Remote call center agents can provide flexibility in scheduling, cut down on call center
turnover and offer a broader range of candidates to fill call center agent positions. As technology
improves, more businesses may consider using remote call center agents to staff their call centers.
Browse the buzzwords below to get more acquainted with the lingo associated with remote agents. For
more information on remote call center agents, read about building a business
case for remote call center agents.
Table of Contents
Top 10 remote call center agent management
3. Onshore outsourcing
5. Service level
6. Virtual call center
7. Virtual organization
9. VoIP phone
Top 10 remote call center agent management
in the call center describes a call center agent's adherence to schedule. Most call centers will
define a target percentage for adherence that allows some cushion. Recently more call centers have
been exploring the option of remote agents to avoid scheduling problems. Call center managers may
turn to remote agents to fill a need for part-timers to staff peak or off-hour periods or a need
for call center agents with flexible schedules who are not tied to specific shifts. Find out more
on call center
metrics with this glossary.
Voice Response (IVR) is an automated telephony system that interacts with callers, gathers
information and routes calls to the appropriate recipient. An IVR system (IVRS) accepts a
combination of voice telephone input and touch-tone keypad selection and provides appropriate
responses in the form of voice, fax, callback, email and perhaps other media. Learn more in this IVR case
outsourcing (also called domestic outsourcing) is the obtaining of services from someone
outside a company but within the same country. Also find out more about offshore
outsourcing, the obtaining of services from people or companies outside the country. Browse our
outsourcing face-off for more information.
(Quality of Service) is the idea that transmission rates, error rates, and other characteristics
can be measured, improved, and, to some extent, guaranteed in advance, on the Internet and in other
networks. QoS is of particular concern for the continuous transmission of high-bandwidth video and
multimedia information. Transmitting this kind of content dependably is difficult in public
networks using ordinary "best effort" protocols. Learn more about remote call center agent
technology in this business case for
level measures the percentage of incoming calls that an agent answers live in an
established amount of time. For example, a service level of 90% can be achieved if nine out of
every 10 phone calls are answered before the established time limit. There are multiple approaches
to determining service levels, each involving how call centers define abandoned calls. Learn more
about determining service
levels in a call center and building
a service-level agreement when outsourcing a call center.
center is a call center in which the organization's representatives are geographically
dispersed, rather than being situated at work stations in a building operated by the organization.
Virtual call center employees may be situated in groups in a number of smaller centers, but most
often they work from their own homes. This is an attractive arrangement for many employees: the
hours are often flexible, and there's no dress code or commute. For the organization, the virtual
call center model saves housing and equipment costs and can lead to lower employee turnover rates,
which tend to be high for physical call centers. Read more in this news story on Making the
virtual call center a reality.
organization or company is one whose members are geographically apart, usually working by
computer email and groupware while appearing to others to be a single, unified organization with a
real physical location. Learn more about managing call center agents in the Call Center
Performance Management Learning Guide.
IP (VoIP) is an IP telephony term for a set of facilities used to manage the delivery of
voice information over the Internet. VoIP involves sending voice information in digital form in
discrete packets rather than by using the traditional circuit-committed protocols of the public
switched telephone network (PSTN). A major advantage of VoIP and Internet telephony is that it
avoids the tolls charged by ordinary telephone service. Browse our VoIP in the
call center guide for more on planning a VoIP strategy.
phone is a telephone set designed specifically for use in a Voice over IP (VoIP) system by
converting standard telephone audio into a digital format that can be transmitted over the
Internet, and by converting incoming digital phone signals from the Internet to standard telephone
audio. A VoIP phone allows the user to take advantage of VoIP technology without involving a
personal computer, although an Internet connection is required. Physically, a VoIP phone set
resembles a traditional hard wired or cordless telephone set. It employs the familiar ear and mouth
arrangement with an earphone (or earpiece) for listening to incoming audio, and a microphone (or
mouthpiece) for transmitting audio. Read more about VoIP options in this tip on comparing VoIP
private network (VPN) is a network that uses a public telecommunication infrastructure,
such as the Internet, to provide remote offices or individual users with secure access to their
organization's network. A virtual private network can be contrasted with an expensive system of
owned or leased lines that can only be used by one organization. The goal of a VPN is to provide
the organization with the same capabilities, but at a much lower cost. A VPN works by using the
shared public infrastructure while maintaining privacy through security procedures and tunneling
protocols. Read more from Donna Fluss on using
remote call center agents.