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Why a Virtual Contact Centre Should be Part of Your Strategy

While the need to work from home has meant a virtual contact centre has been essential for the last year, with vaccines and the gradual easing of lockdown, businesses are faced with a choice of returning their contact centre teams to the office or allowing them to continue to work from home. First instincts may be to get your team back in, but it may not be best for your business. Working virtually and using cloud-based contact centre software bring many advantages. Also, improvements in technology, training, changes in employee attitudes and the expertise accumulated from the last year mean that it is a viable opportunity. This is evidenced by a sea of global organisations who have instigated a hybrid model of some homeworking and some office as the new norm. And by countless research including from MicrosoftGartner and PwC that show employees want a hybrid model. 

Technology Improvements 

Team leaders may feel that having people in the office makes it easier to communicate and train people, but the impact of machine learning and AI, and technology in general, is making this much less necessary.

Interaction Analytics

In the past, managers relied on listening to random calls and walking the floor to get insights into how their team is performing. Now, this is being replaced by interaction analytics which, by using natural language processing and machine learning, enable contact centres to listen to 100% of conversations. This not only means that an opportunity to deliver much better customer experiences, but also a more holistic, standardized and automated approach to training and monitoring staff. For example, interaction analytics can be used to identify key phrases that are providing better customer outcomes, and then use them to make suggestions for better scripts to close and delight customers. These improvements will be delivered to each agent through the contact centre software and then real-time listening capabilities mean that the software will again step in to guide an agent if they are getting into difficulty in a conversation. 

If a supervisor is needed, then they can be notified and get involved from wherever they are. For interaction analytics to be at their most effective, conversations should be taking place through digital tools rather than face-to-face as this allows more consistency and for the analytics to create the necessary loop of continuous improvement. 

Collaboration Tools

We all know about the boon in video conferencing, but collaboration has occurred across many areas. As teams have not been in the office, workers have got used to using a whole range of communication tools to enhance productivity including internal projects, group chat, calendar, scheduling, online documents sharing and editing, and workflow automation, among many others. It has now been almost a year of working remotely for many businesses and with a hybrid model set to be the norm, it has meant an incredible investment of resources by the suppliers of these collaborative tools to improve them and their user experience. 

Data Security 

VPN multi-factor authentication helps to resolve the added risk of sensitive data being exposed when an agent is working from home. Two-factor setups are much safer than just a password and can help businesses better keep track of who has access to sensitive data.

Benefits of a Virtual Contact Centre

With the right technology in place and the changes in employee workplace expectations, continuing to use hosted software and offer virtual working arrangements offers many benefits. 

Choose from a Wider Talent Pool

Having your contact centre solution in the cloud and allowing your agents to work from home means you can recruit from across the country or even the globe. You don’t just have access to more talent geographically but also by offering a more attractive package to potential employees. As all the data indicates that a good number of employees prefer to continue at home for some of the weeks if you offer that then you will be able to interest better agents to your company. 

Also, if we look at graduates who are moving into the workforce; they have spent more than a year studying online, are accomplished and used to this way of living and working, and they will also be looking for those opportunities to have a hybrid working environment. 

Virtual Specialized Teams

Segmenting your customer service teams based on specialisms is considered a way to boost their performance and improve customer service. Going virtual means access to a wider talent pool and an improved chance of employing more agents with the right skill sets. 

Better Able to Meet Demand

Trying to plan for spikes, or periods, of high demand, is much more difficult when your agents have to be in the office. Agents working from home don’t have to commute and are more flexible, enabling you to build shorter and more regular shift patterns that better respond to your business’s needs. For example, an employee working from home may more easily be persuaded to work a later or earlier shift when there are not any issues around transport to get home. It also means that at particularly busy times freelance agents can be more easily recruited. 

24 Hour Coverage

Being able to offer 24-hour cover used to mean the expense of having to open an office in another time zone. With a hosted solution you can have a team of agents working from home in that time zone and save the high setup costs.  

Scalability 

With a cloud contact centre solution, it is incredibly easy to scale the agents you have in response to demand and the services you want to offer. Your customers want to communicate with you over more than just voice and you should be moving towards a multichannel solution. However, understandably you want to roll those services out in a phased manner based on commercial viability. In the case of a hosted solution, if you want to add messaging to your website or social it is just a matter of changing the plan you have from your software provider, no additional equipment is required, and the changes can be introduced in fine increments as you roll them out across your business. 

Lower Costs

Lower costs are demonstrated in several ways. If your agents are working from home, it means you can reduce the size of your office and save on rent. You can also reduce manpower costs from better-planned scheduling and lower employee costs by offering the incentive of working from home to attract and retain talent. 

Retention of Talent

Happier employees are more likely to stay, enabling you to reduce recruitment and training costs and deliver consistently better customer service. 


About Hostcomm

Hostcomm provides hosted contact centre and business collaboration solutions in the UK. It combines software from award-winning providers with our value-added applications, in-house expertise, customer service excellence and customisation and integration. In doing so, customers can get packages of features, service, support, reliability and pricing unmatched in the industry.

For more information, please call 0808 503 6894. Or hit Contact Us to leave a message. 




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