What is a Virtual Call Centre? How to Reach Customers With Virtual Call Centres

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August 9, 2021 | 8 Mins Read

customer support operator with headset virtual call centre

Whether you’re reading this from your phone, desktop, or laptop, take a look at your surroundings. Are you in your office? At home? Where do you wish you were? With a virtual call centre, you and your team could break free from the chains of the office and work from anywhere. Below, we will tell you how to liberate yourself and your agents from the brick-and-mortar workplace. 

What is a virtual call centre?


With the rise of VoIP phone systems, there’s no longer the need to have all your contact centre agents under one roof. Virtual call centres deliver the same services to your customers and business but offer a different work distribution solution. 

A virtual call centre is just like a typical call centre in terms of functionality. However, it’s not restricted by a physical location or regular business hours. Call centre agents can work from home, in an office space, or anywhere with an internet connection. 

Virtual call centre software uses a VoIP business phone system to make and answer calls over the internet. This way, the only thing your agents need is a laptop, desktop, or mobile device and a reliable connection to make phone calls. 

Benefits of a virtual call centre


While you may think that having your agents work from home will bring about security and productivity risks, recent technological developments render this worry a thing of the past. Home offices can actually present fewer distractions, and data security in call centre software is stronger than ever. There are so many more benefits than risks – let’s take a look at some of the main ones.

  • Take calls from anywhere, 24/7

One of the most significant benefits of a virtual contact centre over a traditional centre is that your agents can take calls from anywhere, anytime. This gives you access to a larger talent pool because you no longer need your team to commute to an office. This allows you to tap into the best talent to provide excellent customer service and bolster sales. You can even use The Virtual Call Centre Network to meet your staffing needs. 

This virtual model also allows your team to work around the clock without increasing operating costs. Having a building open and functioning 24/7 can be expensive, but you don’t have to worry about that with a virtual call centre. You can have your team handle calls across different time zones or hire staff willing to work late shifts. 

  • Real-time call monitoring

The ability to use real-time call monitoring isn’t lost when you switch to a virtual centre. Within a single interface, you’ll be able to monitor all meetings, numbers, devices, queues, and calls. This monitoring software comes with quality scores and parameters.

This allows you to ensure your agents provide the best customer support possible in an inbound call centre. If you operate an outbound call centre, it’ll enable you to make sure your agents use the best tactics to boost conversion rates. 

  • Better employee engagement

At a call centre, your customer service representatives and sales teams are essential to your operation. For virtual agents to be productive and perform well, you need to have high employee engagement. Here are some ways that you can achieve this at a virtual call centre. 

  • Enhanced analytics

RingCentral-UK-Call-Centre-Analytics-399
RingCentral Call Centre Analytics

Today, cloud-based call centres can offer the best in analytics. These can target specific KPIs and analyse user-level, department, and company-wide trends. From there, you can get notifications that alert you to any issues that may impact your users or centre. The software can also integrate easily with your CRM solution. 

  • Better customer experience

With a virtual call centre, you have the flexibility and the tools to provide a better customer experience. You’ll be able to implement a more efficient overflow plan and structure your agents in specialised virtual teams. The ability to offer flexible working hours also allows you to flatten the curve of call spikes. 

  • Easy to set-up

Virtual call centres are quick and simple to set up. They eliminate the need to order equipment that has to be installed by your IT department. With guidance from your service provider to set up the centre software, you could go live in minutes.

  • Quickly scale your business

Because virtual centres require no hardware, you can quickly upscale and downsize your operation effortlessly. Your call centre software allows you to stay in the United Kingdom or expand internationally. It also allows you to onboard as many full-time or part-time agents as you need to meet current call demands. 

7 features to look for in a virtual call centre


While many call centre solutions offer similar features, there are some essentials that you should look for in potential software. The following features will help you serve your customers and equip you with the best functionality in your operations. 

     1. Interactive voice response (IVR) capabilities

RingCentral-UK-IVR-Capabilities-508
RingCentral Interactive voice response (IVR)

IVR functions as a speech recognition technology that interacts with customers without the use of a live agent. It works through voice commands or telephone keypad tones. The system can either answer customer questions directly or gather information before being routed to a virtual agent. 

     2. Power diallers

This feature automatically dials the next phone number as soon as the previous call is concluded. This is a great feature because it reduces the time between calls and automates the process of dialling. 

     3. Security capabilities

Nothing is more sacred than your data, so you must ensure it’s protected against potential threats. While it’s also crucial to train your call centre agents in data and system security, you need the right tools at your disposal. 

Make sure your call centre solution has: 

  • Infrastructure security
  • Transmission security 
  • Physical and environmental security
  • Fraud mitigation 

     4. Integrations

In a call centre, you’ll always use more than one software solution in your operation. That’s why you should make sure that your virtual call centre integrates or works with other software and applications. Software typically does this through an Application Programming Interface (API).

For example, you may have customer relationship management (CRM) software that helps track customer relationships. Look for a virtual call centre that will work with your existing CRM software

     5. Allows for a unified communication system

how can small companies take advantage of unified communications

A unified communication system (UCaaS) is an integrated framework that combines all forms of communication. UCaaS allows for real-time and asynchronous communication from traditional phone service and SMS messaging to video conferencing. The system also provides modern collaborative tools, like interactive whiteboards.

     6. Easy to use functions

Functionality and useability are features you should look for in any call centre solution. However, it’s even more critical in a virtual call centre because your agents will not have the additional technical support provided by a physical IT department. 

     7. Call recording and monitoring capabilities

The best way to improve customer satisfaction and track performance metrics is with call recording and monitoring capabilities. Choose a virtual call centre that allows you to monitor all your agents and customer calls remotely. 

These capabilities will also facilitate a smoother onboarding experience, allowing you to train your agents better in customer service by listening in on previous calls. You can, thereby, pick apart what went well and what your agents could do better. 

working on laptops taking calls and answering queries

How to set up a virtual call centre


Now that you know what a virtual call centre is, its benefits, and its best features, we’ll cover how to set up a centre for your organisation. Your team needs to figure out what software you should use, determine your workflow, and cater the system to your employees. 

     1. Find the software that meets your needs.

Ensure that the centre software you choose has all the features mentioned above and that it works with the operating system and devices that your company already utilises. Look for call centre providers that support you and have an excellent reputation for data security and compliance. 

You should also keep up to date with the latest virtual call centre trends and ensure that the vendor has credibility within the sector. When looking at the services they provide, check that they can cater to the size of your business and allow for easy scalability. 

    2. Determine the right workflow for you

Once you have chosen the right software for your centre, think ahead to your workflow. Workflows should cater to the purpose of your call centre and should support omnichannel communications. For example, you will use a different workflow if you mainly handle inbound vs outbound calls.

For an inbound virtual call centre, you can make call routing rules at this stage. If you have an outbound virtual call centre, you may want to set up power dialling or KPI tracking for onboarding. For both, you may aim to reach customers via SMS messaging, social media, phones, and email. Make sure all of these channels are integrated into your workflow immediately. 

    3. Keep your employees in mind.

When you set up your virtual call centre software, don’t forget about your employee experience. Working remotely can be challenging in terms of work-life balance. When you make your virtual centre live, keep an eye on productivity while offering flexibility in their workday. 

Use the functions of a virtual call centre to schedule more agents during peak times and manage expectations of how many calls each agent can take an hour. 

Why RingCentral’s virtual call centre puts you first


     1. Countless integrations

The best feature of call centre software is its ability to integrate so much functionality into just one system. Our software has countless integrations available to you. We have ready-to-use integrations available in our app store. These include:

  • Glip Pro and Pro+
  • Office Essentials 
  • RingCentral for Salesforce
  • RingCentral for Microsoft Teams
  • So much more! 

Check out this video on how RingCentral for Salesforce works to see what integrations can do for you.

If you can’t find what you need in our list of premade integrations, you can develop your own integrations to make your workflow seamless with our APIs. You can connect a custom system to the software. If you don’t have an IT department that can do this for you, you can always suggest an integration through the RingCentral Ideas Portal. 

     2. Enhanced security

Here at RingCentral, we build security into every level of our processes and architecture. We are transparent about how data is protected, collected, and transferred on our systems. We provide Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP) encryption at all endpoints. 

Along with proactive fraud mitigation, RingCentral offers infrastructure safeguards that include: 

  • Firewalls
  • Session border controllers
  • Multiple authentication levels
  • Fraud analytics
  • Intrusion-detection systems
  • Vulnerability scans 
  • System hardening

     3. State of the art cloud technology

Our state-of-the-art cloud technology is easy to use, has quality HD audio, and is secure and reliable. Because everything you need is in the cloud, you can manage calls from an app that works on all your devices. You can move from your headset to your smartphone in seconds.

With cloud technology, you’re no longer tied to your desk. With the most up-to-date system, you never have to worry about missing a call while keeping your personal number private. You can use your RingCentral phone number from any device and easily switch from audio to video with the press of a button. 

     4. All around customer support & experience is the top priority

RingCentral makes sure your customers have the best call experience possible. From the very start, we make sure that you can continue servicing customers during the transition, no matter where your agents are based.

Our software also encourages an omnichannel strategy so that you can connect with your customers on their channel of choice. Whether on live chat, email, or over the phone, our features focus on the customer experience and allows you flexibility within the software to make the system fit your centre’s needs. 

The future of call centres


The future of call centres is virtual. Move forwards with RingCentral’s virtual call centre solution. Feel free to chat with our agents to see if our software is right for you. Or better yet, have a chat and then go to our site and try our demo or get a free trial! 

Patty Yan

Author

Patty is the EMEA Product Marketing Manager for RingCentral Office, the leader in cloud communications solutions. Patty is passionate about creating value and differentiation, ensuring a better experience for customers and partners. She gained a wealth of international product marketing, product management, GTM and market development experience, across a range of high-tech SaaS in a fast-paced, hyper-growth environment that assumes both strategic and tactical execution. She is not new to UC, starting in Tandberg, then Cisco, driving the launch of video collaboration and services, and Enghouse with global responsibilities for hosted CCaaS. Patty also has significant experience in brand management and services marketing within companies such as Vodafone, Tektronix, McDermid, Xerox and F1 racing sponsorships.

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In her spare time, Patty likes to experiment with food from around the world. On the weekends, she was a volunteer Mandarin teacher for the local community for ten years running. She loves art, travelling and going to the gym.

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