A trend in the call-center industry, self-service, is making headway. Companies are now not only making use of knowledge bases. But they have also harnessed the skills of virtual agents, also known as remote agents. Their goal is to increase efficiency while enhancing customer experience.
Businesses are also introducing artificial intelligence (AI), albeit with limited success. Although this technology is improving, it is still not able to offer a complete answer. As a supplement to this type of service, virtual assistants and chatbots have been successfully engaged. Utilizing this type of mix can benefit the business. Plus improve the communication experience. Three aspects are particularly impacted.
The three aspects
1. Reduced expenses
Virtual assistants or agents resolve and deflect contacts that would otherwise be assisted by onsite call center agents. The contact center serves to reduce the company’s costs and resources. Virtual assistants also minimize costs. Automation is another way of handling a percentage of user calls. A call center managing around 2 million calls annually can automate 40% of these calls. This can save a company around $2.1M.
2. Amplify customer satisfaction (CSAT)
The bulk of questions asked by potential customers are general and can be easily answered. There is no need for a human agent to interact with the client in such cases. For more bespoke answers, or where a chatbot cannot answer questions, a virtual assistant is the best choice of service provision. Such an assistant would respond to the client’s inquiry, offering a meaningful response. These agents can be scattered around the world, thus allowing for a 24/7 support service.
3. Empowered live virtual agents
Removing the repetitive work from live virtual assistants gives these agents more time to engage with clients. In the process, these assistants become highly skilled. They learn the products more intimately and will be more efficient in resolving even the toughest issues.
The Benefits & Disadvantages of having a Virtual Call Center
As digital communication has impacted, it has also reshaped business communication. The various technological changes and new developments have simplified customer care. The call-center experience has led to the popularity of virtual call centers. With many businesses relocating their call centers to India or South Africa. There are, however, some businesses that have not made use of virtual assistants. Therefore, let’s look at some of the benefits and disadvantages of having a virtual call center.
The Benefits of a Virtual Assistant
A key benefit is that agents can be scheduled to be available 24/7. Companies can make use of software such as Workforce Management. This software takes the stress out of dealing with time zones and schedules. Moreover, the call center can prepare for busy times, scheduling staff accordingly.
2. Customer satisfaction
Another benefit is enhanced customer satisfaction. In addition, a virtual assistant can apply the most important aspects of dealing with calls. Examples are friendliness, speed of response, and knowledgeability. More so, with reporting, areas of the assistant’s performance in how they deal with clients can be identified that require improvement, and customer satisfaction can be further enhanced.
If you improve your efficiency, you can also enhance the customer experience. A virtual assistant will promote increased productivity. The work of each assistant is tracked. Plus, assistants are selected for their ability to work remotely.
The Disadvantages of a Virtual Call Center
1. Loss of control
Some companies believe that they will lose control over communication by outsourcing to a virtual assistant. One should take this concern seriously. This is since the onboarding process and having proper communication with your virtual team is important. Thus, even though the assistants are not located at your business, they are part of your team, albeit consultants.
2. Possible technological or connection issues
With a virtual call center, every one of the agents will have a personal power source and connection to do their work. There are also possible power blackouts or technological failures looming which cannot be avoided. With an onsite scenario, the IT team would come and fix the problem when they are able. But with remote workers, this is not always possible. At times, the IT staff can log in remotely; however, when the power is off, it is off.
3. Poor communication amongst staff
Collaboration and teamwork are vital to business success. With virtual agents working far away from one another, communication can be difficult. Yet, there is software that can bridge some of this. For example, applications such as Zoom and Skype can be used when people communicate with one another.
4. Managing your remote staff
As tech, especially cloud connectivity, is utilized more, virtual assistants have become more popular. Such popularity has much to do with the benefits that remote staff offer to businesses. It should not be a challenge for businesses to manage their remote teams effectively. The business owner or call center manager must increase communication among the team using the tech available. Tracking software and performance monitoring can be set in place together with proper scheduling software. Moreover, it’s advisable to build a customer-centric team. A virtual call center can thus be a cost-saver while offering your business flexibility.