Customer service is a major – if not the most important – factor in maintaining a company’s success. In this 24/7 age, people want to be able to contact businesses and organisations effortlessly and have their enquiries dealt with quickly and effectively. The bad news, though, is that setting up a call centre can be an expensive and time-consuming experience, even on a small scale.
It’s little wonder that companies requiring a customer service solution are turning to the idea of a virtual call centre. A virtual call centre is simply a customer response model that isn’t dependent upon a physical location. In fact, the operators often work from home, although they are occasionally based in an office building. It’s an IT and software based system that gives businesses the opportunity to create a flexible customer enquiry service that doesn’t need the infrastructure of a physical call centre.
The main benefits of using a virtual call centre are:
Better return on investment
The technology required to set up a virtual call centre is fairly simple and affordable. A number of companies offer an end-to-end virtual call centre solution that includes real-time call monitoring, caller history, call queuing, voicemail and integration with email. In essence, the customer will get a professional customer service experience without ever knowing that there is no physical call centre.
Easier employee relations
Working from home is a major incentive to busy parents who might otherwise find it impossible to work. Hours will be flexible, they don’t need to wear a fancy suit and they’ll be more motivated than staff who have to spend time and money commuting. This can result in higher staff retention and better employee relations than you might expect from a traditional call centre.
Improved customer satisfaction
If staff are happier, they are more likely to offer a professional standard of work and deal with customer enquiries and complaints to the standard that you require. It’s possible to set up a telecoms virtual system that directs calls to operators with particular expertise and knowledge. This will cut down the time taken to meet customer expectations and keep them happy. In addition, if you deal with overseas customers, it’s much easier for a virtual call centre to handle the demands of their time zones.
Reduction in disaster recovery management
Where people are gathered in one building, managers must ensure that procedures are in place to deal with incidents such as fire or loss of power. They need to be able to cope with alternative working arrangements, data security and operational sustainability and the solutions are not always obvious. With a virtual call centre, if there is a problem in one area, the rest of the system can pick up the slack – much better than managing the risk of an entire call centre coming to a standstill.
If you are unsure of how many customer service operators you need, it’s much easier to adjust up or down the size of a virtual call centre. The model will work if you only need a handful of customer service representatives in the UK or hundreds of operators across several different continents. This is particularly important if you are concerned with the time it can take to deal with commercial premises regulations in particular countries.
Thanks to developments in technology, the virtual call centre is becoming a cost effective and adaptable customer service route for businesses that range from family run companies to global corporations.
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