You may or may not know that you can work remotely as a telephone customer service agent. Telecommuting with Arise Virtual Solutions allows you to do just that. They offer full-time and part-time positions and a variety of positions including billing, technical support, road-side assistance, and much more.
Where do they hire?
The United States, Canada, an United Kingdom.
To work for Arise, you must have a computer and technical specifications vary between clients, but their general tech specs can be found here.
Hardware: In summary, you must have a PC or MAC with the minimum hardware of 1GHz dual-core processor, 2GB RAM. You can use All-in-one computers. However, some may not be compatible with some of the clients as they all have different software. Laptops and desktops are acceptable, too. I recommend a desktop with the option for multiple monitors as this type of work requires multitasking, and two screens save a LOT of time on AHT.
Software: Acceptable operating systems are Windows(7, 8, 8.1,10) and Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Also, insure you have a browser that’s compatible. They do say that Google Chrome’s not compatible so ensure you have IE, Edge, Mozilla or Safari. Also, they recommend Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows, and you more than likely already have this. Other software like AVG, Avast, etc. may not be compatible.
Services: You must have a hard-wired internet either a DLS, Cable, or Fiber Optic connection with minimums speeds of 3 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. Also, they mention a minimum latency threshold of 150 milliseconds. (If you have no idea what this all means, don’t worry! They have a test that you run on your computer to ensure your Internet speeds meet or exceed the requirements.)
You also need a land line telephone service. Think basic with this; just a plain old telephone service (POTS). Don’t get any fancy add-ons like call waiting or voicemail. Some clients allow Voice over IP (VoIP) but I’d just get a regular old line from your cable or internet provider just to be safe. Maybe even wait until training to ensure you get what’s needed for a phone line.
Accessories: You will need a USB headset for training, a hard-wired telephone and a headset for production. I purchased the equipment bellow on Amazon. They work well, and they’re affordable.
To incorporate or not to incorporate:
When you work at Arise, you’re considered an independent contractor, meaning you will not be working as an employee for them. There are no benefits(although some IBOs do offer them), you take care of your own taxes, etc. (I’ll talk about the difference between an independent contractor and an employee in an upcoming post.) With that being said you have two options. 1) you can incorporate and own your own business, Arise calls these individuals IBOs (Independent Business Owners.) Incorporating varies between countries and states so I will not be discussing this here. The process is a bit daunting but it will allow you to hire other contractors to work under you with Arise. You will be responsible for paying these contractors, ensuring they are working up to quality standards, fire them if necessary. You will be responsible for taking care of all the business stuff.
The other option is to work under an IBO. That’s the easiest and quickest method. It’s a no-brainer if you’re looking to jump straight into training so you can start working asap. You’ll work your shifts and be paid, usually bi-weekly, by the IBO you choose to work with.
What’s the work like?
Think call center. You’ll answer phones, make changes to accounts, talk to friendly(and not so friendly people), and selling to those people. The type of work is typically stressful and can take a toll on the quality of your life. After doing this for ten years I called it quits because I was sick of the stress. I promised to never answer a phone again after I had a day full of inconsiderate, demanding, self-entitled customers — and a meltdown of me sobbing uncontrollably into the phone as I told my father I couldn’t take it anymore, looking for reassurance that it was okay to quit my job.
Okay, okay! It’s not that bad. I mean it was terrible, and I hated it, but some people love this type of work. Maybe you’re one of those awesome people. If you’ve never worked in the line of business before who knows how you’ll feel about it.
Besides the customers, you’ll have your “service of work” contract to worry about which includes things like:
AHT: The average talk time for your customers. The standard is usually around 5 minutes.
Hold time: The average time you keep customers on hold. Typically 30 seconds or less.
Transfer rate: How many of your calls are transferred to other departments.
Adherence: Be signed into the phone when you’re scheduled to work otherwise you’re not going to last long. If I remember correctly, this needs to be above 90%, or you risk losing your contract.
Sales: Just offer products and hope they buy. Keyword: Hope.
I think I might just type up a call center post because I’m getting too general with this.
So the next thing I will discuss is your schedule. The main reason I chose to work with Arise is that you get to work when you want, you choose your schedule each week. Depending on the client you may have to work a minimum amount of hours and be capped at a maximum, but the flexibility is amazing.
You choose your schedule in 30 minute increments. The client I worked for required me to work 15 hours minimum a week with two of those hours being on Saturday and Sunday. The client was open 24 hours a day so I could choose a morning, afternoon, or evening schedule if available. I say if available because your stats (mentioned above) determine when you get to choose your schedule. If you’re in gold, you choose a day before every one else. Silver, you choose 2 days after gold. With bronze, you choose last (scraps for my client.) Finally with flex, you get whatever is left. My hubby worked for another client that had urgent hours pretty much all the time so it didn’t matter if you were bronze you’d still get an abundance of times to choose from.
Is this a full-time, part-time, or extra money type of job?
It depends on the client. My hubby was working in the US, and he received full-time hours. If he wanted he could have worked 90 hours a week with one client and picked up another client to work 15-90 more hours. Here in Canada, there are not a lot of options, and the one client that pops up most is a seasonal type job. Some times I got 40 hours a week when it was busy, and sometimes I got only 15 hours. There were a couple times when my stats were bad a week, and I was sitting in the schedule refreshing for dear life to get hours.
The method of payment depends on your IBO, so you’ll be told by them when the time comes. My hubby and I both were paid via direct deposit bi-weekly just like every other call center I worked for.
As for pay, this depends on the client, IBO, and your stats(in some cases.) I was paid a little over minimum wage per hour for base-pay plus commission on sales. Minimum wage in my province was $10.70 at the time, so that was alright. However, I paid my IBO $30 CSP Fee for working under their corporation (kind of like oDesk–now UpWork.) Who knows how much they were taking from my base pay(I’ve heard of IBOs taking $0.10 to $2.00 from the clients hourly base-pay.) That means that if you were incorporated, you would be keeping all the money you’re paying the IBO for using their corporation to work.
Remember you’re an independent contractor so don’t forget to put away at the least 20% for taxes.
What are other people saying about Arise?
A lot of people initially think Arise is a scam (myself included.) Since you’re a contractor, you are responsible for paying for a background check, training, equipment, etc. It’s a lot of upfront costs. It took me a while to get over that fact and jump into it. Also, I used my hubby as a lab rat to test the waters and ensure it wasn’t a scam (lol.) I will assure you that Arise is not a scam you probably already realize that by now based on my experience above.
My overall experience with Arise was great. My experience with my IBO, meh. Would I work there again? Heck yes, I’d run my own IBO and still never answer a phone.
How to apply:
Go here and click on the register now at the top left of the page.
After you’re registered, you’ll need to do a background check, choose an IBO or incorporate, do some training on Arise, and apply to a client’s training class. Don’t worry, everything is step-by-step, and you’ll be able to contact support if you get stuck.
Arise is a legitimate way to earn some money at home. You can do it full-time in the US, part-time (almost full-time) in Canada, and in the UK I’m not sure (sorry.) You are a contractor, and with that, there are a lot of upfront costs, but I think they’re worth the price for the flexibility that the job offers. I’ve worked there, and I do recommend them as much as I loathe call center work.