The Chat Shop is a company that hires home chat agents to do a wide variety of jobs, including everything from customer support to sales. The company represents a large number of corporations from a diverse set of industries. They are based out of the UK, but they hire in the US as well.
Working in The Chat Shop
The Chat Shop expects their agents to work with more than one client at a time, and often you may even have to juggle multiple conversations at once. One example given on the website was helping a customer deal with a technical problem involving an online Video on Demand service, while simultaneously helping another customer decide what sort of vacation to go on.
Because of these unique work conditions, they expect their chat agents to be flexible people, technically savvy, and quick to adapt. Obviously, you’ll also need a certain talent for multitasking.
They stressed that each work situation—day by day, and moment by moment—is totally different than the last. Every chat will have its own unique issues for you to deal with, so there’s very little repetition. You won’t be able to fall into a comfortable pattern and go on autopilot while doing this job. You need to stay alert, and always be ready to change gears.
Chat Shop Pay Rate
They don’t openly reveal the pay rate on their website, but according to Glassdoor.com, the pay for chat agents is in the neighbourhood of $9 – $10 hourly.
Scheduling with The Chat Shop
The information on scheduling from their website is a bit vague. From what I can gather there is a degree of work flexibility, but you have to commit to 35 or 40 hours a week. You can get time off if you need to, but you have to let them know in advance.
One report I found was from a US worker who mentioned having to adjust to UK hours, so it’s possible that most of their client companies are UK based, which would be an important consideration if you have an issue with working unusual hours.
Requirements to Apply
The exact requirements mentioned on their website are as follows:
- Native-level English with outstanding sentence structure, spelling and grammar
- High levels of organization and attention to detail
- Strong ability to multi-task and stay focused in high-pressure situations
- Meticulous learner and inquisitive mind
- Upbeat and positive personality
- Typing speed of 80+ WPM, error-free
- Able to work 35-40 hours each week
Of the above, the typing speed requirement is probably the most concrete and specific. They have a link to a test on their sign-up page where you can check your typing speed and see if you measure up.
There is no mention of any special equipment needed for the job. Obviously, you’ll require a computer with internet access, but it’s doubtful that their chat interface is particularly resourced intensive, so any average computer may well do the job.
The sign-up is actually quite simple. You just send them your CV and an email with answers to four simple “fill in the blank” questions. The questions focus on your personality, your attitude, and the way you view the job. They aren’t technical questions, and they aren’t the sort of questions you can study for.
I found that the feedback on The Chat Shop from Glassdoor.com was mostly quite positive.
Many people went out of their way to praise the staff, who are apparently easy to work with and helpful. There were also quite a few people who mentioned a potential for advancement in the company if you do the job well enough. According to those who gave positive reviews, the work itself is easy enough as long as you’re comfortable multitasking and have decent people skills.
The consensus view seems to be that The Chat Shop is a very solid and reliable work flexibility, and probably worth trying to get if the pay sounds reasonable to you.
There were, however, a few complaints here and there.
One reviewer mentioned that the company can be sloppy in the way they handle their clients, and suggested that these difficulties end up causing problems for chat agents during their day-to-day work. This person also said that the company is more concerned with quantity than quality, and that they expect the agents to learn too much information in too short a time. You’ll apparently need to be able to act as though you’re an expert on topics that you may have only a basic knowledge of.
Another complaint was that many of the client companies you’ll have to work with have somewhat questionable reputations. You may have to sell products that aren’t really all that great, and you might occasionally find yourself dealing with angry customers who didn’t get what they thought they were purchasing.
Also, like much other work at home opportunities, you don’t get any work flexibility with this job—no paid time off, or insurance, or any other major perks. This is, to some extent, par for the course when it comes to working at home jobs. For some, it will be a big issue, and for others, it won’t.
One point of contention where I found a plethora of both positive and negative comments among reviewers was the quality of the initial training program.
One of the most frequent complaints among those who gave poor reviews was that the training was inadequate, and left workers without the required skills to navigate difficult chat situations. But there were just as many who actually went out of their way to praise the training. So it’s hard to say which view is the correct one. Maybe it depends on what skills you already have from past experience in other jobs.
How to Get Started
If this sounds like an opportunity that could work for you, go HERE, read everything over, and put in your application.
The four questions you’ll need to answer to get the job, and the email address where you have to send your CV are both in the bottom left corner of the page.
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