Companies are increasingly migrating to software-as-a-service or “cloud”-based call center solutions for a range of important reasons – they’re quick and easy to deploy; require little to no up-front investment; allow for fast access to the most advanced call center applications and are highly scalable, among other attributes.
But perhaps the most compelling reason is their ability to facilitate the “virtual” call center – which basically means the call center software environment can be accessed from any computer with a high speed connection.
With a virtual call center environment, an organization can more easily and cost-effectively manage multiple, geographically dispersed centers. What’s more it is ideal for facilitating the much-coveted home agent model
While these are probably the top reasons organizations are migrating to SaaS (News - Alert) or cloud-based call center solutions, there is another important reason why many of them are ditching their on-premises systems for Web-based platforms: They are also ideal for achieving business continuity and customer service resiliency in the event of a network outage, natural disaster, terrorist attack or some other unforeseen event that can interrupt operations.
Companies which benefit most from the virtual call center environment are those which have dispersed operations – remote call centers and/or home-based agents that are spread throughout a region, country or even globally.
For example, should the power get knocked out at the main center, phone calls and other contacts, such as emails and web chats, can be automatically routed to the next closest (or most appropriate) regional or remote center – as well as home-based agents.
What’s more, agents from the main center can potentially be sent home (or be told to stay home) to work from their own computers, providing they have connectivity, thus allowing customer service operations to continue despite the outage. Or, should there be a storm, highway accident or some other event that prevents agents from getting into work in the first place, they can fire up connections from their home computers and have access to all the same applications they normally use.Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.
With today’s virtual call center solutions, remote or home-based agents can be monitored just as if they are in the main center: Supervisors can listen in on calls, record calls, capture stats and KPIS, and chat with agents to coach them during and between calls. In addition, Web-based administration means managers can have centralized control over call routing schemes and automated self-service systems, as well as the ability to capture key metrics and KPIs from all center locations, as well as home agents, which can be combined and packaged into intra-day, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly reports which management can use to make key business decisions.
These virtual call center systems provide a powerful and flexible business continuity solution, preventing unforeseen events from disrupting customer service – the lifeblood of any business.
Contactual is a leading provider of Web-based virtual call center software. To learn more about the company and its solutions, click here.
Edited by Patrick Barnard