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Emerging VoIP services: Virtual call centers

Updated on September 26, 2013

Call Centers for the New Age

Every business, no matter how large or small, has a customer service department. It can range in size from one person doing everything for a small business or multi-location call centers located in several different time zones for large corporations. While enterprises want to provide excellent support for their customers, it has to be balanced by the costs involved to do so. PBX hardware is expensive and call centers usually require large office spaces to accommodate the service agents. This has lead to the recent trend of companies using virtual call center services offered by hosted VoIP providers.

A virtual call center is a contact center hosted by the VoIP provider in the cloud instead of being located in an office building on the client’s premises. Phone calls are routed through VoIP networks instead of regular PSTN connections.

Such call centers in the cloud offer many advantages to enterprises. A call center, which traditionally required weeks or months to set up with high capital investment, can now be up and running in a few hours with little expense beyond a monthly subscription. It is no longer necessary to lease office space, buy high end PBX hardware or hire IT staff to maintain equipment.

The VoIP Call Center
The VoIP Call Center

VoIP Architecturing

A growing business can easily set up agent groups in a new city because virtual call centers can scale quickly in response to their needs. Enterprises need to pay only for the features and minutes they use, which can be especially useful for a small company. Agents can be added and deleted quickly resulting in fewer overheads and unnecessary expenses. Call centers in the cloud also allow businesses to offer flexible working hours for their employees, enabling them to take calls from home or other locations.

Features like automatic call routing, pre-recorded greetings, and agent hunt groups allow small teams to work effectively. Incoming calls can be queued for them to answer and calls can be transferred to the next available person in a particular group. Customer service requests can also be routed according to the skill level, time of day or administrative position of the agent. Many vendors also provide real time monitoring of calls, call recording and tracking reports for their clients.

Customer support activities are indispensable for most companies. Virtual call centers provide a number of advanced features at a low cost which offers enormous flexibility to businesses in the way they fulfill customer expectations. The business VoIP calling provider manages all hardware and software needed for call center activities, leaving companies free to focus on their own competencies.

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