Agents shine when given the right opportunity and independence

March 15, 2019 | Virtual Agents | Blog


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Foster dog dad, funny car enthusiast and caring uncle is also a born customer service and sales pro.

Aldo Covarrubias, who landed with Liveops last September, said he feels he’s found a perfect work at home arrangement where he excels and gets noticed.

Aldo has worked at more than his fair share of traditional contact centers — brick and mortar as well as virtual. He got his start providing support for cable TV customers, worked the graveyard shift at one small company and has been a national sales leader for a well-known mobile provider.

Last summer, however, Aldo was not super happy with his work life. He’d been working as an employee for a virtual contact center but decided he should try working in an office again and got a job at a contact center in his town of Brownsville, Texas.

Aldo’s first day started with new employee orientation. “Everybody there looked so sad. We all had really old computers. They took about 15 minutes to boot up,” he said.

“Then after a little while, a sewer pipe right outside the area where our training was happening burst. Sewage went everywhere,” he said. Aldo said soon after that he decided he just wasn’t a fit for his new job and headed home.

Later in the day, though, the tide turned. Aldo checked his email and his spirits lifted. “I had a message from Liveops inviting me to become a new agent!”

I love doing customer service and working independently

Aldo said he first became intrigued with Liveops by way of a Facebook group, Virtual Talent of America . “From that, I knew that you had to be comfortable working independently because physically you are on your own. You have to depend on your own abilities. But I already felt really comfortable working from home as I’d worked for a virtual contact center for about five years,” he said.

Aldo recounts walking out of the smelly employee orientation office on that September 2018 day, and not needing to think too hard about whether to accept the invitation from Liveops. Considering all the types of work and contact centers Aldo had already worked for, he said this was an easy decision.

“I love doing customer service and working independently, which is why going to work with Liveops has been the best decision of my life,” Aldo said.

Aldo shares how he approaches his Liveops work

Tell us about your home office and what would be important for anyone considering or just starting out in this type of work to know regarding their workspace.

When I started, my office was my bedroom floor, with an old laptop and a landline. That’s all I had. But as I began getting more work and building my business, I was able to buy a desk. Then I got a cordless headset, and before too long, I got a new computer that my friend custom built to be super fast.

Now, I’m comfortable. I have a view of my backyard, the river running through it and can watch lots of interesting birds that live out there.

That environment—watching songbirds flitting about the river from your workspace—sounds majestic! Do you feel in general you have a pretty nice quality of life where you are?

Absolutely. The cost of living is not bad, and Brownsville is beautiful, but there’s not a lot of good mid-level work opportunities here. Jobs that pay well here often require advanced degrees. Working for Liveops actually lets me get paid higher than the average pay rate down here.

Let’s talk a bit about the differences between your workspace as an independent agent versus being an employee.

At a traditional contact center, you just get what you get. They give you a desk, a phone, a computer that’s five to seven years old and there’s nothing you can do about it. Working as an independent agent does require investment on your part. But you’re investing in “you.” That, in turn, increases your confidence and helps motivate you to do great work.

One of the companies in your Liveops portfolio is a women’s clothing brand and word has it you’ve been quite successful. Do you ever feel at a disadvantage in handling calls when you aren’t a customer, let alone in their target demographic?

Not at all. The cool thing about working for that client is, nobody can tell me “well I’m a guy, so I can’t sell that stuff.”

And my advice is to use an approach that I learned elsewhere: The “ FAB formula .” All you do is explain the features of a product, talk about its advantages and explain the benefits it provides by purchasing it. It’s a smooth way to sell, and it works.

How did you learn about the features and benefits? Were there team members who helped you?

Yes! One of the ways we collaborate is with private groups on social media that’s for agents and by agents as well as in Liveops Nation, our online agent community . Another Liveops agent invited me to join and we both take time to explain regulations, expectations, and share tips on providing the best customer experience.

It’s a great place to vent, learn and explore new approaches to work-related subjects.

How does working from home and without a commute make a difference in your quality of life?

Working from home has saved me. I have a fear of driving and flying, so it’s a godsend for me. First, I can be there for my family. For instance, when my sister was in a car accident recently, she needed someone to care for her two young children. When it happened, she called me and asked me to come to the hospital. I finished the last 10 minutes of my call block, freed up my other shifts, which were snapped up right away, and I was out the door. If I worked at a traditional contact center, I couldn’t have been able to pick up my phone, let alone drop everything. I cleared my shifts and had my niece and nephew for 18 hours.

Secondly, on top of family emergencies, my wife and I love going to the beach, which is about a 45-minute drive. So I might get up early, get six hours of Liveops in by noon, go to the beach, come home and maybe work a couple more hours. We foster dogs, and I am able to walk them when as needed. I also have fun working with my friend on his Funny Car .

Do you think you’ll ever go back to a contact center job again?

It’s hard to imagine going back to a contact center and trying to cram my life around it. I have a lot less stress now that I make my own schedule. Sometimes I sit for five hours straight and take calls, other times I need a one-hour block. Nothing else matches this work arrangement. I don’t even feel like I’m working, to tell you the truth. It’s so good, I almost feel guilty!

Want to hear more from Aldo? Read his reasons for how gaining independence meant gaining a rewarding career.

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Shelly Strom

Shelly Strom is a writer for Liveops. With a background in business journalism and corporate communications, she specializes in researching the call center industry to uncover key trends, news and analysis.

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