Throughout the business world, call centers deal with the bulk of business for most companies. Inbound and outbound call centers play a big role in the success of companies and will make or break customers’ impressions of the business they are aiding. Most call center agents want to make each customer feel valued and helped, which can be difficult if agents are trained, or the proper software isn’t available for use. Every call center doesn’t need to exist within an office, but making sure that agents are adequately prepared for their jobs is very important. This makes starting a virtual call center a sometimes daunting task.
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Why Set Up a Virtual Call Center?
Creating your own virtual call center will allow agents to have their own space to receive calls and do their work, just as they would in an office setting. By doing this, businesses will be able to save money on the cost of workspace and the needed software for agents to work. Most agents and some employees are more comfortable working from the comfort of their own homes, which makes a virtual call center the best option for the improvement of your business.
- Saving money- This reason alone is a huge benefit of starting your own virtual call center, and one that was touched on a bit previously. The bottom line is that there are fewer overhead costs when allowing employees to work virtually. In terms of saving money on office space, any hardware needed for all work required, and the added features that might be needed, your business will benefit greatly. The money saved can then be used for bonuses, in-house resources, or further training of employees.
- Adapting to your business’s needs- By opening a virtual call center, the needs of your business will have more room to grow and improve. Virtual systems can be programmed to work with small teams, and large teams, making it easy to accommodate all changes that are needed to effectively run your business. If agents are working virtually, they aren’t as confined to a specific geographical location. A wider customer base can then be reached, allowing customers from all over the world to utilize the services your business offers.
- Increased agent efficiency- Compared to standard office spaces or call centers, the work environment that employees are in can directly affect the efficiency rates at which they perform. Employees that are allowed to be more relaxed and self-motivated create a more positive outlook on the business and what they do during their shift. Sometimes, agents will deliver a higher quality of customer service, which impacts the business’s image, customer retention rates, and even their overall profits.
Related service: Call Center Software
Deciding What Type Of Virtual Call Center to Start
There are two different types of call centers that you can begin with, both with different outcomes. The type of call center you wish to establish will solely depend on the services you wish to provide customers with.
- Outbound Call Centers- This type of call center focuses mostly on outbound calls. Agents that work for outbound call centers will engage with customers on their own, and spend most of their day cold calling for sales, telemarketing, and conducting surveys.
- Inbound Call Center- An inbound call center specializes in whatever a customer needs and calls in about. This can include customer support, responding to inquiries, billing, and taking orders. These types of agents are in charge of finding new clients, but retaining the clients that are already utilizing the businesses services.
What Type of Equipment is Needed for your Virtual Call Center?
The type of equipment that is needed for your center will depend solely on the services offered and your client’s needs. You can use a specific software program, or allow agents to use any type of program that will bring about the needed benefits. At the very least, agents must have their own computer or smartphone with an internet connection and quality headsets, in order to truly work virtually. A few other added extras that virtual agents should have are privacy screens, external keyboards, and a mouse, two-factor authentication devices, and sometimes even a quiet space for working.
The software used also needs to be able to track calls, offer email options, allow agents to chat with employees, record calls, and even forward or route calls if needed. There are plenty of free trials out there that you can test out with some agents first, before deciding whether or not this is long term software for your virtual center. Here are a few different types of software that you might wish to use when establishing a virtual call center.
- PBX or a private branch exchange network- These types of systems will operate solely through physical phone lines. Sure this is a good option if you’re just starting out and only want to provide basic features, but for a long-term and complex vital call center, this isn’t the best option to implement.
- Virtual VoIP- VoIP, which is also known as Voice over Internet Protocol, is a modern system that offers many benefits. These types of systems work fully through the internet, so a stable connection is absolutely imperative. All that’s needed to set up this type of system is a desktop, headsets, and any application that the provider requires. This is the perfect option for those that want to start their own virtual call centers.
- IP PBX- An Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange is a system that handles all communication through VoIP systems, but with traditional phone lines. These systems are lighter than the average PBX and can be configured very quickly. This type of system is a combination of both systems listed above and will be a great option for many businesses.
Starting Your Own Virtual Call Center
No matter the reason for the establishment of a virtual call center, the pros absolutely outweigh the cons. There are tons of businesses that are looking to outsource their help desks and call center operations, and all they need is a great alternative, which is where virtual call centers come in. Of course, running a virtual call center isn’t easy, and everything must be planned very carefully. If you are to hit the jackpot and create a beneficial system for businesses to utilize, the benefits will be endless.
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