The Virtual Call Center: Ready to Enter Its Teen Years and So Much Has Changed

The virtual call center is set to celebrate its 12th year in operation. In the years since it was first introduced, the virtual call center platform has matured at a rate expected within any technology platform. And, the model has been readily adopted by so many different organizations that innovations have been driven simply by identifying what works within those environments and what capabilities companies need to succeed. If you are looking for a profitable way to leverage the virtual call center, home-based agents may provide the answer.

The Virtual Call Center: Home-Bound

One evolution within the virtual call center space is the adoption of the home-based agent model. When this virtual platform was first introduced call center agents working from home handled simple transactions taking retail orders or providing basic information. The basic skills required were simply working well with people and a professional demeanor over the phone. As a result, the virtual call center leveraging the home-based model became an ideal solution for companies seeking to handle overflow calls, staff after-hours shifts or to provide extra coverage in periods of high volumes.

The Virtual Call Center: Ready to Enter Its Teen Years and So Much Has Changed

Interestingly, the majority of Fortune 500 companies today are actively pursuing the virtual call center platform that leverages at-home agents. Not only do the agents in place today offer the skills and knowledge to effectively handle a full variety of customer interactions; these agents can also support the needs of the entire customer lifecycle. The movement in the virtual call center space is focused on the home-based agent as the preferred agent, not just the supplementary support.

Progress in Virtual Call Centers Demands Change

This progress in the virtual call center space has been a positive thing for agents seeking to expand their opportunities and companies hoping to leverage quality call center agents regardless of their location. The virtual call center eliminated geographical boundaries where hiring issues were concerned, while the home-based agent platform demanded additional enhancements. To ensure success with this type of virtual call center strategy, you will have to change your hiring criteria. These individuals need to meet specific certifications, have a desired level of education, possess a certain amount of market experience and perhaps even support bilingual communications. The good news for you is that such a labor pool exists and is looking to work in a virtual call center environment that allows them to work from home.

Virtual Call Centers Demand a Change in Management

Aside from the hiring changes you will have to employ to ensure success with your virtual call center plan, you also need to change the way you manage your agents. The big brother approach won’t work with these career-oriented individuals, but they also have your company’s best interest in mind. Yes, you do need to implement technologies that enable you to monitor and coach, but also empower your agents to put their best foot forward when they are on the line with your customers. The result will be a more productive virtual call center staff that performs beyond your expectations.

Yes, much has changed in the virtual call center space over the last 12 years, but the progress has all been good, working toward improved platforms that enable companies to get the best from their call center investments.

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