Call centers have been an important part of delivering better customer experience. Whenever your customers and prospects need to get in touch with any business, the most likely thing they do is dial up the customer care number and speak to your support agents.
Under old-fashioned remote call center arrangement, all support agents come to the office, sit on their dedicated desk and attend calls. Well, work norms are changing. Every year, an increasing number of businesses and employees are switching to remote working. As per survey conducted by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs Remote work has grown 91% over the last 10 years.
Further, as per Global Workplace Analytics, 37% of the employees who are working remotely are willing to accept a 10% pay cut to continue working from their preferred location.
To adapt to remote working trends and to add mobility to their support teams, businesses are making the shift from old-fashioned in-office call centers to remote call centers supported by cloud-based call center software.
Since you are here, you must be looking for a remote call center solution for your business too. Right? Well, you have come to the right place.
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In this guide, we will cover insights on following key aspects of remote call center, aka virtual call center:
- What is a remote or virtual call center?
- Virtual call center as a facilitator of remote working.
- Benefits of a virtual call center.
- Selecting and setting up a call center software for your business.
- Factors for successful implementation of remote call centers for your business.
What is a virtual call center?
Virtual call center is a cloud-based online call center in which support agents are connected online and work remotely with the help of a call center software or application. With the help of cloud telephony solutions, virtual call centers enable support agents to attend business calls right on their smartphones or other devices and work from home or any other preferred location.
Virtual call centers are also called remote call centers or home-based call centers or hosted call centers or online call centers. You might be wondering: Why so many names? Well, with call center software, support agents work online at different locations instead of sitting in the office.
Virtual call center as enabler of remote working
Under remote working, you have to provide your employees the flexibility to work from home or any other location that your employees choose to work from.
Virtual call centers can empower you to hire support agents in any location and build a remote team to handle business support and customer inquiries. Such distributed teams can work efficiently with the support of call center software.
Benefits of virtual call center
Being a cloud-based solution, a remote call center needs no hardware setup in your office. There is no need for any kind of IT resources. To get started, all you need is a standard computer and a mobile phone. Entire system of call center software works online. That means there is no capital expenditure involved in deploying call centers online.
And you know how much time it takes to get a cloud-based call center up and running? Well, only a few minutes.
Besides, remote call center agents work remotely. So, there is no need to take large office space on lease. That means huge savings in the cost of office rent.
Better talent pool
Online call centers have no geographical limitations. All your support agents can work from the location of their choice. That also means that you can recruit support staff from any location and not limited to the location of your office.
For hiring new talent, you can use the talent pool distributed across your country or the world. You don’t need to limit your hiring process to your city or state.
Scalable call center
In an old call center set up, adding a new support agent to the system can be painful. You need to buy a new landline and do all the standard set up. In case of a remote call center, you can take a sigh of relief!
Adding a new agent to a virtual call center system is as easy as adding a new contact number in your smartphone. I know, that’s too good to be true!
To add a new agent in a remote call center, all you need to do is just log into your account, add the phone number of the new agent, and confirm the contact details with OTP. All this process takes less than two minutes.
So, as your business grows, you can add as many agents to your remote call center as your support team needs. All in minutes.
Team mobility and better customer experience
A virtual call center enables your entire support team to work remotely and help your organization adapt to the wave of remote working trends.
With the flexibility that comes with remote working, employees can work more efficiently, save commute time, and have better work-life balance. Therefore, a remote call center can help you achieve better employee productivity, lower attrition rate, and increased satisfaction with work. And you know what, if your support agents are happy, they are going to talk to your customers very nicely. It’s natural, you know.
Companies allowing remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t. Remote call center makes it possible for support teams to work remotely, leading to improved employee retention rate.
Selecting and setting up a call center software for your business
By now, you must be clear on what a call center software is and what business benefits you can achieve with a cloud-based call center. Your next step should be to find the right partner for setting up and implementing a call center software.
Well, as of now, thanks to healthy competition, many cloud telephony solution providers offer a complete suite of call center software and systems. So, you may find it hard to select the right partner. Well, no worries. Here, I have compiled a list of factors you need to keep in mind while selecting a call center software for your business:
Quality and reputation
Before handing over your remote call center contract, you must put a quality check on the systems and services of the call center software provider.
Most cloud telephony companies provide free trials of their full-fledged suite of software and services. So, before spending a single penny, make full use of trial offers and dig into the call center software, quality of calls, and explore all the available features.
Before coming to the final decision, make sure that the system fulfills all your business support needs. And if you can’t find a feature you need, feel free to dial up their customer support center.
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User interface of call center software
A good call center application must have a simple user interface that your support agents can use with minimal training.
During your trial period of call center software, you must take note of the user interface. It must be self-explanatory and easy to use.
Remote monitoring facility in call center software
To ensure accountability and auditable team working, your hosted call center must have a built-in facility for remote supervision of the support agents.
While your agents work remotely, it is important to monitor their work progress and provide timely guidance wherever required. How do you do that with a home-based call center? Well, it’s possible with remote supervision and mentoring.
Modern virtual call centers have built-in supervision features. For example, MyOperator remote call center comes pre-packaged with a live panel where supervisors and business owners can see call logs, call recordings, number of calls received, missed calls, number of calls attended, and who is doing what and when. Such a comprehensive panel makes the remote supervision job easy for managers. Besides, call recordings can be used for quality improvement purposes.
Cost and usability of call center software
Remote call center is a cloud-based solution and works on a subscription based pay-as-you-go model. Compared to traditional call centers, monthly fees of call center software is very low and you only pay for minutes that you actually use.
Further, based on business needs, different cloud companies offer different call center packages. So, you must select a package that fulfills all your business needs.
Time and again, you will need support from the team of your call center software vendor. Given the urgent nature of the call center, your call center partner must have a robust customer support system in place.
Integration of call center software with CRM and other apps
You will be primarily using the call center software for providing support to your customers and prospects. For a smoother workflow, wouldn’t be it great to integrate your remote call center with a CRM you already use?
That’s why you must make sure that the call center software that you are considering for your remote call center solution facilitates CRM integration too. Besides CRM, you can also check for call center integration with other tech tools used for sales, marketing, and other business tasks.
Other factors for successful implementation of remote call center for your business
From a set up perspective, getting a virtual call center up and running is not a big task. Thanks to cloud-hosted call center software, you can migrate your entire support team to a virtual contact center in a few hours while setting up a new account takes only a few minutes.
However, to make sure that you succeed with remote call center and a remote support team, you need to take care of following factors too:
Prepare your remote team
Working from the office and working from home are two very different things. To let your support team achieve successful results while working remotely, you need to properly guide them, equip them with the right tools, and take their regular feedback to improve remote work processes.
Get your remote working toolkit
Right set of tools can make your work from home process very efficient, transparent, and accountable. Beyond a call center software, you need to have the right set of tools for internal tasks including project management and collaborative working. Here is a list of tools recommended for remote working teams that we use ourselves.
Implement a remote working policy
To achieve success with the virtual call center and remote teams, it’s very important to have well-crafted work from home policy in place. To help you with that, we created a brief business guide to remote working. It will guide you through setting up distributed teams and implementation of remote working for your business.
While working remotely, ensuring satisfying customer experience can be a challenge. With virtual call center, you can attract quality support executives for your business support, keep your business up and running 24*7, and ensure timely and best-in-class services for your customers. That means happy customers, better relationships, strong customer loyalty, and mounting revenue.
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