As a result, managers are improving their call center technologies and processes. Virtual call centers, for example, resolve many of the problems associated with telephone support and improve customer satisfaction rates.
What is a Virtual Call Center?
A virtual call center, or VCC for short, is software that lets you track calls made by agents from different places around the world. Basically, call representatives work from independent locations, rather than at work stations in your business premises. Some of these agents might work from home or alongside other contractors in workspaces.
What are the Benefits of VCCs?
Setting up virtual call center software might sound like a huge undertaking, but it's not. In fact, you could generate a return on your investment early on. Here are some of the benefits of VCCs:
Lower Employee Turnover
Virtual call centers can lead to lower employee turnover — which is typically associated with physical call centers. Currently, conventional call centers in the United States have an employee turnover of 30-45 percent, which is above the normal rate, according to the Quality Assurance and Training Connection (QATC).
Most VCC employees operate from the comfort of their own home or in a shared workspace, where they can work at times that suit them. Free from the pressures of physical call centers, these employees might work harder. They could answer customer service calls in a quicker timeframe and resolve problems to a higher standard.
"Virtual call center software lets a team work from dispersed locations while remaining a cohesive unit and performing with ease and efficiency," says Aircall.
Independent contractors tend to be more satisfied with their jobs than contracted employees. Seventy-nine percent said they are happier working on their own, according to one study. After all, there's no manager looking over their shoulder. No expensive travel costs. No shouting over noisy colleagues when on calls. All of this can reduce stress and allow VCC employees to flourish.
VCCs can save you money when compared to regular call centers. This is because you hire independent contractors who don't need a physical business location to perform their duties. The contractor is responsible for the electric and computer system he or she uses. You don't have to provide these contractors with equipment like microphones or headsets, either.
You might be thinking that there are risks when hiring independent contractors around the world. How will you keep an eye on these employees? How will you monitor their performance? The latest VCC software does all this for you, so you can still analyze productivity correctly and track call handling times and other important metrics.
No Geographical Limitations
A virtual call center provides you with geographical benefits, too. If you operate 24-hour customer support, it can be difficult to hire employees to handle calls during the night. Hiring freelance agents from around the world, who live in different timezones, will resolve this problem.
Plus, using independent contracts can eliminate the language barrier issues that sometimes emerge when using outsourced call centers.
Again, this can improve customer satisfaction in your business. Research shows that 96 percent of call center professionals view customer satisfaction as the most valuable call center metric.
What are the Drawbacks to VCCs?
Training remote agents can be one of the biggest drawbacks of VCCs. You will need to ensure that your agents are familiar with your products and services, as well as your brand values.
Also, the availability of call center agent supervisors and other experienced employees may be low in some locations.
Security is another issue. Face it, some independent contractors might not feel any loyalty to your company, especially if they handle calls for other organizations at the same time. Trusting these agents with sensitive call data is an important decision that you need to make.
"Call center software security could be embedded, but it can’t be as strong as when all the workstations are in one location and directly controlled by the company authorities," says TimeDoctor.
How Can You Use Virtual Call Center Technology?
You can use a VCC to handle both inbound and outbound calls.
Inbound virtual call centers are particularly effective if you need to resolve customer service issues like billing and shipping, as well as complaints. Thirty-two percent of American consumers still prefer the telephone when trying to solve a customer service problem, and they would rather contact a company via phone than use social media.
Outbound virtual call centers are effective if you want to sell products and services to customers in your sales pipelines. Alternatively, using call center technology to contact customers about service such as payments is helpful. Many medical organizations, for example, use VCCs for bill collection because utilizing a physical call center in a hospital would prove difficult.
How Does Virtual Call Center Software Work?
VCCs utilize the cloud to allow agents to access data. This provides you with much more flexibility and reliability than conventional call centers.
Voice over IP (VoIP) allows freelance agents to record their calls, which you can later track. This improves your quality assurance, compliance, and training processes.
Who are the Top VCC Providers?
Here are some of the most popular VCC providers:
- Five9 Cloud Contact Center
- Nextiva Call Center
- Call Tools
- Phone Burner
- Ring Central Engage Voice
- Talkdesk Enterprise Cloud Contact Center
- Twilio Flex
- VCC Live
- Virtual Contact Center by 8x8
- XenCall Predictive Dialer
How to Monitor Your Business Reputation
When you make outbound calls from a virtual call center, it's essential that phone carriers don't flag your numbers as spam or "scam likely". Scanning your numbers on a regular basis can help you discover any problems, so you can swap out your numbers quickly. If a number receives too many flags over a short period of time it should be pulled from the system and allowed to cool down.
VCC data will also enable you to determine whether agents are selling your products and services in an incorrect way, which could lead to people flagging your numbers as spam.