Most call centers are based in a centralized location, with many call center agents working side-by-side in cubicles answering telephones or making outbound calls. However, with the advancement of technology, alternative call center arrangements have emerged. Now call centers can make use of remote agents, temporary agents, virtual call centers and interactive centers. We will elaborate on all of these options below.
Remote Agents: Remote agents are able to work at home with the use of their computer and telephone. They are able to access their companies’ network and remotely take incoming calls or perform outbound calls. Remote agents provide several advantages for their company and also enjoy a few of their own. Remote agents require less expense for the hiring company. Depending solely on remote agents eliminates overhead costs associated with a office building, office equipment, daily supplies, and insurance. For the agent, the main perk for most individuals is the ability to stay at home while they work. This means no commute or travel time, and no associated costs.
Virtual Call Centers: Virtual call centers are smaller groups of agents who are connected to other call center agents but at a different location. These groups work closely with one another and provide support, interaction and back up when needed.
Interactive Centers: Interactive centers go beyond just answering phones or making outbound calls. Instead, interactive center agents handle email, online live chat and other web based communication.
Temporary Agents: Temporary agents act like an interchangeable workforce. They are only called in during periods of time when the call center volume is expected to be extremely busy. It allows the company to only hire extra staff when they are needed, for example around holidays or tax time.
With the continued growth of technology, call center options, which would have been unavailable just a decade ago, are in fact capable of re-shaping an industry. With the new communication avenues of the web, call centers can reach existing customers and prospects in new and effective ways. The only limitation is a companies’ imagination.
Still some sales-focused call centers choose to stay centralized for several reasons.
Remote and virtual call center agents lack the ability to participate in the team atmosphere, which can at times, be motivating and rewarding for most call center agents. While having freedom and flexibility of working from home, call center agents in remote or virtual locations have less structure and more distractions than most highly structured professional call centers.
Businesses that want to improve their sales move toward call centers that are operated in the United States and focus solely on sales. There is a competitive advantage to having a call center that handles all calls in-house, has ongoing sales training, strict quality control measures in place and always has your company values in place when handling your call.