Call Center: Is It Time to Go Virtual?

What is the right contact center implementation checklist? Do you also consider switching to a virtual call center? And if yes, what are the main advantages? Find out these answers below.

In these jittery times, using cloud call center technology means switching to remote work or work from home (WFH), if necessary. Forcibly or not, the vast majority of call centers found options to switch to remote work attractive and cost-effective. 

Those who used on-premises techs previously in office-based call centers, want to maintain their revenue velocity, even if restrictions are on their way. Now, what they need is a profitable and efficient all-in-one solution for a virtual call center.

Why Is Virtual Call Center an Optimal Choice Now?

A virtual call center is a call center where agents handle calls from any location in the world without sophisticated hardware and software. However, they’re maintaining the full functionality for making and receiving calls, chats, emails, etc.

The call centre technology and cloud-based call center software make interaction with a customer smooth, easy, and cost-effective. 

Why is it an optimal choice now? Virtual call centers give you competitive advantages we will outline below. Moreover, they are extremely relevant in the age of remote work. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has made homeworking popular both among call centers and employees. Well, popularity goes with the necessity, either way, read on.

The recent Buffer’s survey makes it clear: 97 % of respondents said that they would recommend remote work to others. Also, 96 % of those who work remotely due to COVID-19 said that they’d like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their career.

As for contact centers, the ContactBabel report The US Contact Center Decision-Makers’ Guide 2021 shows that on average 75% of the US contact centers use some homeworking. Therefore, it’s definitely time to change and go virtual.

Maintaining the Business Continuity

It’s one of the main reasons why businesses have switched to remote work across the globe. With the pandemic restrictions being introduced, it’s hard to maintain a stable workflow working at the office. 

The same goes for call centers. Virtual call center software is operated in the cloud, thus you get rid of hardware headaches and IT bureaucracy. 

All that your virtual call center agent needs is a headset and PC or laptop with a stable internet connection. Afterward, it’s easy to handle calls from every country and location with fast internet.

Cost-effectiveness

When running an on-premise call center, you have to invest in software, hardware, and infrastructure; spend money on office rental and pay utility bills; hire IT specialists to maintain your equipment. Virtual call center solutions offer you a cost-saving alternative. 

As your agents can work from everywhere, you don’t need to think about renting the office space as well as premises for bulky servers. As for software, you pay only for a monthly subscription per user. 

You don’t need to keep an IT department because your virtual call center vendor is fully responsible for server and network equipment, its trouble-free functioning, updating, and support. 

Therefore, the upfront cost is significantly lower than in an on-premise call center.

Larger Talent Pool

Virtual call centers allow you to expand your pool of candidates. You aren’t limited to your location, in comparison with on-premise solutions. 

Moreover, cloud-based call center software allows you to expand your business hours since you are capable of hiring employees from different time zones. To learn more about the hiring, onboarding, and engagement of remote agents, read our article.

Deployment Time

Typically, it takes 2-4 weeks to launch an on-premise call center (with cloud-based software solutions, this time may be shortened to several days). A virtual call center can be deployed in a much shorter time. For example, the Voiptime Cloud call center solution requires 24-48 hours of deployment time.

Scalability and Flexibility

Suppose you run an outsourcing contact center and need more agents for a particular project. Or your e-commerce business is growing and you need to expand your call center. 

What would you do? With an on-premise call center solution, it means spending more money on hardware and software as well as searching for new office space. 

Virtual call center software requires much less investment. All you need is to buy additional user licenses for new agents. It’s a good option for seasonal businesses and outsourcers who don’t have a stable number of employees.

 

Increased Call Center Productivity

Voiptime Cloud is a virtual call center software and all-in-one solution that grants presence across digital channels such as a phone, SMS, webchat, email, and more. 

For managers, the call center software provides the big picture and full control over agents’ activities, queues, calling volume, inbound, outbound calls, messages, etc. And each agent has unified tools for calling and messaging with customers, without any manual labor. 

Today, there is no necessity to be near the agent to measure their productivity. The Voiptime Cloud software has tools for measuring agent productivity absolutely remotely.

Data Security

Voiptime Cloud virtual call center solutions are cloud-based yet protected from unauthorized access and usage. Our solutions are hosted at certified data centers, such as Twilio, and care about data security. 

As a result, with a strong commitment to security, our call center tools have the highest level of data protection and ISO standards to prevent fraud and abuse for both company and customers’ data.

Global Reach

Virtual call centers give you global connectivity in terms of calls as well. Purchase local numbers and contact customers all over the world for affordable rates. For example, the Voiptime Cloud call center solution allows you to enter new markets with local phone numbers for more than 100 countries.

Must-Have Call Center Tools To Consider

As virtual call center software is cloud-based it allows the deployment of various features that help to increase productivity. Let’s outline some of them.

1) Auto Dialers (Predictive, Power, and Preview)

The Voiptime Cloud company is proud of each top contact center software feature, and first of all, with Predictive, Power, and Preview auto dialers. 

These three auto-dialers are powerful tools for outbound calls and calling campaigns. For instance, the cloud predictive dialer is one of the famous contact center automation tools for telemarketing campaigns, lead generation, and cold calling. 

It works effectively in teams starting from 5-10 and more agents in a group. Based on outbound call statistics and the number of available agents in the calling group, it calculates the most efficient and productive speed of dialing.

The whole process looks as follows. The Predictive dialer gives a limited time for the agent’s conversations and dials the next number from the calling list when an agent is still talking, yet is about to finish the conversation. 

During the whole calling process, agents have less idle time, they just talk with customers. The huge benefit is that your agents must be prepared for talking because it connects agents only with live customers so no time is wasted listening to busy signals or voicemails. 

The Predictive dialing solution is a remarkable solution for sales and telemarketing teams (10+ agents). It will boost your call center capabilities for rapid calling to the stratosphere. 

There are no limits for agents in a calling group. The more agents you have in the calling group, the more precise the predictive dialer’s calculations for dialing pace.

One of the proven call center software tools for hunting warm customer leads is a Voiptime Cloud Power (Progressive) dialer. It dials the next phone number from the list, only in a case, the agent finishes the previous conversation. 

This is 100% risk-free from an abandoned calls dialer because working only when an agent is ready for the next call. 

Unlike the predictive dialer, it gives the maximum time for the conversation with a customer. So agents have time to introduce themselves, warm up, make a sales pitch, and close the sale. The power dialer is great for warm leads and an existing customer base. 

As a predictive dialer, it has the option of avoiding answering machines and voicemails. 

An intelligent tool for persuading customers is the Preview dialer. An agent is choosing the contact from the list and observes the personal and account information. When an agent chooses the most relevant phone number, he or she initiates the call. 

The preview dialer displays the relevant client’s card before the call and keeps it visible during the conversation. After the conversation, the agent repeats the whole process of choosing a phone number and talking again.

2) CRM Integrations

Voiptime Cloud CRM for the call center is real-time and historical data storage that contains the full information about customers and their activities.

With the Voiptime Cloud, customer relationship management integration processes flow smoothly and fast, especially if you use systems similar to Zapier, etc. 

Agents are capable of observing a customer’s personal and purchasing information during calls, in one interface. This eliminates switching between different applications and windows. The call center CRM gives a hand to agents in the most critical moments of conversation and helps to sell, persuade, and follow-up.

Managers can restrict observing personal information for agents to prevent customer data abuse. For example, agents can observe only part of the email, phone number, or other information. Managers set the level of access and configuration of the call center CRM. For instance, it is either allowed or not allowed to add information, comments, and data changes to the CRM system. 

3) ACD and Intelligent Call Routing

The Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system ensures efficient call routing based on different criteria such as agent’s skills, agent’s availability, customer’s location, account’s information, etc. 

In this case, customers can’t wait until they can arrange a callback, thus the agent will respond as soon as possible.

Or they have the option of voicemail, so an agent can listen to the message and solve the issue without disturbing a customer. The top benefits of the ACD system are:

  • First of all, it reduces the calling on the same issue over and over again, because customers call to the precise agent, due to routing logic.
  • Secondly, the call distribution system decreases waiting in a call queue, because customers connected faster to available agents.
  • Thirdly, the workload of agents maintains on the common level, because each agent achieves a decent level of calls per shift.
  • Fourthly. Managers have a real-time and comprehensive picture of the call distribution and they can assign the additional agent team to handle inbound calls if needed.

To learn more about the ACD system and how it can help you, check out our article.

4) Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system

You won’t leave your company without this unified call centre functionality feature. The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system is a good self-service tool as well that solves customers’ issues, without involving any agent whatsoever. The implementation goes through a press-key mechanism and menus for different customer options. 

For instance, press the 0-9*# key on your smartphone or phone to achieve a specific result. The results range from payment confirmation to connecting with a relevant department or agent, online-banking entering, etc. 

The IVR drastically reduces your inbound calling volume because all customers must proceed through it. It reduces mundane and obvious conversations and frees up agents for challenging solutions if customers wish to be connected to an agent.

5) Webchat

The cost of interaction through webchat equals almost zero both for a company and the customer. The speed of interacting depends on an agent, which is pretty much common for the resolution of most of the customer’s issues.

Moreover, webchat is one of the most favorite channels for communication with a company, because of ease-of-use and accessibility for interaction through desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

The webchat module will help you to reduce call volume in the call center and improve your customer service. One agent can easily handle several chats that mean answering customer questions quickly. Additionally, it’s easy to add a chatbot for informing, carrying the most obvious issues, and transferring challenging issues to agents.

6) Universal Queueing 

The most important features your call center can use to satisfy all customers, especially during high calling volumes. Universal queuing from Voiptime Cloud has these remarkable features:

  • Displays information about the number of customers in a queue;

  • Inform customers about approximate time for connection with an agent;

  • Give the option of a callback;

7) Call Scripting

Scripting is the small text for the most obvious and part of the challenging customer’s issues. They’re equally helpful in inbound and outbound calling activities. The main purpose of scripts is to overcome the frustration of an agent by unexpected customer questions or issues. 

Customization of the script takes 15 minutes, thanks to an embedded Voiptime Cloud script-builder. And there’s no switching between different applications and windows, every script accurately shows up in a proper fashion during a call.

8) Call Monitoring, Whisper Coaching, and Call Barging 

Call monitoring is the cutting-edge tool from Voiptime Cloud that helps agents to perform. Managers can be thousands of kilometers from an agent and still have full control over the conversation between a customer and an agent. 

Depending on the situation, a manager can choose whispering, barging, or listening modes for every inbound or outbound call.

Then, a manager can easily evaluate the conversation and attach call recordings for full understanding. Thus, call monitoring is an equally controlling and coaching tool.

9) Call Recording 

Achieve advanced knowledge about your agent’s performance through call recording. The Voiptime Cloud provides you with high-quality sound from recorded conversations. All you need is to find the necessary conversation, use the time frame in the software, and listen to the recording. 

Use this feature to discuss with an agent the mistakes and pinpoint weak appeals during the conversation, so they can perform in the future. 

10) Call Center Analytics

One of the must-have contact center features is real-time and historical analytics of interactions with customers. Choose the period and achieve comprehensive reports regarding the agent’s workload, activity, statuses, decisions, etc. 

Know about used IP telephony line’s information and costs of calls from your provider. Find out the precise number of callers to your call center, time spent in the IVR menu, queue line, and time for conversations with agents.

Based on this data, build the picture about your call center’s performance, observe weak sides, and improve KPIs metrics. Are you wondering how to choose a call center software for your business? Then, read the next section of the article.

How to Start a Virtual Call Center?

This is the expanded call center implementation checklist, that helps you prepare to start a virtual call center:

  • Learn more about data protection regulations regarding your industry. In some cases, you are obliged to store customer data on-premise so a cloud-based solution is not an option. Also, local regulations may require storing customer data within the border of their country. Learning all these details in advance will help you to make more informed decisions.
  • Describe your business tasks. Write down what tasks need you to perform via the virtual call center solution. It will allow you to decide on what features you need.
  • Prepare your remote agents’ workplaces. As we’ve already said, all your remote agents need is a PC or laptop with a stable internet connection, a phone and/or headset. We recommend using wired Ethernet connections because Wi-Fi is unstable and may cause interruptions during calls.
  • Choose the right call center software vendor. Search for the one who can provide you with the best performing solution for your virtual call center.

Choose the Right Software Vendor. Here’s Our Checklist 

Search for the one who can provide you with the best-performing solution for your virtual call center. Here is the list of questions you should ask when searching for virtual call center technology:

  1. How quickly will your solution be deployed?
  2. Does the solution provide chat, email, and call capabilities?
  3. Is there a single interface to handle different types of requests and transfer calls?
  4. What supervisor tools (like call recording, call barging, quality assurance, real-time dashboards, historical reporting) are present?
  5. Are technical skills required for configuring the inbound line or call campaign settings, creating a call script, creating quality assessment scorecards?
  6. What workforce management tools are included?
  7.  Does the solution include open APIs to easily integrate with other core business systems?
  8. How technical support is organized and what SLA is guaranteed?
  9. How does disaster recovery work?
  10. What is the contract duration? Do you allow flexibility to change the number of licenses during this period?
  11. Does the vendor provide SIP lines? Can you bring your own carrier?

Why Choose Voiptime Contact Center for Your Virtual Call Center?

Check the virtual call center benefits of Voiptime Cloud contact center solution:

  • It’s easy to implement - You can get our software up and running within 2 business days.
  • It’s easy to use  - Our simple and intuitive interface doesn’t require complicated training.
  • It’s scalable  - You can seamlessly adjust your contact center to seasonal demands. Run new locations and change the number of agents whenever you need it.  
  • It’s fully cloud-based  - so you can reduce costs on servers and on-premise phone system purchase and maintenance. 
  • It provides you with the highest VoIP quality - Our partners are top-class VoIP carriers.
  • All-in-one virtual call center solution - You get a fully customized call center solution from the start, with ACD, intelligent call routing, blended queues, Power & Predictive dialers, call center monitoring tools, workforce management tools, etc. Your manager can perform daily tasks on their own, without the IT staff’s involvement.

Conclusion

In the age of remote work, a virtual call center is an optimal solution for those who strive for more flexibility in this unpredictable world. Not only it allows companies to maintain business continuity but it also gives them new opportunities. 

Our experts will be more than happy to help you. Just dial our phone number 1-720-362-5005, contact us via chat, or fill the quote form.

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