Answer the Call with a Virtual Call Center

What is a virtual call center?

A virtual call center is a customer service call center where the agents answering calls are not in a geographically centralized location.They are in disparate locations, either people working from home or a several offices, but are connected via virtual call center software or online call center software. This is a great strategy for companies that provide support via a contact center to customers in various time zones or are looking to reduce the overhead costs of a centralized office.

As a voice over internet (VoIP) technology, Zendesk Voice is quick to configure and maintain. Agents can use Zendesk Voice anywhere in the world -- they just need a good internet connection and headphones.

Un enfoque diferente

Providing phone support with call centers is nothing new. Companies have been offering customer service this way for about as long as household phones have been commonplace. However, there have always been some major problems associated with this approach:
  • Inconvenient business hours. Many companies have customers all over the world, something that is more true today than ever before. However, not all companies have offices all over the world. The result of this is customer service is limited to the business hours associated with the geographic location of the call center. If a customer is unable to contact the company during those hours because they live in a different part of the world, they will find it very difficult to receive support. That’s bad for the customer but also bad for the company, because the customers now in danger of taking their business elsewhere.
  • Employee turnover. Customer service agents who work at call centers tend not to stick around very long, meaning new employees need to be trained, and more customers will speak with inexperienced agents. While this can’t always be avoided, enticing employees with flexible hours and the ability to work from home can convince them to stay longer than they might otherwise. This reduces the cost of hiring and training new employees, and increases the number of veteran support agents.

Mejores prácticas

Managing a virtual call center can sometimes be hard. The lack of face to face interactions between managers and support agents can make it difficult to effectively manage and improve call center performance. Here are some tips to help manage an effective virtual call center:
  • Foster communication. Managers should communicate as frequently and proactively as they expect their team to. Managing remote employees shouldn’t require micromanagement, but may involve taking some extra time to listen, to say hello in the morning or at the beginning of a shift, and being generally available (or providing alternate contacts) to team members.
  • Improve visibility. Managers and remote employees must actively work on fostering both praise and constructive feedback, and on building trust. If managers can place the emphasis on performance and delivery, and look for opportunities to coach and fill gaps in training, a virtual team has the potential to run like a well-oiled machine.
  • Bring the team in for a customer care in-office retreat with opportunities for shadowing, team building, lunches or dinner, meet and greets, or happy hours.
  • Surprise individuals who are doing a good job with a gift card delivered to their email inbox.
  • Consider tools that will help your team work remotely— such as tablets, headphones, phone upgrades—as tangible rewards. Can you budget for an annual team raffle?

El momento adecuado

Not all companies require a virtual call center, but the ones that do greatly benefit from using one. In particular, companies that don’t have global offices but still do business with customers around the world might choose to use a virtual call center. Likewise, companies that find there’s no reason for support agents to be in close physical proximity will often find it more cost effective to employ a virtual call center. Doing so can improve customer service quality and agent productivity.

Cómo ayuda Zendesk

Zendesk customer service software offers Zendesk Voice, cloud-based call center software that can be the cornerstone of a world-class virtual call center. As a voice over internet (VoIP) technology, Zendesk Voice is quick to configure and maintain. Agents can use Zendesk Voice anywhere in the world -- they just need a good internet connection and headphones.

Get real with a virtual call center

¿Estás listo para probarlo? Inicia una prueba gratuita de 30 días