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When people think of the term “virtual customer service representative” different things might come to mind. Some may envision a company where solely AI-driven bots perform routine customer service tasks. Others might think of an empty building filled with servers from top to bottom, where workers are located in various locations. Yet others may think of a call center that lives on the cloud, run by a group of employees from a corporate location.
What is a virtual call center?
A virtual call center can actually be a bit of all those things. In general, the term “virtual call center” refers to a call center that operates off of cloud-based software. All the vital tools that a call center needs to operate are located online, eliminating the need for a physical location. The virtual call center’s employees can be located in different locations. Some may work from home and some may work from different offices. In reality, there is no need for a building to operate a virtual call center. Software solutions are often contracted through different companies with their own servers and locations. Agents can work from home and keep their equipment in a home office.
How do virtual call centers work?
Virtual call centers work much like “regular” call centers. They perform all the same functions and tasks as those with physical locations. Below you’ll find a description of the main differences to help you understand how virtual call centers are able to meet the needs of leadership and exceed customer expectations.
Virtual customer service representatives
Naturally, a virtual call center also includes virtual customer service representatives. Just like the traditional call center employs on-location employees, virtual call centers employ virtual customer service representatives. Virtual customer service representatives work from home and can access the software and platforms needed to do their job. LiveVox provides a fully cloud-based solution that call centers use to operate virtually. Virtual customer service representatives can safely access the LiveVox unified platform through a remote location to perform outbound calls. They can also receive inbound calls. The LiveVox ACD distributes incoming calls to available agents regardless of their location. All they need is an internet connection to get started.
Virtual agents are also another integral part of the call center, virtual or not.The terms “virtual agent” and “virtual customer service representative” are sometimes used interchangeably. However, there is a difference. Virtual agents are AI-driven bots that can help customers the same way live agents do. Virtual agents can be pre-programmed to provide customers with the support they need. They can give customers order updates, take payments, and help them with other routine account maintenance tasks. Virtual agents can also be set up to help customers in an omnichannel platform.
LiveVox’s unified omnichannel platform allows customers to communicate with call center agents through SMS, chat, email, and text. An AI virtual agent can be set up as the initial point of contact for any of those channels, essentially acting as a virtual receptionist. Through advanced speech recognition tools, LiveVox virtual receptionists can interact with customers and have a natural sounding conversation. If a customer needs to be connected to a live agent, the virtual receptionist can easily route them to the right person.
Efficient quality monitoring
Call center team supervisors are responsible for ensuring that their agents are delivering quality customer service. They are also responsible for coaching and training. Some may feel that a virtual call center environment can make it difficult for supervisors to keep track of their agents’ performance.
However, that is far from the truth. With advanced call and screen recording technology from LiveVox, call center management can efficiently monitor their agents’ activities online. Supervisors can even get real-time notifications for escalated calls, giving them the opportunity to provide agents on those calls with guidance. Keywords that indicate a compliance-risk can also trigger notifications that allow supervisors to quickly intervene. Management can also leverage call and screen recording to improve their coaching sessions.
With LiveVox’s platform, agents can share recorded calls and screen activity with agents to pinpoint areas of struggle and share strategies for improvement. Virtual call center leadership is capable of giving agents the same quality coaching that those agents in a physical location receive with the help of LiveVox’s quality monitoring solutions.
A virtual call center can operate just as efficiently as its physical counterpart. Companies benefit from the significantly reduced overhead. The costs of rent, desks, chairs, computers, headsets, and maintenance are all eliminated. In addition, the post-pandemic era has caused a massive shift in remote work. LiveVox has more than 20 years of experience in the call center industry. LiveVox is confident about the technology it has developed to suit its clients needs. We provide advanced solutions needed to operate a fully functioning virtual call center. Request a demo here to see LiveVox’s virtual solutions in action.