Perhaps the biggest change to come out of 2020 has been the normalization of working from home. Once relegated to executives and tech workers, the idea of working from home has only recently become available to a large section of workers. While this last year may have led to a more rapid rise, this trend is nothing new. In a report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the number of employees working from home increased 115% between 2005 and 2015. Currently, over 26 million workers – 16% of the national workforce – work from home.
One field which has been forced to adopt rapid change in regards to workspace has been that of call centers. Traditionally, these needed to be highly centralized locations – necessitated by the extensive hardware required to facilitate the high volume and speed of a call center. Desk phones, cables, switchboards – these all needed to be as close together as possible owing to the more primitive technology with which they were built.
This, however, is all changing before our very eyes. Virtual call centers are shaping up to revolutionize the service and support industry by eliminating the need for massive, complicated, and expensive telephony hardware; replacing it with a decentralized, streamlined infrastructure. What’s not to be excited about?
Is a virtual call center the right solution for your enterprise? Below, we’ll lay out all of the reasons why so many businesses are making this switch, and how setting up a virtual call center can increase your team’s efficiency – while also lowering costs – as well as a few useful tips to help you get started.
Switch to a Virtual Call Center
- Increase Worker Productivity
- Make Your Managers More Efficient
- Save Big on Office Space
- Move Beyond Your Location
- Flexible Hours
- Going Green
Happy Workers are Productive Workers
“If I let my team work from home, they’ll just watch Netflix and browse Facebook all day!” This line has been parroted in various forms since the beginning of the digital age, and yet, more and more employers are letting their workers decide where they wish to get their work done. And what has been the result? A report commissioned by FlexJobs found that 66% of employees felt more productive after switching to working from home. And there is more concrete data to back this up.
A study from the California State Polytechnic University found that employees who worked from home were, on average, 10% more productive than their office-bound counterparts. These findings were corroborated in a 2015 Stanford University.
This, then, raises the question of “why?”. Put simply, people are more productive when they are in a comfortable setting. Also, freed from the need to commute to and from an office every day, many employees find themselves feeling more refreshed and focused due to the increased free time. Additionally, employees use considerably fewer sick and personal days, as they can more readily attend to their needs at home – while still being within reach of their office.
Streamline Your Management
Workers aren’t the only ones who have been shown to benefit from virtual call centers – managers can also have their workload greatly reduced. In the past, the prospect of managing dozens of remote workers was a truly daunting prospect. This was doubly true for call centers; how were customers and representatives supposed to be paired together? Using a private cell phone or landline? How were customers supposed to reach these private numbers? How could the huge volume of calls be efficiently tracked and sorted?
Recently, thanks to the increase of virtual call centers, these problems have been largely solved. Virtual call centers easily allow sales and support staff to handle tickets whenever and wherever they arise. Managers can easily keep track of dozens of remote workers from a single dashboard showcasing real-time data and performance metrics. Support staff can all receive calls from a single queue, allowing for significantly reduced wait times, and more overall ticket resolutions.
The benefits for managers don’t stop there, other major advantages of implementing a virtual call center include:
- A centralized overview of all call center metrics,
- Representative-specific performance data,
- Advanced call routing,
- Conference calling,
- Call barging,
- And much more!
Reduce Overhead and Operating Costs
As any business owner will tell you, the largest expense (aside from labor) for the majority of businesses is space. Whether renting or buying, office space is rarely cheap; particularly if you are trying to attract potential employees with a desirable, convenient location. By implementing a virtual call center, thereby allowing your sales and support staffs to work remotely, an enterprise can enjoy massive savings in their operating costs.
In addition to a reduced need for office space, savings can be found in decreased spending on things like electricity and water consumption, printing costs, even the amount of coffee consumed in the office! While these may all individually be negligible, they scale limitlessly with the size of a company.
Expand Your Reach
As with any physical facility, call centers are limited in their recruiting to only those within a certain geographical range. This can restrict many factors, including language support and wage requirements. By operating a virtual call center you can easily recruit qualified candidates from around the world, allowing you to ensure custom, local support to any market in which you operate.
With the recent increases in quality and availability of remote productivity tools managers and workers can feel confident that everything will be handled in a professional manner.
Fast and Flexible
In today’s 24-hour world the need for around-the-clock support is paramount. Traditionally, this meant one of two things – either renting office space in multiple time zones, or paying a premium to overnight workers. Setting up a virtual call center offers a solution to both of these problems. By decentralizing your call center, you can ensure that you have access to workers from around the world, at all hours, in any market language you may need. Along with these benefits, workers love the added flexibility of choosing their own shifts.
Save the World
The average US commuter spent a total of nine full days (225 hours) commuting in 2018 – that’s nearly 2 full weeks of work, sitting in traffic. And with the majority of commuters driving solo, that is no small amount of greenhouse gasses being released. By not just allowing, but encouraging, employees to work from home we could create a significant dent in CO2 emissions.
The benefits of setting up a virtual call center for your enterprise are numerous. Save time, save money, save the world. By allowing your employees to work from home you can ensure their long-term happiness and health, reduce your overhead, and increase the employee/employer relationship. By bringing in a team of specialists from all over the world, you can ensure lightning-fast and highly-localized support to all of your clients. So what are you waiting for? Reach out and ask one of our knowledgeable agents about how a virtual call center can help you.