Virtual contact centers are communication platforms utilized by organizations to stay connected. VCCs are either powered by cloud-based contact center software or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Once a VCC is set up, customers can reach a business via multiple communication channels for support and queries. This article will discuss the basics of a VCC and weigh its pros and cons.
What is a Virtual Contact Center?
A virtual contact center is a virtually operated, cloud-based platform on which all customer-facing employees work remotely. Virtual contact center agents are distributed beyond borders and provide round-the-clock support to customers enabling an easily reachable and satisfying, unique customer experience. Customer support is provided across all communication channels, as virtual contact center employees continue to handle customers and stay connected across the world via the internet and virtual contact center software. The most significant advantage of a virtual contact center is possibly the availability of customer support since employees based in different time zones continue to stay reachable.
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What is VCC in BPO?
A virtual call center (VCC) in business process outsourcing (BPO) is a managed service provider model for contact centers. Management modules and backend communication servers in the virtual contact center are delivered across the internet. Since all operations are conducted virtually over the internet, there is no need for in-house equipment in a virtual contact center.
All voice communication in a virtual hosted contact center is delivered via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Virtual contact center solutions come with the necessary infrastructure (both hardware and software) needed for setting up and running a virtual contact center. In a VCC, all business calls are routed to communication servers, and end users log into the servers via the internet.
Virtual Contact Center Advantages
Despite the differences in the work environment of physical and virtual contact centers, the latter offers quite a few advantages. These advantages of remote contact centers include lower costs, flexibility, reduced employee turnover, enhanced agent productivity, no geographical limitations, a wider talent pool at the time of hiring, and better customer experience.
A physical contact center requires IT resources, hosting servers, phone servers, office supplies, and more for setting up, while a virtual contact center allows you to operate without buying the physical equipment. Furthermore, maintenance and system upgrades are the provider’s responsibility, allowing businesses to save on repair and system upgrade costs. Contact center analytics offered in most solutions can also give you deeper customer insights to increase agent performance, inform decisions, and find more cost-saving opportunities.
Virtual contact center software allows users to choose the features necessary for their business’s goals and run whatever type of contact center they wish. Both sales and support agents can use the same virtual contact center. Since providers usually offer monthly plans based on the number of users, these plans are pretty flexible and can be changed depending on the changing needs of users.
Reduced Employee Turnover
Since a virtual contact center has flexible working hours and no commute tensions, it significantly reduces employees' stress levels and lowers the employee turnover rate. This, in turn, enables the organization to benefit from more satisfied and experienced agents as part of a good CX strategy.
Enhanced Agent Productivity
Since virtual contact centers allow employees to work from home, it reduces the stress levels induced by commute and workplace noise associated with physical contact centers. This considerably improves the efficiency and productivity of agents, enabling them to respond to customer calls more patiently. The best contact center software typically offers workforce optimization tools for contact center improvement and increased productivity,
Wider Talent Pool
Having no geographical limitations when hiring agents exponentially increases the available talent pool when hiring. This allows virtual contact center owners to select the best agents open for the job.
Higher Customer Satisfaction
Talented and satisfied agents are, in turn, able to provide the best customer support. Virtual contact center agents work in a relaxed environment and are well-versed in business policies and product knowledge, providing a good customer experience with their level-headedness and composure.
Virtual Contact Center Disadvantages
There are a few limitations associated with virtual omnichannel contact centers, such as miscommunication, difficulty in building team spirit and providing IT services, challenges in training employees, and lack of social interaction for the agents.
The flexibility for hiring agents from a wider talent pool from around the world comes with cultural barriers and language restrictions among the workforce, which cause miscommunications. The different communication styles in various cultures present in international contact centers can fuel misunderstandings among the virtual contact center employees and give way to further issues.
Difficulty in Building Team Spirit
Due to employee dispersal around the globe, there is little to no contact among the virtual contact center workforce, eliminating the possibility of ease for building team spirit.
Difficulty Providing IT Services
Virtual contact center employees are typically connected via computer software. If the software goes down, providing maintenance and IT services require intervention by the company, which can be cumbersome.
Workforce Training Challenges
The virtual contact center employees providing customer support are the representative of a business. Their direct communications with customers have the potential to make or break your business. Therefore, their initial and continued training is vital to ensure their knowledge of the company's policies is up-to-date and well-versed. Most organizations with virtual contact centers conduct online, while some conduct in-person sessions. However, companies often face challenges during agent delivery due to the more general online nature of this training.
Lack of Social Interaction
While many employees prefer working from home, for some, the lack of social life that comes with working for a virtual contact center can feel isolating and even depressing.
How to Compare Virtual Contact Center Systems
Comparing the best contact center software for your business can always seem intimidating, especially when hunting for a virtual contact center solution. The assurance of a top-quality customer service experience is mandatory and the most important factor when considering VCC solutions. Besides customer experience, focus on software flexibility, lower setup and operational costs, and other required features for achieving your business goals.