A big business starts small, but the key lies in thinking big and scaling fast. Scaling a business is easier said than done. Small businesses providing customer support through a call center face multiple challenges while scaling operations. Implementing a virtual call center solution can save equipment and installation costs, along with a lower attrition rate that tends to be high for traditional call centers.
What is a virtual call center?
A virtual call center can be defined as an outbound or inbound call center where the customer service agents are working from remote locations instead of operating from a centralized location or a single office. The best virtual call center platform seamlessly integrates the company’s head office, remote offices, or agents working from their homes. Virtual call center solution provides the businesses with the required networking infrastructure on the cloud to integrate geographically dispersed service agents into a virtual call center catering to customer needs relentlessly.
Virtual call center for small business
Deploying traditional call center solutions is not feasible specifically for small business organizations that plan to expand their operations due to multiple reasons like:
- Long Lead Time – Implementing the traditional call center software across multiple geographical locations implies long lead times and huge costs.
- Need for Additional Infrastructure – Legacy call center platform needs multiple hardware and software requirements along with specific network infrastructure requirements.
- High Maintenance and Dedicated Resources – The maintenance of traditional contact centers is also very high with the continuous requirement of dedicated IT staff.
Virtual call center comes to the rescue of small business by overcoming these challenges by offering the following operational benefits:
Easy and Faster Setup
As a remote call center solution needs no specific infrastructure to set up, hence the entire deployment can be done at a much faster pace. In addition to the cost benefits, it reduces the operational overheads, which can be a big hindrance specifically for small businesses, which have limited resources.
Organizations are exploring workforce resources across geographies to optimize their operations and virtual call center platform is the most suitable option to effectively manage multiple, geographically dispersed agents in real-time.
No Additional Hardware
A virtual contact center doesn’t require investing in expensive hardware or a big dedicated IT maintenance team as compared to traditional call centers. The majority of the remote contact center services are hosted by third-party vendors who also provide support solutions which means no investment required on a separate team.
Scalability and Flexibility
One of the biggest advantages of virtual call centers is the ease with which companies can scale their operations as per current demand. If you are adopting a remote technology, you will have to evaluate whether it is scalable. A traditional contact center may have fixed costs and is not good at handling any changes in the business. But, if you are investing in a virtual contact center solution, you need to know how well it can handle an increase or decrease in call volumes.
Business continuity is the most crucial factor that distinguishes the virtual call center from a traditional solution. Traditional call centers are prone to hardware failures that leads to downtime. Thus, there is no break in the customer service in the event of a network outage, natural disaster, or some other unforeseen event.
How to choose the best virtual call center software
Many contact center software companies offer remote call center services under a pay-as-you-go scheme. A virtual call center is the most preferred option for small businesses due to the speed and ease of implementation.
Any business must evaluate a virtual call center software on the following criteria before deciding to go on board with a remote solution-
Flexibility To Choose Your Own Device
A virtual call center should allow you to manage calling operations with the device of your choice. Agents should get the flexibility to use laptops or smartphones without compromising on their productivity. Eliminating the device barrier is helpful for small businesses as they will not have to invest in setting up infrastructure while. The mobile agent app provides the flexibility to perform all contact center functions with ease.
Complete Voice Support Functionality
The basics of call center operations remain the same over the virtual call center platform as well. Providing customer support 24/7 requires call center features like IVR and intelligent routing to ensure no calls are missed and timely support is provided to customers. Similarly, if businesses are running an outbound call center, then features like auto dialer, click-to-dial, and predictive dialer are a must.
Device and Network Monitoring
Along with the complete contact center functionalities, the remote contact center solution has the capability to provide detailed device monitoring reports to supervisors which can then be analyzed to monitor the performance of each device used by the agents. Additionally, it also provides the flexibility to identify reasons for low productivity when agents report low internet connectivity, unsupportive devices, poor call quality, etc.
Virtual call center services can be a success if companies can integrate their existing systems with flexibility. An ideal virtual call center offers continuous support while providing flexibility in integrating with third-party CRM platforms like Salesforce, Zendesk, Microsoft Dynamics, Zoho, Freshdesk, etc.
Real-time Agent Monitoring
With a dynamic call center technology, real-time monitoring of agent performance is just a click away. Virtual call center solution with elaborate dashboard and reporting features makes it possible to track all the activities of the call center agents irrespective of their location, device, or environment. Detailed analysis also makes agent training and coaching easy as managers can keep a track of agent activities and their engagement with the customers.
Agents need assistance from their supervisors or fellow agents while attending customers’ calls. With a flexible feature like internal chat, confer, or transfer, an ideal virtual call center platform should provide on-call assistance and team collaboration. This practice reduces call handling time and improves the first contact resolution effectively.
Robust and Secure
Businesses must remember that they are dealing with highly sensitive data and information of many customers who have shared it with a trust in the brand. Ensuring data security and maintaining compliance is paramount for businesses. While choosing the best virtual call center, you will have to make sure that there is no chance of a data breach. Smart virtual call centers provide a lot of security benefits and adhere to call center compliance.
If you are planning to scale your call center operations or want to set up your own call center and looking to know more about how to set up a remote contact center, do check out Ameyo’s virtual call center solution.