22. May 2020 Blog

What is a virtual call center and why should you have one?

It’s clear to see that the nature of the workplace is changing rapidly. A while back, no call center would ever want to switch to a cloud phone system and let its agents work remotely. Things are much different now, though. With the right set of tools, you can easily boost the performance of your call center, no matter where the agents are located. Here’s why it’s worth having a virtual call center yourself.

More and more companies are switching from on-premise call centers to virtual ones, as implementing cloud solutions was already among the top priorities for many contact centers in 2019. In fact, the global cloud-based contact center market is expected to grow to 20.93 billion USD by 2022. 

There are a few good reasons for that. Virtual call centers offer certain flexibility, reliability, scalability, and support that on-premise solutions are not able to provide. Not to mention that they are cheaper and more secure as well.

Before you get familiar with more reasons why you should have one - learn more about what a virtual call center is. 

What is a virtual call center?

There’s no doubt that having a contact center is an important part of running any successful business out there - but deploying it can be challenging and quite expensive. Luckily, virtual call center solutions are here to make this process easier. 

A virtual call center is simply a contact center whose representatives are not gathered in a single physical office but are geographically dispersed. Instead of working on-site, virtual agents can work remotely from wherever they please, while remaining professional and efficient.

This way, businesses can save on equipment and office maintenance costs, without affecting the quality of service provided by call center agents. 

We put together downloadable step-by-step buyer's guide on how to choose the best call center software in 2020.

How do virtual call centers work, exactly? 

In essence, call centers are capable of handling inbound and outbound phone conversations. When it comes to an on-premise call center, everything is located on your premises - be it the software, hardware, servers, staff, or anything you can possibly think of. This means that setup and maintenance are entirely your responsibility, and you have to cover all the costs yourself. 

Virtual call centers, though, leverage VoIP and cloud-based software to let their users make and receive calls from different locations. As long as there's a stable Internet connection, remote agents can still be part of a virtual call center, no matter where they’re located.

Everything is hosted in the cloud and provided by a third party, while the actual software is set up, maintained, and upgraded by the virtual call center software provider, which also tends to offer additional support during the whole process. 

For customers, it makes no difference. When they’re trying to contact a virtual call center through a number provided, they can still have the impression that they’ve reached a physical office. For your business, though, virtual call centers mean multiple advantages. 

Advantages of virtual call center

There are many reasons why virtual call centers are so popular these days: 

  1. Virtual call centers are easier to implement and cheaper to maintain. You can easily set up a virtual call center in a few minutes, and there are no complicated installations, hardware, or local storage space required. Basically, everything you need is an Internet connection. 
  2. Your virtual call center agents can be located anywhere, and you won’t even notice. As long as all your team members are connected to the Internet, they can easily take and make calls from any device and any place in the world. 
  3. Virtual call centers can scale with your business, giving you a lot of options. The number of agents, caller queues, phone numbers, and available integrations is almost limitless with virtual call center software, so you can take advantage of all the features whenever and however you want to, being able to respond to the evolving needs of your business at all times. For small businesses that operate seasonally, virtual call centers also mean that they don’t have to maintain large facilities all year round.
  4. Virtual call centers let you keep an eye on data, in real-time. Being aware of who your customers are and how they previously engaged with your business can help you win them over. Plus, you can easily analyse and make data-driven decisions if you keep track of relevant details and draw conclusions from them. This, in turn, can help you improve the performance of your team and the quality of the service you’re offering. 
  5. Virtual call centers can be much more secure. There have been some rumours that moving to the cloud is not safe, as it gives you less control of your contact center. It’s quite the contrary: Security measures such as firewalls and encryption are often offered by cloud providers, whose reputation depends on ensuring the safety of the customers’ data.

How to choose a virtual call center software? 

As already mentioned, virtual call centers are based on VoIP and cloud-based solutions offered by many service providers out there. If you decide to deploy a virtual call center yourself, you need to pick reliable software first. Here’s how. 

  • Think your needs through. Consider what you want to get out of the virtual call center software provider before you test out available solutions. With the wide offer available on the market, it’s good to have some requirements in mind before you start your search.
  • Do your research. There are many virtual call center solutions on the market and plenty might seem similar at first. It’s important to test and compare them thoroughly, especially since every call center software provider offers a free trial. 
  • Consider call quality and uptime. The quality and reliability of the service are the most important factors to look at. If the virtual call center software is not working properly and the quality of calls is poor, you won’t be able to make the most out of all features, integrations and benefits it has in store. 
  • Check pricing plans and call rates. After comparing the available solutions and narrowing down your choices, the price vs quality factor should help you pick the most appropriate solution. Flexible pricing and the‘ pay as you go’ model are definitely something to look for, especially if you’re planning to scale both your business and the virtual call center.  
  • Browse reviews and opinions. When choosing the best option for your virtual call center, you should not only keep in mind all of the factors listed above but also and get familiar with the user reviews. Platforms such as G2 and Capterra can help you make the right choice. 

Looking for more guidance on how to choose a good call center software for your business? Take a look at our dedicated blog post.

Make the most of a virtual call center

Even though every business is different, a virtual call center can easily help you provide a seamless service to your customers. There’s no need to set up a physical office yourself - with VoIP and cloud-based solutions available, your agents can work from anywhere.

The only thing you have to take care of is a stable Internet connection and a proper virtual call center software.  

If you’re currently looking for one, you might want to give CloudTalk a try. It’s an established virtual call center service provider that has what it takes to help you build a successful contact center - no matter where your agents and customers are located. Take advantage of a free trial and see if for yourself