As cloud computing allows businesses to connect agents and locations across time zones and miles, the virtual contact center is quickly becoming a valuable option for modern customer service.
For many businesses, contact centers operate exclusively through their contact center software. This allows them to use a cloud contact center solution that connects every employee virtually without disrupting or degrading the quality of their customer service.
Switching from on-site contact centers to remote contact centers, in fact, has significantly improved customer interactions, employee turnover, and agent performance for many companies. So much so, that some of our omni-channel contact center clients have shared their stories to show others how they can benefit from using a virtual contact center.
Keep reading below to understand the ins and outs of a remote contact center and the ways you can improve your operations by moving completely online.
What is a virtual contact center?
A virtual contact center maintains the same goals and operations of a traditional call center, but uses virtual contact center software to allow agents to work from multiple locations. Customer service representatives who work as virtual agents often work from a home office, co-working space, or temporary workspace, such as coffee shops.
These software solutions are completely cloud-based, allowing employees to log into the contact center platform from any device with an internet connection. Agents can handle any type of call or interaction, maintaining excellent customer experiences and meeting call center quotas. Remote workforces use their software to communicate and collaborate like a traditional team, staying connected over the cloud to produce results.
Virtual contact centers also benefit business costs, eliminating the need for a physical office and the costs of furnishing and maintaining the workspace. If the business is moving from an on-premise solution to a virtual contact center solution for the first time, they can see improvements in queue times, , customer satisfaction, and disaster recovery. For both inbound, outbound, or blended contact centers, moving to a cloud-based, virtual set-up can produce incredible results.
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Is the virtual call center legit?
Making the move to a virtual contact center is a significant investment and change, so many businesses are hesitant to make the transition. A remote, cloud contact center model, however, can make a critical difference for customer service in any industry, which is why 50% of call centers currently using on-premise solutions plan to transition to a cloud platform by the end of 2020.
Below, we’ve included some of the benefits of using virtual contact center solutions for your business phone system and customer support needs.
1. Higher cost savings
Unlike equipment-heavy legacy solutions, cloud platforms require only computers or mobile devices, microphone-enabled headsets, and a reliable internet connection. You won’t need to host and maintain any hardware or software, which makes adding and removing seats a breeze. Rather than paying for unused seats, you’ll only pay for the capacity you need, exactly when you need it.
The cost of running your team will also decrease, even as your contact center continues to meet your high expectations. You won’t have to pay for utilities, furniture, real estate, or on-going maintenance at a physical location. These additional resources provide more room in your budget so you can improve and prioritize other areas of your customer service.
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2. Improved workplace satisfaction
Building a remote customer service operation gives you access to a bigger pool of the top talent available throughout the world. Without the geographical restrictions of running an on-site operation, you can hire awesome customer service reps who bring powerful assets to your team. A Frost & Sullivan study, for example, learned that over 80% of virtual call center agents have experience in management and a college education. For traditional contact centers, only 35% of those in a call center job offer the same qualities.
Most importantly, your agents are far more likely to become long-term employees when they work from home, lowering employee turnover. Pipkins research found that the employee retention rate is only 25% for on-site agents but 80% for remote workers. Customer service representatives who work from home are less stressed and more loyal to their employees, which leads to consistently better work. Happy agents create positive experiences during interactions, so this can also lead to higher customer satisfaction.
3. An optimized customer experience
On-premise contact center platforms are generally harder to expand then cloud solutions. While you would need to add new equipment and software to add new features to your legacy solution, a virtual contact center platform has the features already built in.
When companies want to add live chat to their website or introduce the ability to interact over social media, they only have to adjust their platform business plans to access these capabilities. You already have access to phone calls over your voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) system, but you can also tap into skills-based routing, call distribution, video conferencing, and more with your cloud-based platform.
As you build an omni-channel contact center, you give your customers more channels to choose from. Integrating a customer relationship management (CRM) system gives agents instant access to customer data, empowering them to guide callers through the customer journey. Customers will be able to gain resolutions in less time, improving their overall experience and encouraging them to continue supporting your business.
Examples of a Virtual Contact Center Doing It Right
Still unsure about the benefits of moving your customer service to a virtual contact center? These four businesses introduced RingCentral’s omnichannel contact center platform to their operations, using cloud computing, unified communications, and flexibility to boost their capabilities and results. Read their customer stories to see how our solution can benefit your business as well.
Carvana connects customers with used cars through their website, replacing the traditional dealership experience. Once purchased, customers can choose to have cars delivered to their homes by External Advocates. Before using RingCentral, buyers communicated with their External Advocate by calling their cell phones directly. If customers had a question that wasn’t delivery-related, however, most would still contact the External Advocate, who often didn’t have an answer for them.
To fix this disconnect and improve access to customer service, Carvana decided to transition to a professional contact center platform.
Why choose RingCentral Contact Center?
Our cloud-based mobility support was the biggest draw. Carvana was able to eliminate the post-delivery calls to External Advocates and send customers to a virtual agent who could offer a solution. They now use intelligent call routing to connect callers with the agent who can serve them best, using an interactive voice response (IVR) system to gather customer information and streamline the process.
As Carvana’s market quadrupled over the next year and a half, their contact center easily scaled to keep up with their growth, another critical feature. Call analytics and historical reporting help them understand their results and make targeted improvements.
Carvana works to have a minimal on-premise footprint, using SaaS solutions as much they can. With RingCentral Contact Center, they have created a virtual contact center that helps them meet that goal daily.
As one of the largest privately-held independent personal lines insurance agencies, Brightway Insurance manages a large volume of customer interactions. To keep with their rapid growth, they needed to expand their customer service operations, which they anticipated would include building a new on-site contact center.
Though they initially planned to add new functionality to their existing solution, Brightway decided that replacing the platform was the better option. They deployed RingCentral’s solutions and immediately began seeing results.
Increasing efficiency, improving results
Their new analytics capabilities showed the company that they didn’t need more agents, as assumed, but instead needed to improve their call routing. Many calls involved region-specific questions that could only be answered by specific agents. Their new insights allowed them to hire expert agents who handled these calls, improving handle times and increasing customer satisfaction.
This increased visibility also showed Brightway that they didn’t need to build a new contact center and instead could use remote teams to improve support. With features like the Glip team messaging app, they can now keep their remote employees connected as they work from home through their virtual contact center. Though their agents are geographically distant, the collaboration tools offered on RingCentral Contact Center keep them connected as a strong and effective team.
Few companies rely more on cloud-based technology and remote work than New Relic. Headquartered in San Francisco, they offer cloud-based monitoring solutions to more than 16,000 businesses around the world from numerous global offices. Many of their employees also travel or work from home on a regular basis, so the company needed a new platform that would support all aspects of their communications in a single solution.
Empowering global success
New Relic chose to work with RingCentral because their solutions met their needs better than any other option. On the new platform, agents could work from anywhere, taking calls through the app on their mobile phones. This allowed them to eliminate international, long-distance costs for agents who traveled, also doing away with the need to expense individual employee phone bills.
It also enables customers to reach support staff at any time of day or night, quickly connecting to at-home agents and engineers for quick resolutions. Since most customer communication comes through emails, New Relic could offer 24/7 phone support as a premium option, something they were unable to do before.
As a global company, New Relic also struggled to maintain consistently effective communication across all of their office locations. RingCentral’s solution provides great service across borders, but it also empowers the company’s efforts in each location. When they build a new office, for example, they can quickly use a local DID presence to reach new customers most effectively. This enables them to perform strongly in both an inbound and outbound capacity from any of their global locations.
Refining the customer experience
With RingCentral, customers can now customize their calling experience. They can choose to hold, ask for a callback, or even leave a voicemail that reaches the right support agent. Customer calls never go unanswered, which allows agents to have more confidence and less stress.
Contact center admins rely on in-depth analytics, comprehensive reporting, and intuitive dashboards that place knowledge and power at their fingertips, resulting in a finely tuned customer support operation. Their main goal in finding a new contact center solution was to improve the customer experience, a goal they’re satisfied RingCentral has met.
MSXI offers customer relationship services to automotive OEMs and dealers around the world. This large global reach requires a large-spread, ever-expanding team of customer support agents. To keep customers connected to remote agents and employees connected internationally, MSXI turned to RingCentral’s communications platform.
Total global connectivity
Some MSXI agents are assigned to work on-location with clients. Though they are physically removed from the greater team, they can now stay connected through the cloud. Whenever they or other remote agents need to join a team meeting, everyone can easily connect through the RingCentral platform. If a supervisor needs to get in touch with a specific employee, they can use four digit dialing to quickly reach out and collaborate, no matter where they’re located.
Meeting customers on their terms
RingCentral Contact Center gives customers the freedom to choose the channel they prefer, setting the tone for a positive experience from the very start. While this is invaluable for customer interactions, it is also a powerful selling point for the services MSXI provides to their own clients. From offering current capabilities to meeting future trends, MSXI knows that RingCentral will always keep them at the forefront of customer relationship services.
Ready to join these businesses in their virtual contact center success? See if our free customer engagement offer is right for you. Or learn more about running a remote contact center here.
Originally published Apr 21, 2020, updated Dec 30, 2022