Virtual Call Center for Your Business: All Your Questions Answered

Virtual call centers (VCC) have become the modern way to receive telephone calls from customers and leads.

This type of service enables businesses to enjoy the benefit of an in-house call center without the overhead and hassle of hiring and training employees, installing the technology, and keeping track of hours.

By operating a virtual call center, your company saves time and money in many ways. It can also perform more efficiently than if it hired employees locally.

If you're interested in implementing a VCC for your business but not sure how to do it, this guide answers all your questions to help you get started.

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What is a Virtual Call Center

A virtual call center is an outsourced call center that offers an array of telemarketing, customer service, and sales assistance services remotely.

Third-party businesses operate VCCs that contract with other firms to handle inbound customer calls.

The VCC will allow employees to handle your company's phones and provide phone service.

Ultimately, this setup enables employees to respond to calls without being physically present in the call center — hence the term "virtual call center."

You can implement virtual contact center services for inbound or outbound customer service calls, sales calls, telemarketing calls, and more.

How Does a Virtual Call Center Work?

At its core, a virtual contact center is an outsourced call center. The company you hire to handle your inbound customer calls employs agents.

The person who owns the company sets up a network of computers and telephone lines to route the calls to your business or another business.

They use technology to manage the call flow and provide call stats to the business owners.

The agents work in a call center environment, using a computer and headset to access your business's contact information and customer data.

They can also transfer calls to other employees or departments, or even to customers, based on the particulars of the conversation.

The call center software has built-in features that allow the agents to handle various calls — including sales calls, inbound customer service calls, and outbound marketing calls.

For example, if you're a company that sells products and has an online store, your call center might receive customer service calls related to items that customers want to return.

7 Reasons Why VCC Services are Better than Answering Services

Answering services and virtual contact center services are both services that allow you to receive calls when your business is closed. However, some critical differences between the two make one of them better than the other.

Virtual call center services are the best option for businesses looking to outsource their call center services.

Here are seven other reasons why you may want to consider a virtual call center over an answering services provider:

  1. More Opportunities for Growth - A VCC can offer additional services, such as customer service and web chat, whereas an answering service can only answer the phone.
  2. Personalized Services - A virtual contact center provides a more personalized customer experience that allows agents to handle multiple inquiries and close questions quickly. It's imperative as 86% of customers prefer agents with whom they can share a positive connection.
  3. Cost-Effective Pricing - Answering services often charge by the minute, which can be expensive for clients with large volumes of calls per day or week. Agents at a VCC work on salary, which means their hourly cost never changes regardless of how many calls they take in an hour or day.
  4. High-Quality Telemarketing Services - Call center agents can answer questions, provide support, and handle customer service issues. They can also take on a variety of situations, including offering product information and solving problems. They usually undergo ongoing training, so they continue to hone their skills as needed.
  5. Scalability - Answering services often limit how many calls they can take each day, which can be problematic for companies that receive high volumes of calls during peak times. A virtual contact center has no limitations and will automatically scale with you.
  6. Resiliency - If your answering service experiences any issues with its service, it can mean disaster for your business. Answering services rely on landlines and voicemail, which aren’t always reliable or are sometimes down altogether. With a VCC, you know that calls will be routed to agents so your customers can still get their questions answered and inquiries resolved. Research shows companies with contact centers experience 35% less downtime.
  7. 24/7 Services - Unlike an answering service, virtual contact center agents can take calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you’re always available to your customers no matter what time they contact you. It gives you a more professional image and shows your customers that you’re ready to handle their needs anytime.

5 Ways a Virtual Call Center Service Can Help Your Business

Getting a call center in a virtual capacity has many advantages for your business, mainly:

  • You can save money by not paying each employee for office space and equipment costs (such as computers).
  • The cost of hiring employees will be lower because fewer benefits are associated with being employed by an outside company rather than by yourself directly.
  • You can choose your call center location based on rates, labor cost (language and skill set), and available technology.
  • If you have a business with a global customer base, you can select a call center in a different part of the world based on the language spoken by your customers.
  • You can also select a call center based on the technology they use.

However, keep in mind that low rates may indicate a lower level of service or quality.

Choosing a Virtual Contact Center

Virtual contact center providers offer many benefits to companies, but they also come with some drawbacks, and it's essential to understand both before making your choice.

The first step in choosing a VCC is evaluating your current situation.

  • Are you currently outsourcing your call center needs?
  • Are you looking for a new provider?
  • Is this just a part-time venture or a full-time move?

Once you've evaluated your current situation, take some time to research different providers so that you can find one that meets all of your needs and exceeds them.

  • Which services does the VCC provide?
  • What is the virtual call center’s reputation?
  • Do you need a 24/7 call center, or can your business operate with an evening/weekend support team?
  • Are there any regulatory requirements that will affect your choice?

Third, look for companies that have worked with small businesses like yours—they know how important it is to get things right from day one.

  • What technology do they use?
  • Does the virtual contact center provide customer satisfaction guarantees?
  • What do customers say about them?
  • Is the company willing to work with your unique needs?

Finally, consider the costs associated with each option.

  • What does each provider charge for their services?
  • Are there any hidden fees or extra charges?
  • How do these prices compare to other providers in the industry?

Once you’ve identified the best virtual contact center for your business, contact them to set up a consultation.

During the consultation, ask the following questions:

  • What is your customer satisfaction rate?
  • How will my business benefit from using your services?
  • What will it cost to use your services?
  • What do you offer in terms of warranties and guarantees?
  • What is your technology setup?
  • How do you handle data security?
  • What is your implementation process?

Which Virtual Call Center Outsourcing Strategy to Choose

One of the factors to consider when deciding how to outsource your virtual call center provider is whether you want an onshore, nearshore, or offshore provider.

Onshore refers to outsourcing providers based in the same country as you. In most cases, this will be your own country, but it could also be another European country or North America. The advantage of onshore outsourcing is that it's often cheaper than offshore outsourcing, and there are fewer time zone differences to worry about when communicating with your provider. Onshore outsourcing is suitable for businesses that have lower budget limits.

Nearshore outsourcing providers are in a nearby country but not your own. It's often cheaper than offshore outsourcing but still offers many of the benefits of outsourcing, such as access to local talent and lower communication problems because of the time zone difference. Nearshore outsourcing is best for companies that wish to be closer to their providers and develop longer-lasting relationships with them.

Offshore outsourcing is getting tasks done remotely by a company or an individual in another country. The concept is simple: one can get work done at a location where labor costs are much cheaper than in the native place.

Virtual Call Center: Final Thoughts

Virtual call centers allow local businesses to grow and expand operations more efficiently.

Rather than having to recruit, hire, and train new employees, you can outsource your call center functions to a virtual contact center company.

It frees up the time and money so you can focus on other areas, such as marketing or expansion.

With the help of virtual contact centers, you can also feel confident that your customers or clients will receive prompt service from well-trained agents. After all, 86% of customers pay more for an excellent customer experience.

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