Call centers serve many purposes, but they are basically an area where several employees or more are staffed to handle incoming and outgoing telephone calls. They might be there for a critical reason, such as a dispatch center for emergency phone calls for police, hospitals, drug addiction networks, suicide hotlines or ambulance services. Often their goals are commercial, such as telemarketing, generating new customers, or handling complaints or returns for a business. Essentially, though, the employees work from a central office and are there physically most days of the week or every day.
At a virtual center, the people who staff the phone lines no longer are all in one place. They can work from just about anywhere, most often at their homes. With the increasing improvements in telecommunications and computer software programs, phone calls can be routed to almost any location. The benefits of this setup are many, for employees, companies and customers.
For employees, virtual call centers are more convenient because they allow staff to work from home. This can eliminate long commute times. It can allow an employee to not have to travel long distances in poor and dangerous weather. It can cut down on the spread of illnesses during flu and cold season. An employee can save money on car repairs and maintenance, or bus and train fares, and, of course, it can be more pleasant to work from one’s home.
For businesses, virtual phone centers reduce the costs of setup, supplies, building rents or leasing, heating, and custodial expenses. They allow new employees to be added as needed through online hiring systems. All of this can now be managed effectively with software programs that are adept at tracking employee performance and that oversee the operations.
Customers benefit from staff that might be more cheerful and empowered, around the clock service and the improvements of customer-friendly technology. For these reasons and more, virtual call centers might well be the wave of the future.