General Business Forum Brought to you by Total Gas & Power

Finding a part time home based customer service person?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Frimley111R, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. Frimley111R

    Frimley111R UKBF Regular Free Member

    415 32
    One of my businesses is going well but I recognise that my time is very limited and that I am good at/enjoy the business development but not the repetitive sales process (we deal with a lot of domestic customers and the paperwork is quite involved).

    It has been suggested that I recruit a part time 'mum' (or Dad!), who is sitting at home and no longer using the great skills/abilities that they have due to kids/ill parents etc.

    This sounds great but I am a little unsure where/how to find such people in my local area and what to pay them. I know this is fairly common issue and that many people do use outsourced people like this and so I wondered if any of you would share your experiences?

    Thanks
     
    Posted: Jan 21, 2019 By: Frimley111R Member since: Nov 1, 2009
    #1
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    17,283 1,938
    If home based go national.

    As for how to find them - first work out what you want them doing, then work out what that is worth to you.
    Then various job sites including job centre or use social media etc.
     
    Posted: Jan 21, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #2
  3. sherbetdipdab

    sherbetdipdab UKBF Regular Free Member

    115 15
    Posted: Jan 21, 2019 By: sherbetdipdab Member since: Jan 20, 2019
    #3
  4. Annoying Donkey

    Annoying Donkey UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,797 954
    Why not use your social network...? Who do friends and family know...?
     
    Posted: Jan 21, 2019 By: Annoying Donkey Member since: Sep 13, 2009
    #4
  5. Frimley111R

    Frimley111R UKBF Regular Free Member

    415 32
    Thanks all. I had not considered PPH but did want someone localish to me and PPH does not search by locality. I may try a local Facebook jobs group or, as suggested, recommendations from friends.

    I
     
    Posted: Jan 22, 2019 By: Frimley111R Member since: Nov 1, 2009
    #5
  6. Noah

    Noah UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,206 300
    On the other hand - friends-and-family sent me a chap who was a nutter; I had to fire him after only a couple of weeks when he barged into my office and started shouting at me about not telling him how to do his job.

    A few weeks later the comment was passed back "Yeah, he can be a bit like that..." - would have been useful to know before going to all the effort of employing him, although we did shortcut the usual selection process because... friends-and-family.

    Lesson learned.

    In general experience, after starting with good intentions I have learned to avoid f-a-f employees - fraught with similar risks to those of starting a business partnership.
     
    Posted: Jan 22, 2019 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
    #6
  7. sherbetdipdab

    sherbetdipdab UKBF Regular Free Member

    115 15
    I would be careful about going local or friends/family. Like Noah said. It can be awks when you have a connection. If they are remote then they really don't need to be local. You can work with people you have never met. I don't mean abroad but could just be a couple of hours away. Could meet up once a year. Honestly, it will be fine. I would give them an NDA to sign and GDPR privacy policy if they deal with your customer details. Loads of honest and fantastic people working from in this field. For many reasons. Mums/Dads at home, mental/physical disabilities and can't work FT. All can do these jobs, like doing them, and surprise surprise they can do it better than you! Give it a go. Nothing to lose. Good luck:)
     
    Posted: Jan 22, 2019 By: sherbetdipdab Member since: Jan 20, 2019
    #7
  8. Annoying Donkey

    Annoying Donkey UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,797 954
    With respect, that's your selection process at fault. Or maybe your definition of what you're looking for.
    Just because they're friends or friends doesn't mean you can forget your normal selection process...

    In 40 years of utilising housewives, I've never had anyone like that.
    And I've found some absolute gems...

    Sure, some don't work out for lots of different reasons, however you need to remember you're in business, which sometimes requires hard decisions, like firing someone you like or who's a friend of a friend. This can be done diplomatically, so friendships aren't lost.
     
    Posted: Jan 22, 2019 By: Annoying Donkey Member since: Sep 13, 2009
    #8
  9. Noah

    Noah UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,206 300
    Indeed.

    On the other hand, no selection process is entirely reliable - some crafty nutters will always get through.
     
    Posted: Jan 22, 2019 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
    #9
  10. Frimley111R

    Frimley111R UKBF Regular Free Member

    415 32
    Thanks all. I tried posting on my FB wall. I had a friend say his wife might be interested and another say them know someone.
    I'm reticent to work with friends/their wives etc.

    I started my business with a friend and had to split from him because he was useless. Not my fault apart from not looking into his background and recent history a bit more but despite me being as nice and diplomatic about it as I could be, he took it badly and I occasionally see him at social events we both go to and it's a bit awkward. I should have kept business and social contacts separate.

    Given there's only one possibility from this I will try one of the local FB group job boards. I appreciate that I could use someone remote but I'd prefer to have someone closer who I can train up and meet regularly. I actually used my ex business partner in this way and it worked well (apart from him not doing a half-way decent job).
     
    Posted: Jan 23, 2019 By: Frimley111R Member since: Nov 1, 2009
    #10
  11. sherbetdipdab

    sherbetdipdab UKBF Regular Free Member

    115 15
    Oh dear, that does sound awkward and complicated. Different for different people, but personally I stay clear of working with friends or friends of friends or partners. Only work with immediate family or "strangers" (?). Just a lot easier that way.

    I would give peopleperhour a go. You can say in the advert "ideally based in this area". I'd be surprised if you didn't get something back.
     
    Posted: Jan 23, 2019 By: sherbetdipdab Member since: Jan 20, 2019
    #11
  12. stuartm1962

    stuartm1962 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    59 11

    I would steer clear of friends and family too. The people per hour sounds good and if they work out, try and move them away from the site.
     
    Posted: Jan 23, 2019 By: stuartm1962 Member since: Nov 15, 2012
    #12
  13. Jessica A.

    Jessica A. UKBF Contributor Free Member

    85 59

    Why not outsource overseas. There are tons of workers you can find in the Philippines. They have great work ethic and are incredible people to work with. You can browse through Onlinejobs for an all Filipino VA site with lots of skills to choose from.
     
    Posted: Jan 23, 2019 By: Jessica A. Member since: Feb 28, 2018
    #13
  14. stuartm1962

    stuartm1962 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    59 11
    A lot of people have suggested the Philippines for outsourcing, how do the salaries compare?
     
    Posted: Jan 24, 2019 By: stuartm1962 Member since: Nov 15, 2012
    #14
  15. sherbetdipdab

    sherbetdipdab UKBF Regular Free Member

    115 15
    I've never done it but looked into it. I think they are about half the price, but you can still get a brilliant admin person for £10 an hour. Remember you probably won't need them FT, so maybe just 10 hours a week. £100.

    I think comms can be a slight issue with the Philippines. I think generally they don't like to ask questions, so can crack on with something but do it a bit wrong.

    Try https://outsourced.ph/
     
    Posted: Jan 24, 2019 By: sherbetdipdab Member since: Jan 20, 2019
    #15
  16. Noah

    Noah UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,206 300
    Have had close business and personal experience with the Phillipines in the past; as said, generally very good people and hard working. However, a very different culture, of course, so be very careful about the assumptions you make. Actually, don't make assumptions - be explicit with instructions, ask questions, and listen carefully. This means communication of your requirements, and monitoring status, will take more time and effort than working with someone local.
     
    Posted: Jan 24, 2019 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
    #16
  17. stuartm1962

    stuartm1962 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    59 11
    That's a good point Noah!
     
    Posted: Jan 24, 2019 By: stuartm1962 Member since: Nov 15, 2012
    #17
  18. Frimley111R

    Frimley111R UKBF Regular Free Member

    415 32
    I do use overseas web specialists and design specialists but I am not sure that at this point I want to use someone overseas for this type of work.
     
    Posted: Jan 24, 2019 By: Frimley111R Member since: Nov 1, 2009
    #18
  19. Jessica A.

    Jessica A. UKBF Contributor Free Member

    85 59
    Posted: Jan 24, 2019 By: Jessica A. Member since: Feb 28, 2018
    #19
  20. serendipitybusiness

    serendipitybusiness UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    983 174
    Whatever you do, do not hire abroad for your customer service, it will cost you business and reputation, especially if your company has a structure that incoporates repeat business, hire a UK based person. I always put customer service expenses in my marketing budget as good customer service is the best marketing you can buy.
     
    Posted: Jan 25, 2019 By: serendipitybusiness Member since: Jun 27, 2008
    #20