Q
Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

How does the virtual contact center model affect the market?

The virtual contact center has become increasingly compelling. Why?

While customer service agents are traditionally grouped in buildings outfitted with workstations, cafeterias and...

so forth, a virtual contact center model is an alternative that's making a tremendous impact on the contact center market.

A virtual contact center is a customer service call center in which the representatives are geographically dispersed in a variety of work locations, with no central facility. In many cases, agents may work from home or in small remote teams. Virtual contact centers have become increasingly attractive to companies because they offer the opportunity to reduce the costs associated with renting a facility and paying the fixed costs associated with contact center infrastructure -- rent, among other things. Some companies have found that a virtual contact center can reduce employee turnover in an industry dominated by high attrition rates.

Some of the key benefits of these new virtual contact centers include the following:

  • The ability to take advantage of economies of scale. Contact center software can now treat agents, regardless of where they are located, as a single workforce.
  • The ability to hire agents with specific skill sets. Skills such as language requirements can be more easily addressed because agents can be hired from different geographic locations.
  • Expanded hours of operation. Agents working in various time zones enable organizations to expand hours of operation and possibly provide 24/7/365 coverage.
  • Improved business continuity. When working from home, for example, agents may not have to commute during adverse weather conditions and can work even when they are not feeling 100%.

At the same time, the benefits of the virtual contact center don't automatically materialize with new technology.  Supporting processes must also be changed to support the new business model:

  • Hiring practices must be revamped. Characteristics of successful virtual agents, especially those who work from home, must be identified and targeted for successful talent acquisition.
  • Training processes must be adjusted. Classroom training materials, tools and delivery must be converted into a virtual methodology. Agents may also need to be more regularly tested and retrained, given the dispersed model.
  • Employee engagement must be revisited. Employee engagement, driven by factors that include items such as feeling like part of a team and receiving timely and effective feedback, must be re-engineered for virtual agents.

Technology is a critical enabler of change in the contact center market, but organizations must remember: Technology alone cannot succeed in creating a successful virtual contact center.

Next Steps

Making the virtual center a reality

Could a virtual contact center model benefit your company?

Self-service and contact centers

This was last published in February 2016

Dig Deeper on Call center agent

PRO+

Content

Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

Are you considering a virtual contact center? Why or why not?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchBusinessAnalytics

SearchDataManagement

SearchSAP

SearchOracle

SearchAWS

SearchContentManagement

SearchSalesforce

Close