Before services such as Amazon Connect Virtual Contact Center, the first call center, which was owned by Time Inc. and operated under the name Life Circulation Co., was established in 1957. It was the precursor to today’s sophisticated contact centers, and business communications have improved dramatically since then. It was founded to increase LIFE magazine subscriptions.
Before computers, communication was only feasible through massive switchboards known as Private Manual Branch Exchanges (PMBEs) (PMBXs). Manual call connection required receptionists, and firms frequently used PMBXs rather than outsourcing telecom services to save money.
Later, when computer telephony integration was invented, the changeover from manual to automatic was made. It wasn’t long until call centers were automated. As a result, call centers have expanded. They are now a vital element of operations for various enterprises, from Automatic Call Distribution systems in the 1970s through Interactive Voice Response in the 1980s to today’s Internet and cloud technology.
What Is A Virtual Contact Center?
In a virtual call center, customer service and call center agents take support calls without working in a centralized physical office. An Omni-channel virtual contact center solution combines call, chat, and CRM to improve call center agents’ productivity. A Virtual Call Center Service Provider does everything necessary to help you build a thriving contact center, no matter where your agents and customers are located.
Traditionally, contact centers that provide customer service require a physical location where customer service is offered over multiple channels, including phone, chat, and email. Virtual contact centers are call center solutions where employees work from different geographical locations rather than from a central office. A good solution for virtual contact centers helps your agents focus better on work because they do not have to log into different portals or hop from one channel to another.
In a virtual contact center, incoming calls and requests are based on factors such as staff availability, knowledge, and skill level distributed through a cloud network of remote agents. With basic hardware such as computers, telephones, Internet connections, and cloud unified communication tools, remote agents can perform the same tasks as office agents and benefit customers and businesses.
Why should I use a virtual contact center?
By using your call center virtually, you enable your agents to work in an environment that matches their working style to the best. The best virtual contact center solutions have voice, email, chat, SMS, and social media integrations that make it easy to support your customers across all channels.
Virtual contact centers not only save your business costs by eliminating office space, but they are also the best option you can offer your employees. The company no longer has to provide a large space for desks, chairs, and equipment. This means that a better-qualified staff can be recruited, which is of great benefit to customers, as their experience will improve significantly.
Its benefits include having a number of offices that can use multiple time zones and the advantage of call center agents working from home.
Businesses can gain access to a larger workforce and remove geographic restrictions with a virtual call center. Imagine a call center for incoming and outgoing calls, staffed by a team of agents and managers in small groups in other offices or even in their own homes.
With the rise of virtual and cloud contact centers, we see more and more companies managing agents from different buildings, cities, states, and even countries working for them. As a result, the number of call centers overseas is declining, and local agents in small and medium-sized enterprises are increasingly working from home.
Best virtual contact centers
To provide your customers with excellent phone support, your service team needs software that allows them to do their best. Choosing the correct call center software for your team depends on the needs you have. It would be best always to consider the benefits and drawbacks of using any tool before using it.
Now that you know what call center software is and why they are helpful, let’s look at the best options.
Launching Amazon Connect in 2017, Amazon Web Services (AWS) entered the call center area ready to disrupt the market with new technologies. It is a cloud-based contact center and it is very easy to use. Users can easily design contact flows, manage agents, and track performance metrics using the self-service graphical interface in Amazon Connect without any special skills. It works on pay as you go model; you will only pay for those services that you will use.
Five9 provides one of the most powerful Omni channel solutions, integrating easily with the Agent Desktop. It fits all types of businesses according to the company size; Five9 supports up to 3,000 agents and gives you the option of sharing a telecommunication line with your favorite service providers, including AT & T and Comcast. Five9 enables businesses to launch a customer service and sales call center that meets all their needs.
Twilio Flex is the only contact center platform that is vendor agnostic, enabling companies to design and build a future-proof contact center that supports virtually any communication channel, AI workload, CRM, or reporting application. Twilio provides a cloud-based contact center software that businesses can rely on to help agents interact with customers.
TalkDesk is able to create comprehensive Omni-channel solutions much similar to Five9’s highly reliable Agent Desktop platform. It is focusing on the customer experience as the most important factor. Using TalkDesk teams can deliver consistently great customer experiences. Talkdesk adopts a unique approach to their Omni Channel offering, one that emphasizes the importance of delivering a great customer experience.
The Genesys call center offers cloud-based services with two main product lines. In the first one, Cloud CX is offered, while in the second, Multi-Cloud CX is provided.
Genesys cloud cx is a powerful and easy-to-use solution that is designed to enable rapid innovation, scalability, security and flexibility while remaining a highly trustworthy option.
Genesys multi-cloud cx provides a highly sophisticated customer experience, superior choice, flexibility, and maximum control when needed. It is the industry’s first true multi-cloud architecture for contact centers.
By using its powerful features, one can identify high-performing areas as well as inefficiencies and gaps, and thus easily overcome all their shortcomings.
There is no easy way to know which contact center software your team will enjoy using until you give the agents a few days to test it out. Keeping all those options in mind, one can make an informed decision and it will not be wrong.
The most feature-rich option can sometimes seem more appealing, but it can get costly very quickly. Therefore, make sure you choose a solution that meets your needs.
When you are mostly outbound, there is no sense in paying for lots of features geared towards inbound calls. Please let us know of any other virtual call centers you are considering in the comments.