Setting up a virtual call centre? 10 things to consider.

Ten things to consider

A virtual call centre is a call centre that operates with all of the organisation’s employees are geographically dispersed instead of working from one centralised location. This is typically done through employees working from home, or from many small locations. Below is a list of 10 things that should be considered when setting up a virtual call centre.

1. How will calls be distributed to staff?

With so many staff working from geographically dispersed locations, it can be difficult to deliver calls to employees. It is recommended to implement an inbound call management system so that you are able to route calls to departments via an IVR Menu, and individual numbers within each IVR option.

2. How to deal with the availability of staff?

Given the variety of working hours that employees undertake in an organisation, it can be problematic to ensure that calls are only routed through to staff that are working at that particular time. Ensuring the availability of staff can be achieved through complex time of day routing plans, using features such as dial-in do not disturb, or simply registering their phone to a system to show that an employee is available.

3. How are your agents going to make outbound calls?

It would be particularly complex to expect your employees to make calls out using their own landline if working from home, so the best solution is to offer your employees a telephone that works by making and receiving calls over the internet.

4. How do you monitor the number of calls each member of staff is taking?

Given that staff are likely to be in a different location to senior members of staff, it is important to be able to monitor performance. Therefore, it is recommended to ensure that you have access to call statistics so that you have information available to judge the performance of all staff.

5. How to ensure staff are equipped to do their job correctly?

The standardisation of equipment across the organisation is an important factor to ensure staff are well equipped to perform their jobs. This is particularly important for home workers who will have variables such as the computers and phones they use, and the broadband speeds that they receive.

6. How to ensure that staff in different locations are able to communicate.

If staff do need to communicate with staff in different locations, it is important to give them the tools to do so. Such tools could include access to an instant messaging service, conference call service, and webinar software.

7. Should you extend operating hours?

Given that many virtual call centres employ homeworkers, this can offer huge potential in extending the operating hours of your business as there will be no commute involved for your employees, and as they are working from home, they are able to become more flexible with their availability.

8. How do I monitor performance?

The best way of monitoring what is being said on calls by your staff is through the recording of your calls. That way you can always monitor the performance of individual agents.

9. How do you ensure compliance with the Telephone Preference Service?

If you are involved in outbound cold calling, you should consider using a real time TPS checker for all calls made, such as TPS Compliance from Nexbridge. By doing this, you can ensure that no calls will be made to individuals that have registered with the TPS.

10. How to ensure that you have the correct levels of staff to cover busy periods?

By using call statistics and profiling the daily activity of your call canter, you will be able to glean an accurate analysis of the amount of staff that will be required to service the volume of calls that are coming into your call centre.

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