What are virtual call centers and virtual contact centers, and what are the differences between them?
A virtual call center, also known as a virtual contact center (VCC), is a call center in which the company’s personnel are geographically scattered rather than stationed at a single workstation. Employees at virtual call centers may work in groups in remote offices or from home.
The flexibility to span various time zones is one of the key advantages of a virtual call center. Limited business hours owing to being constrained to a single time zone are not an issue because personnel are geographically spread and may work across multiple time zones.
Employees frequently have flexible hours, and there is no dress code or commute if they work from home. Small businesses benefit from virtual call centers since the model saves money on office and equipment costs and can lead to lower employee turnover rates, which are common in physical call centers.
Outbound and incoming calls are handled by virtual call center workers who are connected via virtual call center software. Only an internet connection and telecommunication services are required for the virtual contact center.
What are virtual call centers and how do they work?
Virtual contact centers can be established in smaller, geographically dispersed sites or for staff who work from home. Because it takes less IT resources to manage, it is less expensive than a traditional call center.
Inbound and outbound calls are handled by virtual call centers, which allow agents to make and receive calls as needed. Inbound calls, for example, are typically from current or future customers who require assistance in addressing a question about a product or service. Technical support, account management, complaints, and other concerns are examples of this. Outbound calls are ones made on behalf of a company or organization to present or potential customers. This could also entail cold phoning potential clients.
What are the advantages of using a virtual call center?
The following are some of the advantages of using virtual call centers:
Cost savings. As a result of not having as much office space and cheaper running costs, expenses are reduced. Cloud-based software can also eliminate the requirement for on-premises servers.
Requirements for less office space More people can work in the same office space, and others can work from home.
Flexibility. Employees are able to work and answer calls from any location.
Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Organizations that have teams scattered across time zones can provide support to consumers whenever they need it, enhancing customer satisfaction.
Monitoring of phone calls. When employees work from home, managers can still monitor calls between customers and call center personnel.
What are the disadvantages of using a virtual call center?
There are various drawbacks to using virtual call centers. The following are some of them:
- Training. Employees who work from home may find it more challenging to be trained.
- IT services are difficult to come by. IT services must be given remotely if an employee needs a laptop or device repaired, or the employee must come into the office.
- There is no direct supervision. Because employees are generally spread across multiple places, organizations cannot directly supervise them.
What is the best way to build a virtual call center?
When launching a new virtual call center, companies must consider the hiring process, training processes, tools and software, and a good workflow.
When it comes to employing new support agents, a business needs search for people who can function autonomously.
Workers should be able to manage their time well and communicate effectively both in writing and verbally.
New employees should be educated on the company’s policies, procedures, and tools. New staff can be led through processes and shown how to use products using video conferencing software.
You can also use other training materials, such as video training documents.
New staff can be scheduled for weekly meetings to ensure that they are going at a good pace and have a thorough understanding of the operations.
Employees should be provided with a computer, charging wire, and a high-quality headset as tools. The employee should be able to use all of the software offered, including the VoIP system, which allows them to make and receive calls.
At the very least, a company launching a virtual call center will need to work out how many personnel they’ll need, set up relevant voicemails, create wait queues, and figure out how much bandwidth they’ll need.
Working hours must also be established. Calls received after a certain time can be routed to a worker in another time zone or to voicemail.
Management best practices for a VCC
- Maintain a safe working environment. Ascertain that employees adhere to security regulations and are using private hotspots or VPNs.
- Create an atmosphere that is conducive to collaboration. This should make employees feel like they’re part of a team and encourage socialization.
Encourage the use of structure. Workers who perform better in person may feel more at ease if they have a solid structure to follow.
- Micromanaging is not a good idea. Because there is no direct control, companies may be tempted to use tools like keyloggers to measure employee productivity. Some employees, however, may have a negative reaction to this.
- Provide training alternatives that are beneficial. Remote workers may benefit from video conferencing and screen-sharing capabilities, as well as training films. However, if an employee learns better in a physical office environment, arrangements should be made for in-person training.
- Work in several time zones. Because staff work in different time zones, the company may answer calls at any time of day, whenever it is needed.