How virtual call centre software transforms the way we work
How virtual call centre software transforms the way we work
When you think of virtual call centre software, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A Princess Leia inspired hologram that pops out of your computer and tells you what to do? Some Mr Smith sunglasses you can wear that will transport you into a 3D world? A minority report scene, where you can swipe virtual interfaces, and in the process look pretty cool? Or perhaps some video game where you can feverishly chase down leads like they’re the new pokemon go?
Movies have certainly helped make the concept of ‘virtual’ sound pretty appealing. And with Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) now colliding, those once ‘out-there’ sci-fi scenes are now strangely, strangely possible.
And yet, while we get caught up in the excitement of all of this, another equally powerful virtual revolution is already taking place, right under our noses, in call centres around the world – and it all comes down to the contact centre software they’re using.
You missed it? That’s ok, as it’s easy to jump on board, and you’ll be amazed by what going ‘virtual’ can do for your call centre.
You can jump on the cloud
Virtual call centre software is really just another word for cloud-based contact centre software. Using VoIP technology, it brings together all the features of a powerful PBX phone system into one centralised, online platform, where all call activities now take place.
With low set-up costs, no software to install, or need for additional hardware, it makes running a call centre faster, easier and more transparent than ever before. Accessible 24/7, from anywhere with an internet connection, it has also done away with the need for networked computers, and this has given call centres some pretty awesome new capabilities.
You don’t have to work in a centralised office
“A virtual call center is a call center in which the organization’s representatives are geographically dispersed, rather than being situated at work stations in a building operated by the organization.” – Tech Target
This is a very freeing concept for many people. As cities become more over-crowded and public transport grinds to a halt, getting into the office can be a real inconvenience for employees and management. It can mean people arrive late for work, disrupt planned rosters and put a brick in team momentum.
And so not having to work in an office can be a win-win situation for everyone, including:
- Owners, who don’t need to pay for expensive office rent or infrastructure, from stationary to printers, that you find in a call centre. Lighter and leaner, this may also mean they have more time to invest in business strategy and expansion, rather than on constant cost-cutting measures.
- Managers, who, due to lower overheads, potentially have larger budgets to work with and can put this into hiring and training; they can also rely on agents not arriving late due to missing a train or something similar, and still have the ability to have full oversight of what all their agents, teams and campaigns are doing from moment-to-moment.
- Agents, who have the flexibility to work from wherever they like, so long as it’s quiet and they get the job done. Here they can save on transport costs, work clothes expenses, and the pain of having to commute to work. For some agents, being able to operate in the comfort of their own environs, without the noise of a call centre in the background, can also lead to a better personal performance and connection with customers.
- Customers, who have access to extended service delivery hours, and potentially more customer service options and support.
You can take your services offshore
Using virtual call centre software means you can set up call centre teams in many different geographic locations, and offer customer support that follows the sun.
For companies with a global customer base, this is a particularly powerful idea, helping to expand their service delivery, reduce overheads, and still manage their teams closely through one centralised system – making quality control much easier!
With a cloud-based system at their fingertips, they can:
- Mix onshore with offshore teams, working on the same campaigns or each on specific call tasks
- Scale to demand, opening up new lines to new agents, at any time
- Live monitor agent and team performance, irrespective of their location
- Tweak call scripting, scrap things that don’t work, offer advice and guide remote agents through any difficult issues that arise
- Tag-team rosters, switching from one call centre to the next to follow the sun
- Use historical data to predict future performance and make better decisions on hiring, rostering and campaign setting for different geo zones
And this is just scratching the surface. Virtual call centre software means managers not only have supreme transparency but also total control to make changes on the go, so they can keep fine-tuning their customer service and sales results, irrespective of location, so everyone ends up on the same winning side.
You can be part of a global village
And one of the best things about virtual call centre software is that it opens a business up to a whole new global village, where geography doesn’t matter, offices are irrelevant, onshore and offshore can co-exist, wearing uniforms is an absurdity, being late for work is no longer an excuse, and the virtual office is a real rather that imagined space.
This is the virtual potential. It puts power back into the hands of the users, so everyone – from the agent to the manager to the customer – has a better call centre experience. It also lays down the pipeline for the next wave of tech advances, from virtual reality to artificial intelligence, to hook into the call centre platforms you’re using – and potentially bring your sci fi dreams of virtual worlds to life!
And this, you’ve got to admit, is pretty damn exciting.
Want to see how virtual and offshoring could work together?
Flickr CC: Jonathan Morgan