In this post, I will explain why online live chat offers a great opportunity for those in or approaching retirement to supplement their retirement income while working from home.
What Is Live Chat?
“Live chat” is one of the more common generic terms (“online chat” being another) for software that permits the owner of a website to communicate by text, in real-time with visitors to the website. It should be distinguished from LiveChat, which is a proprietary ‘live chat’ software application developed and distributed by a company called LiveChat Software.
With live chat software installed on their website, the owner is usually notified instantly when someone visits the site and then has the option to engage that visitor. With some types of software, the visitor has the option to instigate the live chat session. Any ensuing dialogue, between the website owner and the visitor, is, typically, conducted in short bursts of text more resembling a spoken conversation or ‘chat’.
Live chat is most commonly used as a form of customer support or help desk for the product or service being promoted and/or sold on the website. It can cover a huge range of topics or services ranging from simple complaints and how to’s through to in-depth technical guidance. It is also increasingly being used in the sales process itself.
To be effective, live chat has to be available every time someone visits the website and if the website’s audience is global then this typically means providing the service 24/7. With the huge growth in online business and with more and more businesses adopting online live chat, the need for live chat agents is set to grow rapidly.
Where is Live Chat Used?
Live chat is available on a huge variety of websites ranging from online stores to professional consultancy and tutoring. Here are a few examples of live chat agent jobs currently available:
- Live chat agent, national furniture supplier, general customer support
- Live chat support representative, national hotel chain, dealing with inquiries from travel agents
- Live chat customer care, national department store, general customer support
- Live chat agent, restaurant supply company, general customer support, and sales
- Online chat professional, national bed supply company, general customer support
What Qualifications and/or Skills are Required?
Educational requirements vary from job to job and can vary from high school diploma for more basic customer care jobs to professional certification for some consultancy positions.
Many jobs require some prior experience in customer service.
As you would expect, some background knowledge will be required when the product or service involved is more technical in nature.
As the job is going to consist almost entirely of typing, decent typing skills are a must. Required typing speeds that I have seen range from a low of 40 words per minute to a high of 85 words per minute. Typing accuracy requirements are in the 80% – 95% range. Check out your typing speed and accuracy for free here.
If you need to work on your typing, consider an online typing course like Typesy.
Good grammar and spelling are also universally required but don’t worry if, perhaps, English is not your first language, or you otherwise need a little help, you can always use a spelling and grammar checker like Grammarly.
How Much does Live Chat Pay?
Hourly rates vary considerably from job to job but basic customer service usually pays in the $8.50 – $16.00 range. More technical chat jobs pay a higher rate and consultancy can pay $50.00 an hour or more.
Why is Live Chat so Great for Retirees?
For a number of reasons:
- Minimum startup cost, just a computer, and an internet connection required
- Minimal physical effort required, just sitting at your computer
- Work from home or other location of your choice (some restrictions may apply)
- Opportunity to work in a field that really interests you and/or where you already have some background knowledge
- It’s nice to help people
How Do I Find Live Chat Jobs?
Here are some resources:
If you are into Apple products then Apple has a great live chat from home program.
Another possible option for you is Fiverr which is a global platform for freelancers including live chat opportunities. Fiverr is free to join and you create a profile for yourself that details your services. The buyer will be the one searching for a freelancer to do live chat! You can read Colette’s review of Fiverr HERE.
Tips to Help You Find Your Live Chat Niche
Working with live chat is a great opportunity to earn money from home, particularly if you can find a job in an area you are familiar with and are knowledgable about. Here are some things you should consider or question when looking at any particular job:
- Does the job involve more than just answering the customer’s questions? For instance, some jobs may include additional duties like data entry.
- Is text the only means of communication required? Some jobs also involve email and/or telephone.
- Can you work exclusively from home?
- What training and support are offered?
Some Final Thoughts
I hope you have found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the box below and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.
If you don’t think live chat is for you then check out some other ideas in Colette’s post Money Making Ideas for Retirees.
If you would like to see what Colette and I do to earn additional income see my post on Affiliate Marketing.