Virtual Call Center – What It Means, and How It Differs From Traditional Centers

The term has become widespread, but exactly what is a virtual call center?

Let’s begin by examining the concept of traditional centers and how they are used. We will then delve into how the virtual equivalent differs in operation, and what the benefits can be of switching to a virtual configuration Titan Call Center.

What is a Traditional Call Center?

The simplest definition of this term is: a group of people who make and/or receive calls for a given purpose, which can be but is not necessarily commercial in nature.

What are they Designed to Do?

Call centers can be used for many purposes. Business uses include:

telemarketing, such as outbound sales prospecting
receiving inbound sales inquiries
providing inbound and outbound customer support
connecting and assisting employees
conducting surveys
informing existing customers of new products/services
following up/touching base with existing prospects, to help stay top of mind

However, they are not used only by businesses. Many non-profit organizations, hospitals, emergency personnel and various other parties use these centers to manage their call flow and ensure that urgent calls are quickly attended to and routed to the proper party.

If you have ever had reason to call 911, you’ve spoken to call center staff. You most likely heard “911, what is your emergency” or a similar question. This is an excellent example of such a center at work. You were briefly in a queue, your call was routed to an employee, they quickly gathered the information, and they then dispatched your information (hopefully!) to the appropriate party.

Survey and statistics organizations also employ call centers to gather useful data on a wide range of subjects. Employees in centers such as these might be placing outbound calls to gauge public opinion on important issues, collect general demographic information, perform market research, and more.

Even political parties use them. During election seasons, hundreds of call centers spring up across the US and Canada. The staff place canvassing calls to constituents, hoping to elicit voter support for a given candidate.

What are the Differences between traditional and Virtual Call Centers?

Simply put, a virtual call center offers a number of important differences and advantages as compared to its traditional equivalent. We’ll briefly list these in a top-level view, and then explore each in further detail.

Decentralization/work from anywhere
Cost savings
Manager control and tracking
Scalability
Ease of maintenance and changes

Decentralization/work from anywhere: In a virtual configuration, center staff can work from nearly any physical location, in contrast to a traditional setup in which staff must work from a central office. The benefits are numerous: elimination of commute time; savings on vehicle costs; savings on a range of office costs; more flexible work schedules; and environmental benefits such as reduced vehicle emissions, office waste, hydro usage and more.

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