The Future of Customer Engagement: Unleashing the Power of Virtual Call Centers
Picture this: instead of a bustling room with cubicles and people talking all at once, imagine a virtual call center – it’s like a regular call center but in the online world.
So, you’ve got these customer service reps, just like the ones you find in a physical call center, doing their thing. They’re helping customers over the phone, through emails, or even online chat.
And get this, they’re not tied down to some office – they can work from anywhere globally.
It’s all made possible with virtual call center software, letting them provide top-notch support without being stuck in the same room.
A virtual call center is a game-changer.
These reps might handle customer service or tech support, and some even dive into telemarketing, sales, or third-party verification.
It’s the future of customer support – no more limits, just exceptional service from anywhere.
How Does Virtual Contact Center Work?
Virtual call centers, or VCCs for short, run on cloud-based software that makes everything work smoothly.
Businesses use VCC platforms like ClearTouch Platform to link up their team, no matter where they are in the world. As long as they have a solid Internet connection, they’re good to go.
Imagine this: Customers need help, so they call or shoot an email, but instead of hitting up a regular call center, they’re connected with someone working from the comfort of their own space.
It’s all thanks to the virtual call center platform.
And guess who’s often rocking these virtual call center jobs?
Customer experience experts who don’t want to relocate, stay-at-home parents, and freelancers bring their A-game right from where they are to your customer experience function.
What Are the Benefits of Virtual Call Centers?
So, let’s talk about why these virtual call centers, or VCCs, are stealing the spotlight. First off, they’re a game-changer for businesses – saving cash and boosting efficiency like it’s nobody’s business.
Setting up a regular call center can bleed your wallet dry – IT stuff, phones, servers, office gear – it all racks up. But with VCC software, you skip the shopping spree. The provider takes care of the tech stuff, upgrades, and fixes, so you’re saving big time.
And get this: there are no more hiring limits! With a traditional center, you’re stuck with locals, but VCCs let you scout talent from all corners of the globe. That means a pool of super-talented agents just waiting for your call. Plus, forget the stress of managing a physical center – it’s smoother than butter.
Now, productivity skyrockets. No more noisy, crowded centers – instead, your team kicks back at home. Happier agents mean more efficiency. And hey, you can spread your team across time zones, tackling calls around the clock.
But here’s the real kicker – customer satisfaction through the roof! Friendly agents, quick responses, and 24/7 support? Customers love it. And hiring from anywhere? That means finding agents with the right attitude, even for those tricky customers.
How about low turnover rates?
Forget the usual job headaches – no commuting, flexible hours, and less stress. Happy agents stick around, making your company a winner with experienced, satisfied team members.
Virtual call centers, changing the game one call at a time.
How Do You Build a Virtual Call Center?
I would say building a virtual call center is very similar to building a call center. You must ensure the call center platform brings together your agents from various locations seamlessly and effectively.
That being said, here are the specifics you need to look at:
- What needs do your customers have?
- What is the primary concern – assisting existing clients or generating new ones?
This will uncover whether you need to focus on inbound calls, outbound calls, or perhaps a hybrid model.
Technical support, e-commerce assistance on shipments and payments, booking services, inbound sales, and general customer service would mean inbound calling.
Lead generation, telemarketing campaigns, account management, market research, surveys & feedback, and appointment setting would mean outbound calling.
Most call centers, however, would require both inbound and outbound calling. Besides, some platforms even allow the same agents to handle both inbound and outbound calling. This could be an excellent feature for your needs as you optimally use your agents.
Let me give you an example:
I recently booked a service for my house cleaning. I wanted it the next day, and the service was available only two days later. However, I was allowed to opt for their premium membership, through which I could get the service scheduled for the next day. This membership offered me next-day service for all the services during the subscription period.
It combines inbound and outbound, managed by the same agent.
- What is your budget?
Decide on a budget and see how it compares against the investment you need to start your own virtual call center.
What are the common expenses to start a virtual call center?
- Employee salaries and insurance
- Virtual call center platform costs
- Internet connection costs
- Basic equipment costs – laptop, desktop, notebook, or mobile phones.
- Other outcome-based expenses include incentives that you don’t have to consider currently.
Ensure you have factored in all these while considering setting up a virtual call center.
- What is the right platform for your needs?
Is your platform provider a pure-play cloud service provider? Did they build their platform as a cloud offering or migrated their on-premise architecture to the cloud?
How many installations have they got – are they just getting started, or do they have several referenceable customers?
How long would it take for them to roll out your needs? Is it immediate, or would it take a few weeks?
I am sure you would require customizations in your workflow. How does your provider handle customizations? Is it built as a part of the service, or do they charge a fat fee for it?
How do they integrate with your CRM and other IT systems? Do they already have pre-built integrations with industry-leading CRMs?
How do they charge you for their service? Are they going to charge you a license fee per agent? Or is it just going to be a simple per-minute cost?
How do they help you scale up and down your agents? Is it immediate, or will it be a long-drawn process?
What Features Does the Platform Provide?
Inbound features – call queuing, voicemail, call flow designer, automated call distribution, interactive voice response, skill-based routing, preferred agent, call forwarding, callback, call recording, integrations, and customizations.
Outbound features – Predictive, progressive, automatic, and manual dialing, campaign management tools, automated interactive voice management systems – including voice bots, number porting, unlimited DIDs, click2call, call statistics, call recording, real-time dashboard, integrations, and customizations.
- What metrics do you intend to measure?
The typical metrics that call centers measure include first call resolution (FCR), average handle time (AHT), average abandonment rate, customer satisfaction (CSAT) score, net promoter score (NPS), customer effort score (CES), and the like.
Does your platform support the collection of information to measure these metrics? Do they provide a dashboard view of these metrics to understand the significance of the measurements?
This is key as we are talking virtual call centers, where your resources will work worldwide.
- Softer aspects
Your agents’ recruitment, training, and onboarding must be addressed. These are key in a virtual call center environment.
You will have to figure out what works for your organization, and how you plan to onboard, train, and enhance the skills of your remote agents should be a part of your consideration.
No more clunky, crowded, and wallet-draining setups. VCCs are like a breath of fresh air, making business a breeze.
Additionally, setting up VCC is easy. We have helped set up VCC platforms for hundreds of customers within 24 hours and operationalized them. No more weeks and months; you can be up and running in hours.