A virtual contact centre is a call centre that assist any sized company, from your small local business to large corporate businesses and because it’s virtual your contact centre team does not need to be in a central location, your business can easily scale up or down with minimal cost.
Virtual call centres are great for companies that provide support to customers in various time zones or are looking to reduce the overhead costs of a centralised office.
At The VA Team, our virtual call centre is a customer service call centre where the agents are answering inbound calls either helping customers with their enquiries, make bookings or providing support to customers who are looking to reduce the overhead costs of a centralised office.
With any outsourcing there are always pros and cons to the virtual call centres:
There are at least four reasons why a company would want to outsource its call centre:
- Flexibility: Call centre outsourcing allows a company to be flexible to changing needs. If a business moves into a new market, it’s difficult to estimate how many call centre employees to add. The same is true when the firm launches new products. The company must pay the fixed cost of the call centre, even if the expansion doesn’t earn enough revenue. When it outsources the call centre the company only pays for the time employees spend on the phone.
- Expansion to International Markets: When a company expands to foreign markets, it must have local call centres. The staff must understand the culture and speak the language, an outsourced call centre can handle that problem on an as-needed basis.
- Responsiveness: Companies often have spikes in their business, such as those during the holiday season. It’s difficult to train, hire, and then lay off workers for those few months when demand is higher. A company that outsources its call centre contracts out those risks.
- Customer Service: The telecommunications infrastructure becomes worn, unreliable or outdated. Maintaining it is costly and replacing it even more so. An outdated system can reduce competitiveness. An outsourced call centre brings with it the latest technology. The business can then focus on innovation in its goods and services.
The biggest reason why a company would want to keep its call centre in-house is control. This is especially critical for a company whose competitive advantage is customer service.
- Communication: One of the biggest complaints of outsourced call centre is understanding foreign accents. Foreign call centre employees’ accents kept customers from understanding them.
- Culture Shock: Employees in foreign call centres weren’t familiar with common country phrases and slang, they weren’t clear on geographic references. This reduced customers’ trust in their expertise.
- Product Knowledge: Foreign call centre employees were far removed from the corporate base. As a result, they weren’t as familiar with the company’s products and services. This also reduced the confidence and resolution of customer problems.
Here at The VA Team we have found solutions for some of the Cons by being UK based and all English speaking agents, but with our call centre outsourcing, all the companies are saving money.Now before you say I can’t afford a outsourced call centre, think about these few points, committing to 12 months of salaries you would need to pay not to mention the commitment of having someone sit in the office when there might not be that many calls yet? There is also the cost around the requirements of IT hardware, desks etc.
However, outsourcing, you would actually be elevating the salary costs and all the employment hassle that comes with employing a staff member. Also, if you are paying per call, this saves you more on costs. Think about it, if you divide the total cost by the number of calls during the period, you would be astounded at the affordability of out sourcing.
Here is an example:
Company X had £25,000 in costs for a years outsourcing and they had answered 100,000 calls in that time period, that would mean calls equals £0.25 per call.
The Bottom Line
The cost of providing high-touch customer service using the most important channel today — voice — won’t change.
What would you do if your new digital camera didn’t turn on?
Search the app store for the digital camera manufacturer’s app, download and install it, register your camera, and then walk through a nice pictorial troubleshooting wizard or would you use that same phone to dial the number for customer support?