The call or contact centers of the years gone by used to be massive offices with rows upon rows. They were all busy in answering calls that used to be routed to them using the traditional PBX phone systems and the ACD systems. But this have actually changed. In this article we are going to dig into the virtual contact center software.
At that time, it actually did make a lot of sense for the dedicated Call center outsourcing places to have dedicated teams of call agents all gathered in the same place as it made it a lot easier to train and manage the involved people – and not to mention that it also became far easier to manage the Information Technology environment. There were also a lot of uncountable downsides to these types of dedicated call centers – as a very high number of employee turnover and ridiculously high costs of the equipment.
Today the available cloud-based Call center technology gives you the capability to move towards a concept called Call center virtualization, which goes on to address those issues related to the traditional call centers by allowing the call agents to work from home.
What is meant by a Virtual Contact Center software?
A virtual contact center software or cloud contact center refers to a contact center that is completely hosted in the cloud. The employees have the ability to work from anywhere – their homes, while travelling, in a hotel room, or even a coffee shop – though if the agent is at a noisy place, they may only be able to answer to texts, respond to emails, or support tickets rather than make or receive any phone calls.
This provided flexibility brings with it a lot of benefits, since it does make it easier for the companies to hire a large number of employees who can work part time, and such agents can be brought online during shifts when the demand requires it. In addition to that, it also means that the company does not have to make any investments in extra office space, computer hardware or desks, since most of the people working from home bring with them their own home office equipment.
A virtual contact center software also offers some other benefits too, some of which are:
- Improvement in business continuity and disaster recovery planning, since all of your resources are now not concentrated in one area.
- Improvement in agent morale, better work-life balance, and shorter work days (due to the lack of commute).
- You now have access to a wider talent pool of agents for more specialized jobs; for example, a New York -based contact center could recruit highly skilled agents in California if necessary.
- You now have the ability to manage massive teams (potentially thousands of agents) using centralized reporting tools.
- It leads to lower running costs thanks to increased efficiency and the economies of scale.
- It gives ability to smaller companies to outsource work if they expect to see relatively low call volumes.
Virtual Call Center software vs Virtual Contact Center software
A virtual contact center software can potentially handle incoming or outgoing email, support tickets, live chat and text, as well as calls and sometimes even video too. In contrast, virtual call centers handle only the telephone calls. They may handle incoming phone calls only, or both incoming and outgoing phone calls. Some companies have dedicated agents for inbound or outbound calls, while others use ‘blended agents’ that can switch between the two modes.
In the smaller contact centers and call centers, agents are more likely to handle a wide variety of calls. As the team grows, specific skill training becomes more common, and call centers use routing software to send incoming calls to the next available agent that has the right skills to handle the call. Those agents may be dedicated to working for just one company or they may be multi-skilled agents that work for an outsourcing company who handles customer service work for more than one company.
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