to walking just a few steps to commute to her job at our virtual call center.
We sat down with Amy to learn more about her journey from the brick and mortar call center to the virtual call center.
What kind of search did you go through to find us?
“It took quite a bit of time. At first, I was searching for ‘stay at home jobs.’ I wanted to stay within call center jobs. I did a lot of research on each opportunity though, and I recommend that everyone do their research. A lot of places want you to spend money upfront, which I didn’t do and I don’t recommend that anyone else does. When I found TeleReach, I knew it was different. They didn’t want you to even buy a headset until after you received an offer. It was different but in a good way. Part of the time, we only had one car, so I was motivated to find a real daytime job working from home, but it still took some time to find the right job.”
What background did you have before that has helped you be successful with this career?
“I was in project management and the job before that I was in quality assurance. Essentially, I was in charge of my projects from start to finish at every job, so I knew how to work independently to get things done. I didn’t do cold calling but I did write scripts and I knew the process. My jobs before helped me because it was the same type of content, just a different perspective. I know what happens behind the scenes, so it helped me succeed as a cold caller.
I’ve kind of gradually phased into working from home. I used to work for a company for more than 24 years. My old-fashioned boss finally decided to let us work from home one day a week. We all chose a day but it couldn’t be the same day for everyone. Eventually that job closed down and I got another job working from home in about 2007, however, the hours were in the middle of the night and weekends. Then I came to work for TeleReach in 2017 where I can work normal daytime hours.”
What tips do you have for people considering working from home or changing careers to cold calling?
“The key is to stay organized and set yourself up on a schedule. Working from home makes it much easier to manage the family and still bring in an income, however, you have to be disciplined to carve out time and space for your job. If you can do that, you can be successful here or working from home. I like the flexibility I have. If you have to run to the doctor or take a kid somewhere, you just have to make sure you work in your hours later on the West Coast.
Working from home is a way of life for people now, so why not take on a flexible job that allows you to work with kids at home? It’s the best of both worlds.
There are several other things that are important –
Quiet – It’s important to have a quiet place to work. We record our calls so we must have a quiet environment. We can’t have dogs barking in the background. Since COVID, I’ve heard a lot more dogs barking on the calls, but it’s because they are the prospect’s dogs these days, and that’s OK, just as long as they are not my dogs.
Uninterrupted – I actually moved my office to another part of the house so that I would get less interruptions, plus it had better light. My family knows I’m here, but they also know when they can and can’t bother me. It works for us.
Comfort – You need a comfortable seat. We sit at a desk all day. I never had as much sitting in my past jobs.
Organization – My desk area is organized and everything I need is at my fingertips.
Location – I found that placement of my home office works better for me if I am kind of the hub. I actually get less interruptions if I am located in such a way that I know what is going on instead of being isolated in a far corner of the house.”
The day the kids ate the call center.
Amy had one more problem to solve. This is a photo of Frank, our cover kid. You can see from the look in his eye, he’s definitely not one to be left home alone. Amy said, “One day I looked outside and the goats were eating my porch. They completely knocked down the banister. I didn’t realize how destructive goats can be. They break everything. Thank goodness I was able to find a wonderful, loving home with some people who wanted goats and had plenty of room. When we took them to their new home, I was so happy that day, I was crying. I was so grateful. It seemed like a good idea at the time but I don’t ever want to have goats again.”