Customer Service

What is a Virtual Call Center? How Your Business Can Benefit From Going Virtual

May 25, 2022

Starting a virtual call center can save your small business money while improving the customer experience you’re able to provide.

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Collin CoueySenior Content Writer
What is a Virtual Call Center? How Your Business Can Benefit From Going Virtual

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A virtual call center is a solution businesses use when wanting or needing a fully remote team of customer satisfaction agents instead of having their agents in a physical location. A virtual call center uses cloud-based virtual call center software that allows an agent and supervisor to work remotely or in small teams around the globe instead of in one central office. 

If you’re in charge of customer experience, service, and support for a small business and are thinking about starting your own contact center, it’s important to understand the benefits, and how these will increase the level of customer experience you provide to customers. A virtual call center allows you to:

  • Provide customer service across the globe 24/7

  • Reduce agent turnover 

  • Save money 

It’s worth noting if you don’t at least consider a virtual call center, you risk losing money and missing out on the best available talent as well as providing subpar customer support which could be the difference between prospering or failing for a small business. After all, 58% of customers would pay more if they knew they would receive great customer service.

Don’t worry; we’re breaking down how virtual call centers work and diving into the three main benefits of utilizing a virtual contact center so you’ll be informed when making a decision.

How virtual call centers work

The way a virtual call center works is simple: a customer calls the support number, and, instead of going to a traditional call center, it’s routed to the next available virtual call center agent with the necessary expertise to address their concerns. 

Virtual contact centers are most typically powered by cloud-based virtual call center software or voice of internet protocol (VoIP). The benefit of using cloud-based virtual call center software is that you avoid having to equip every single one of your remote agents with a VPN since most cloud-based systems don’t require VPNs for contact center operations.

Ooma-VOIP-call-routing

Ooma Office’s VoIP call routing (Source)

Virtual call centers provide customer service across the globe, 24/7

One of the primary advantages of having a virtual contact center is the ability to hire agents from multiple time zones across the globe so that you can have a support staff available to handle calls nearly 24/7.

When providing customer support on calls, you won’t be constrained by business hours because your agents are dispersed geographically instead of in one location. This can help ensure you have enough available customer support at all times to assist with variations in call volume, resulting in agents responding to more calls faster. 

Small businesses that depend on providing stellar customer service should be particularly interested in this aspect of running a virtual call center because it allows them to hire the best talent from anywhere in the world. 

Say for instance you’re a small retailer who ships your goods internationally. If you know you regularly ship goods to England, you might consider hiring an agent(s) located in England so that they share regular business hours with your caller. 

That way you don’t have to pay an agent in the States to be available during non-standard hours which will lead to less turnover and higher agent satisfaction.

Additionally, your customers will appreciate the fact that the support they receive is more local to them. It’s a win-win.

Virtual call centers reduce agent turnover 

Gartner predicts that cloud contact center agents will outnumber on-premises contact center agents and that there will be a 60% increase in remote-working and full-time agents by 2024 (full content available to Gartner clients). A potential call center agent is going to expect some level of remote work when looking for new job opportunities. 

This makes starting a virtual call center easier since you have an advantage when it comes to hiring top talent. A traditional call center is often overcrowded and loud which can increase stress and reduce productivity and job satisfaction. This leads to higher turnover rates which means you need to spend more time and resources hiring and training new hires. 

It’s a vicious cycle that is reduced when you have a virtual contact center.

A virtual contact center eliminates the stressors of having a physical office and increases agent performance. Your agents don’t have a commute and they have more flexible hours which means they get more satisfaction from their job and agent productivity goes up. 

The more satisfied an agent is, the more likely he or she is to stay with the company. The longer the agent stays with the company, the more familiar the agent gets with the systems in place. All of this leads to the agent providing more competent and complete customer service on his or her calls which, as we mentioned earlier, is more important to consumers now than ever before. 

When transitioning to a remote workforce, start by having a discussion with key stakeholders about any hesitations they might have hiring a completely remote or mostly remote call center. That way, you can anticipate and address any concerns ahead of time, and you can strengthen your business case when proposing the shift to a virtual call center.

You also want to reiterate the benefits of remote work and highlight your commitment to providing a great work-life balance for your agents.

Virtual call centers save businesses money

Physical call centers require you to rent an office space large enough to accommodate your employees and can require significant investment in networking equipment to handle calls both upfront and continuously with updates since you’ll regularly need to upgrade your in-person solution once it becomes outdated.

Virtual contact centers, on the other hand, don’t require expensive in-person networking because your virtual agents are using cloud-based virtual call center software to field their calls. Your virtual call center software provider is responsible for maintaining their systems which means you aren’t responsible for the repair or maintenance costs.

The only equipment costs you will need to worry about are the cost of the computer your call center agent will use, and any peripherals like headsets they might need to handle their calls. 

Don’t forget about the reduced turnover rates that come with virtual call centers and the savings that brings. All of these savings add up and will allow you to put more money into your business to help it grow and evolve.

When you’re starting a virtual call center, make sure you’re thinking about a cloud-based solution. Ask the provider what types of updates they do, how regular they are, and what services they provide outside of the basic call center functionality. Searching for virtual call center software that’s specifically designed for a remote call center is a great place to start.

Familiarize yourself with virtual call center software to get a head start on beginning your virtual call center

As a small business owner dedicated to providing an incredible customer experience, you’re going to need a call center eventually to deal with caller concerns and questions, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with what virtual call center software is and what it can do to help you start your virtual contact center.

benefits-of-using-a-virtual-call-center

Now that you know a virtual call center allows you to save money, hire the best talent from across the globe, and ensure your support agents have the best work-life balance possible, the next step is to provide that stellar customer satisfaction you’re aiming for. 

If you’re curious about what other kinds of benefits virtual call center software can offer your business, check out these other resources:

Note

The applications mentioned in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.

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About the author

Collin Couey

Senior Content Writer
Collin Couey is a Senior Content Writer at GetApp, covering medical, education, and customer experience technologies, with a focus on emerging medical trends. Collin has presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication as well as the Pop Culture Association Annual Conference. Collin loves playing disc golf and Dungeons and Dragons in his free time.
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