Hey, WWR Peeps!

Hey, WWR Peeps!

Turn Your Customer Support Experience Into Your First Remote Job

Hey again 👋 Odalis here.

I hope you enjoyed and discovered some good stuff during the webinar!

Since I couldn't dig into or go into more detail on all the things we covered, I created this page to share links to articles, checklists, templates, examples, and more.

Enjoy!

The Work You Do is Valuable—without question or qualifier

Awesome remote companies don't hire like everyone else

If you've been applying to awesome remote companies and haven't heard back from them or can't make it past the interview, check this out:

7 Hiring Managers at Awesome Remote Companies Share About Why They Didn't Offer You a Job

You'll discover:

  • What hiring managers would like to see more of and less of from candidates.
  • The qualities and skills that their best support folks are swimming in.
  • How much it matters (if at all) to have previous remote experience, get a referral, or work with a recruiter.

Show that Alignment!

If you watched even half the webinar, you may have caught on to how important it is to show alignment between what you want and the company you want to work for.

(If you didn't catch that, let me know! I need to work on making it MUCH more obvious 😉)

To make it as easy as possible to find some alignment nuggets and highlight them in your applications, check out:

Plus, check out some things we didn't cover in the webinar like:

Don't make it seem like you only want the job because it's remote & Other mistakes to avoid

While the guide above will help with finding some things to talk about besides the job being remote, I also wanted to share this great article with insights from some awesome remote companies including Doist, Buffer, InVision, Timely, and Toggl on some of the other mistakes you need to avoid when applying for a remote job at companies like theirs:

The 8 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Applying For a Remote Job

Salary insights

First, if you're curious about the details in the salary survey I mentioned during the webinar, here are the results: Support Driven's 2018 Salary Survey. It's the raw data, but you can scroll through it or make a copy of it and filter it.

Also, below are all remote support jobs that I came across in the past week with their salaries posted.

Tip: If you look for remote support roles on Angel.co, they typically include the salary range. You will need to create a profile to gain access to job posts, but it's worth it for the salary info.

From the Webinar questions

This is a recap of the questions and answers from the Q&A portion of the webinar. This also includes answers to the questions I didn't get the chance to answer during the webinar.

Note: I am still working on getting all the questions and answers added here from the webinar recording. I should have them all up by the end of day on Monday.

Q: What is customer success?

A: This article from HubSpot does a great job of giving the most often used description for a customer success role compared to a support role. And this article from Custify does a great job of showing the differences and similarities of customer success roles to more traditional account management or sales-supporting roles.

The important thing to keep in mind with customer success is that the title can used to for different types of roles. So make sure that you read the job description to see if the role is a right fit for you.

Q: What should I write in my resume or cover letter while applying for a CS role so that I get a response from the company?

A: Check out the Show That Alignment! section above.

Q: Startup companies, or new companies, don't have much information available in order to do good research. So what do you do?

A: Reach out directly to the people at that company. If they're small, they're likely getting far less applicants than a better known remote company. So they often have more bandwidth to speak to applicants while they're in the middle of hiring.

So here are some ideas on how to connect with people at a small company and what to say or ask. Also, this is one of the few exceptions where reaching out to them through LinkedIn might actually help, if you're not able to connect with them through a community.

Q: I'm a senior R.N. (registered nurse) with an M.S. in counseling forced into living on disability with extreme physical injuries. I live in Montana. Are there any areas of support/service that would fit my skillset? I'm computer literate but our internet here is not high-speed. Is that necessary?

A: There are more companies offering counseling services through apps or websites where you may be able to use your skills remotely. I'm not sure exactly what kind of support teams these companies have, but your background would give you a big advantage.

That said, since your degree is in counseling, you might try looking for counseling positions instead of support roles.

As far as your internet, one of the things that might work in your favor is that a lot of these new counseling-related apps are based on messaging. So if it takes you 30 seconds to send a message, it may not be a big deal for asynchronous communication.

Follow up QYes! Telehealth! I did also work in Mental Health crisis counseling. How do I find the companies that may hire for that?

A: To find companies in TeleHealth, you'll need to do some research. There are several places with lists of remote companies, but I'd suggest starting by looking for TeleHealth companies instead. They may not be 100% remote, but they may offer the option for their counselors to work from anywhere.

Q: How can you vet out whether someone is burnt out, if they don't explicitly say that. Are there specific traits or years or experiences?

A: We don't identify burnout based on years or experience. It's typically based on the language the candidate uses or how they approach working with customers during the paid trial.

For example, during a short interview, I'll talk to someone about their experience working with customers. Since we're on a hangout, I can see their face and when they talk about customers, they don't light up. They don't seem excited. They may focus a lot on talking about the negative things they've experienced working with customers. So I'll ask a question about their career goals or what kind of growth they're looking for, and that's usually when I hear about how they are passionate about something else and want to move out of support fairly quick.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for articles or books to succeed in the support field?

A: My #1 book recommendation is The Customer Support Handbook by Sarah Hatter. It does a fantastic job of covering all the areas you'll be involved in with customer support from a place of empathy, service, and doing right by customers.

Blog recommendations: Help Scout, Groove, and HubSpot (for customer retention and customer experience).

Q: I've noticed that a lot of remote companies are looking for native English speakers. What would your suggestion be for non-native speakers who are looking for a remote support job?

A: I didn't mention this in my response during the webinar, but there are company looking for non-English speakers or bilingual speakers. Job posts typically put the language they're looking for in parentheses next to the title like: Customer Support Specialist (Japanese).

Otherwise, we do have great tools like Grammarly that help you by checking your spelling and grammar. So if you would use that tool to check all your writing when applying to support roles and you'll want to focus on roles that are mainly providing written support through email and/or chat.

You might also want to focus on applying for companies that have lots of customers worldwide or who live in a country that speaks the same language as you, since you will be able to better serve those customers (even if the company isn't specifically hiring someone fluent in the language you speak).

Q: What are some good resources for getting support or success skills?

A: Beyond getting an hourly job working with customers, you can help people in forums for a technical product and use that as a way to gain experience working with and teaching people.

For example, it can help you get better at communicating through writing, understanding what people are really asking or the issue they're having, creative problem solving, and breaking down complex ideas or concepts into easy-to-understand writing.

To improve your troubleshooting skills, teach yourself something new. Build things, break things, and then take the time to figure out how to fix things on your own. It's in the trial and error that we learn, and can then better serve customers.

Q: Many companies don't usually share salaries in the job posting or during the interview. So if they ask you in the interview, do you recommend giving them a number?

A: It can be tough to provide a number when you're not 100% what all of the duties in the role are. You can use the salary information from Support Driven's Salary Survey to come up with a salary range for yourself that you can use when discussing salary.

However, if you really don't know everything that you'll be doing in the role, then you can ask them to provide more details so that you can provide an appropriate salary range.

I will say that I, personally, like to bring up salary earlier in the discussion because I don't want to go through a whole hiring process for a role that isn't going to pay me what I feel I deserve. So it saves us both time and shows the hiring manager that I value my skills and experience (and you should value your skills and experience too!!).

I think the other thing to consider here is that awesome remote companies take salary seriously and want to pay their people well. So I tend to worry less about them undervaluing their employees and more about individuals undervaluing themselves.

Q: I am looking to transition into SaaS from another industry, I know I will likely take a pay cut, but I struggle with how to answer the "salary" question on application forms. Is "negotiable" a turn off?

A: I haven't heard of any hiring managers say that they find this to be a turn off. What I can say is that usually when people tell me their salary is negotiable, it comes off as saying "I'm willing to accept less than the salary I think I deserve." In our hiring process, we ask for a salary range upfront, so they've already stated a range before making this kind of comment.

From that perspective, I don't like seeing it because I don't like people undervaluing their own skills and experience. Still I've never heard of a hiring manager upset about someone not providing a salary range upfront. My guess is that there are likely hiring managers somewhere that are bothered by this and that it's specific to that person (not the company).

For more information on salary negotiation, I would recommend Ramit Sethi's work on salary negotiations. However, I will add a caveat. You'll notice that he mentions recruiters and negotiating with them on salary. I've found that most awesome remote companies don't have outside recruiters or any recruiters at all for support positions. And internal recruiters (members of a hiring team), don't treat salary the same way that recruiters outside of an organization do.

Q: Should I apply again to a company if I have been rejected by the company? In 3 months?

A: Yes. You don't lose anything by applying to the company again. The hiring managers I know aren't going to count anything against you for that. Just be sure that you're doing the work to put together a great application that shows the alignment between what you're looking for and what they're offering. How long you wait doesn't matter. It's all about the quality of your application.

Q: Where do I apply for remote jobs? I am Based in Nigeria.

A: You'll want to focus on roles that are posted as "Anywhere" or "100% Remote" on job boards which means the company is accepting applicants from anywhere in the world. You can start by checking out the job boards I've listed in this guide. Then also check out Remotive which tends to list roles by more international companies than other remote job boards.

Want more ideas & Insights for getting a remote job at an awesome company?

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Every week I share insights and highly-actionable tips for applying to new support jobs at worthy remote companies. I'm sharing everything I've learned from my experience as a hiring manager for more than 4 years. (Plus, what my fellow hiring managers like to share with me what they want more candidates to know about. They want someone to get the word out!)

So if you want to snag an awesome remote job and create your own remote lifestyle with a backyard hammock and your furbaby, Rufus 🐕, join me for a weekly fun fest in your inbox (because job searching is tough enough. Let's add some fun into it.)