Throughout the world, businesses of all types depend on call centers to deal with the huge number of telephone calls, both inbound and outbound, that they make and receive from their actual and potential customers. They want to make sure that every single person feels valued by their company, but that can be incredibly difficult if they only have limited facilities. That means that they will often outsource that work to a call center company – but that call center doesn’t need to exist within an office. Instead, there has been a huge rise in the number of virtual call centers, where people work from home and the calls are re-directed to them through their working day.
Having a virtual call center allows agents to place and receive calls just as they would in an office. Because they are outside the central office, companies can save on workspace and office equipment such as desks. The agents are more comfortable in their virtual environment, helping reduce employee turnover rates. There are other benefits of a virtual call center, such as:
Because there is less of an overhead cost with virtual employees, you can save money. Also, there are money-saving benefits associated with using virtual call center software, as well. Agents can use the software to switch back and forth from inbound to outbound calls, which saves time and increases productivity. Instead of needing multiple agents to do the work, one agent can handle both types of calls.
Having a virtual call allows your business to easily adapt to changing needs. One of the benefits of using virtual call center software is that it can work with both small teams of agents as well as larger ones to accommodate any changes that occur based on demand. Plus, a virtual call center allows your business to adapt to changes in geographic areas. Because virtual agents can work outside a single geographic area, they can reach a wider customer base.
Compared to standard call centers, virtual call centers have a greater efficiency rate. This can be due, in part, to staggering agents based on time zones as well as allowing them greater freedom in their location and workflow. Agents are more relaxed, which contributes to a positive work outlook. Overall, when agents are motivated and satisfied with their work, they can deliver higher quality customer service, which helps the business’s image, customer retention rates and profits.
So how to start a virtual call center of your own? This is an incredibly easy way to manage your own hours, and spend the most time possible with your family – but then, setting up a virtual call center sounds pretty complicated, right? Not necessarily, it just takes a smart strategy and some hard work. The first thing that you will need to do is create a business plan. Just about any industry can use a virtual call center to generate leads. For example, Flawless Pools & Spas is a pool company that could generate leads by cold calling homeowners with pools in the neighborhoods they target. Within this business plan, you need to have figures on how much it will cost you to start up, including any staffing costs and new tax limits, where you are going to get that money from, and what business objectives you have for the next year, month by month. This may seem laborious, but a good planning stage always ensures success.
You will have to be honest with yourself: make conservative estimates for your profits, so that you can ensure that you can definitely afford to employ the number of people that you are thinking of. You also need to consider, if you need extra funds to start off, where you are going to get that money. Some people check with a financial planner in order to get their head around things, and that may be useful for you.
Now, you need to think about exactly where your virtual call center is going to be and how big your staff will initially be. It is all very well to say that you are going to work from home, but where? Is there a spare bedroom that you can use as an office, or a quiet spot in the house where no one really goes? You need to be sure that you are not going to be disturbed continuously because your customers are going to want no background noises to distract them from listening to your advice. If you decide to lease a small amount of office space locally, then you may need to re-examine your business plan and how you are going to afford it. Since your staff will be working from home, you won’t have to factor in a personal workspace for them.
The next key step to starting up your virtual call center is to choose your software program. With EVS7, we offer comprehensive, cost-effective software called the Parrot Predictive Dialer and Cloud Call Center which is an affordable rolling month package – cancel anytime, and no complicated fees. With telemarketing software like the Parrot, you’ll be able to have your agents log in from anywhere in the world with just a computer and a headset. As a manager, you can take control virtually and upload lists to create call center campaigns. Reports and statistics will be available to measure how your team performs. You and your staff can also record any calls to protect yourself and your clients.
And last, but by no means least, it is time to get clients! There are tons of ways to do this, from joining the Call Center Network Group, to ringing up companies offering your services. You could even offer new sign ups a special offer to make them interested, and offer them referral rewards if they help you gain new customers. Before you know it, you have started your very own virtual call center! Want to know about how to start a virtual call center and the software required to power one? Take a look at the Definitive Guide to Call Center Management Software that’s full of useful information and quite an easy read!