How to Start a Virtual Call Center – A Step-by-Step Guide 

  • Last Updated: 15 Mar 24
  • 19 min read
How to start a virtual call center

In today’s digital landscape, technology has advanced so much that agents don’t have to attend to work in a physical location. Instead, they can connect to a virtual call center and start providing services through the Internet from anywhere.

These virtual call centers revolutionize your customer service, offer flexibility, reduce costs, and enhance the overall work efficiency of your team. Due to multiple benefits, most businesses are now transforming their traditional call centers to virtual ones.

During the process, you might face several challenges while setting up. But don’t worry😀; this step-by-step guide will equip you with everything you need to launch a virtual call center.

🔑 Key Highlights

  • A virtual call center operates via a virtual phone system with no physical office.
  • With a virtual call center, you can enjoy benefits such as boosting customer experience, better flexibility and scalability, savings on expenditures, and more.
  • When choosing a virtual call center, you should look for features like CRM integrations, IVR, call recording, call queueing, and unified communication capabilities.
  • To start a virtual call center, you must pre-define its purpose and primary goal, have a set budget, hire the right people and have the perfect resources, and invest in onboarding and advertising.

What is a Virtual Call Center?

A virtual contact center is a modern setup where customer representatives can work from anywhere using a cloud-based phone system of VoIP technology. They just require a stable internet connection.

This modern contact center allows you to connect with virtual call center employees, regardless of location. It provides a centralized virtual space in the cloud for seamless communication. These call centers are cost-effective and allow for broader market outreach. 

What is a Virtual Call Center

Businesses can operate virtual contact centers without a physical location and offer 24/7 customer service globally. Furthermore, thanks to built-in analytics and API integrations, managers can access all call details to analyze data.

Overall, there is practically no difference between traditional and virtual call centers on the basis of customer representatives’ responsibilities. The main difference is how & where the agents perform their tasks.

What are the benefits of a Virtual Call Center for your business? 

A virtual contact center offers a treasure trove of benefits for your business. This modern call center eliminates the entire cost of physical office space.   

Besides that, it helps enhance customer interactions by offering instant troubleshooting of issues, personalized service, and access to multiple communication channels. The following points are the major benefits of virtual call centers.

  • Boost Customer Experience: The virtual contact center helps businesses to boost customer experience. It provides round-the-clock client support, reduces wait time, and ensures skilled agents inquire. This can translate to faster response time, improved communication, and a positive customer experience. 
  • Superior Flexibility: Virtual call centers’ main benefit is their exceptional flexibility. This enables businesses to adapt to changing needs and circumstances quickly. Moreover, you can also cater to a global customer base by extending support hours without geographical constraints.
  • Cost Savings: Businesses need to pay hefty overhead costs associated with traditional call centers. But now, the virtual call center completely eliminates the cost of physical office space, furniture, expensive hardware, and utilities. 
  • Enhance Productivity: The virtual call center enables agents to use advanced features such as call routing, analytics, and CRM integrations. These tools help to increase customer representative work efficiency by automating mundane tasks and providing valuable data insights. 
  • Increase Scalability: In traditional call centers, businesses have difficulty adding new agents due to limited physical location. However, virtual call centers completely ended the space limitations and provided unmatched scalability. Businesses can add or remove agents seamlessly and adapt to fluctuating customer demands and business growth.

👉 You May Also Like: How to Start a Virtual Receptionist Business

How to Start a Virtual Call Center – A Step-By-Step Guide

Launching a virtual call center can be a strategic move for your business. But taking the first step requires careful planning. To build a virtual contact center for your business, follow the below steps.  

1. Define Your Purpose Before Building Your Call Center

The initial step before diving headfirst into creating your virtual contact center is to clearly define the purpose. Just ask yourself a few crucial questions to get an insight view. Consider these questions.

  • What is my company’s size?
  • Which sector do I work in?
  • What services will your call center offer?
  • Who is your target audience?

Answering these questions must reveal whether you need an inbound or outbound call center or possibly a hybrid model. 

Inbound Calls 

Inbound calls are typically used to offer support to customers who reach out with inquiries. The main objective of inbound calls is to solve customer problems, answer questions, and help with other management. Further, it aims to build customer relationships by offering exceptional customer service. 

Inbound calls are used for: 

  • General Client assistance
  • Technical Support
  • Processing Payments and Orders
  • Inbound Sales
  • Booking Assistance
  • Tracking of Shipments

Outbound Calls

Outbound calls mean reaching out to potential customers to generate leads and close more deals. These calls are made by the sales team to pitch their products or services or give some essential information to customers. 

Outbound calls are used for:

  • Cold Calling
  • Generate New Leads
  • Perform Market Analysis
  • Set appointments or reminders
  • Telemarketing Campaigns

2. Determined Main Goals for your Virtual Call Center

Once you have finalized your purpose, you must determine your key goals. Remember that these goals should be measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Then, you can choose the right call center metrics. These will act as your key performance indicators and help you track the success of your contact center. Here are some major metrics and KPIs.

Metrics and KPIs:

  • Average Handling Time: Measure the average time a customer representative spends on call. It measures the time between the agent receiving and disconnecting the call. 
  • First Call Resolution: The first call resolution is the percentage of calls resolved during the first interaction between customers and an agent. It measures the ability of agents to solve problems during the first interaction with leads. 
  • Customer Satisfaction Score: Customer satisfaction score will help you to measure how happy customers are with your call center services. 
  • Net Promoter Score: This KPI lets you measure customer loyalty and the likelihood of recommending your business. It helps you to generate new leads through recommendations. 
  • Sales Conversion Rate: Sales reps proactively reach out to potential customers to pitch the product. So, this KPI will help you to track the percentage of customers converted into paying customers for outbound calls. 

3. Define your Budget

Businesses need perfect financial planning to launch a successful virtual call center. Foremost, identify all costs, such as software, hardware, training, and development, as well as additional expenses. 

Therefore, before diving into the software options or hiring a team, it’s vital to define your budget. Here are the most common expenses:

  • Salaries for employees
  • A virtual calling system
  • Basic hardware equipment, such as headsets and computers
  • Consider additional costs like CRM integrations and quality assurance software

Besides that, there are several experiences that will come along the way.  However, in the initial step, you don’t have to think about other expenses. 

4. Select the Virtual Call Center Solution 

With a defined budget, it’s time to find the perfect virtual call center software. This step is crucial as you have to select the platform that will empower your team and fuel your virtual contact center to success. 

Before selecting any software, look out for its advanced calling features and whether it integrates with other CRM or other tools. Here are features that call centers must include.

5. Focus on Hiring the Right People

An employee is an important factor in deciding the company’s success. Therefore, you have to hire a trained customer representative to offer better customer service and increase customer satisfaction. 

There are thousands of potential candidates who prefer working from home from which you can choose. You can search for the best talent anywhere, anybody. Look out for people with specific skills and experience required for your virtual call center. 

Search for people who have the following qualities:

  • Perform well under pressure
  • Not afraid to ask questions while being unsure about an answer
  • Disciplined and motivated
  • Have experience with the system

6. Decide the Proper Equipment that agents need

Once you’ve decided what kinds of people you want to hire, you should now move on to decide what types of equipment they need. The fact is, a good employee can only deliver good performance if they have access to proper equipment and resources.

So, while there’s a lot to consider here, you should initially just choose and employ the necessities. That may include reliable hardware such as computers, headsets, and high-speed internet connections to facilitate seamless communication with customers. 

You should always remember that providing agents with quality equipment will enhance productivity and overall customer experience, and it is crucial to ensure smooth operations and optimal performance. 

7. Invest in the Onboarding Process & Training

The next step is to get going with the onboarding process & training. Here what you need to do is invest in a well-structured onboarding program. With the investment, you should also make sure that it introduces new agents to your company culture, call center workflows, and the specific products or services they’ll be supporting.

If needed, you should also provide easy-to-understand programs for every new agent and, at the same time, provide ongoing training to the old ones to keep them updated and sharp and enhance their skills. It is also a good idea to build knowledge bases that your team can access for training and reference.

8. Create Proper Workflow Efficiency 

Here is a statement, or rather a fact: Creating proper workflow efficiency is essential for maximizing the productivity of your agents and minimizing the downtime of your virtual call center.

And what does it mean? Well, it simply states that you need to establish clear guidelines for every process, ie, for handling calls, scripting, managing inquiries, escalating issues, and documenting interactions.

It is also advisable to implement workflow automation tools wherever possible to streamline tasks and improve overall efficiency within your operations.

9. Promote an Optimistic Culture in Your Virtual Call Center

Now in this step what you need to do is promote an optimistic culture in your virtual call center can significantly impact employee morale and performance. 

This might sound trivial, but it is to be always done as it is a way to encourage open communication, recognize accomplishments, provide growth opportunities, and foster a welcoming work environment where people feel valued and motivated.

Not to mention the fact that a positive culture will not only boost employee engagement but also enhance customer satisfaction levels.

10. Advertise your Call Center Everywhere

With all things set and ready to be used, the final thing to do is get going with the operations and market your virtual contact center operations to attract potential clients and drive business growth.

For this what you can do is utilize various marketing channels such as social media platforms, online advertisements, email campaigns, and networking events to promote your services effectively.

👀Take a look at How to Set up a Virtual Call Center from Home.

What are the important features that a Virtual Call Center Software must have?

Businesses must prioritize features to ensure seamless operations and efficient workflows while choosing virtual contact center software. Here’s a breakdown of the essential features your virtual call center software shouldn’t lack:

  • CRM Integrations: Your virtual call center must have a CRM integration to view the insight data or customer. This provides agents with a 360-degree view of each customer’s history and interactions, call notes and more.  
  • Call Recording: This is a basic feature that must be included in your virtual contact center software. It allows you to record calls for training purposes, quality monitoring, and dispute resolution. Further, it also provides an insights view of agents’ performance and customer interactions.
  • IVR: IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, provides an automated menu to customers that allows them to direct their calls, check account information, or navigate FAQs. This significantly reduces call volume and streamline agent workflows. 
  • Unified Communication: The Unified communication feature helps customers connect with agents through multiple channels such as voice calls, live chat, emails, and social media. It ensures consistent customer interactions and allows sales reps to respond to customers regardless of the communication channel. 
  • Call Queues: If your call center receives a large volume of calls, the call queues feature helps you to manage incoming calls efficiently. If simply place the calls in the queue when all agents are busy. The call Queues feature ensures that no calls are missed due to the unavailability of customer reps.

What are the differences between Traditional and Virtual Call Centers?

Although traditional and virtual call centers have the same working processes and serve the same purpose. There is a clear difference in location and the technology that they use to actually function. So, to make you familiar with the differences, here’s a table that does exactly that: 

Traditional Call CenterVirtual Call Center
Agents work in a centralized officeAgents work remotely from their preferred locations
High upfront costs for equipment, software, and office spaceLower costs; requires minimal equipment and cloud-based software
Difficult and expensive to scale agent numbers up or downEasier to scale agent workforce to meet demand
Relies on traditional phone systems and may have limited data integrationUtilizes cloud-based software with features like call routing, data analysis, and omnichannel communication (phone, email, chat)

What are the things to consider while choosing a Virtual Call Center Provider?

There are several things to consider when choosing a virtual contact center provider. Firstly, look out for whether the provider has an intuitive interface or not. Secondly, know about their customer service and whether they are actually focusing on solving a customer problem or not.

Besides that, there are a few more things to consider. The following four points are the primary things to consider when choosing a virtual call center provider. 

Ease of Use

When starting anything, the first thing to do is to check and get going with the ease of use of the solution you desire to choose.

This technically requires dealing with a few questionnaires, such as considering how intuitive the software is for both agents and supervisors. Or can you get your team up and running quickly without a ton of training?

One more thing: you should look for a solution provider with user-friendly interfaces and intuitive features to enhance agent productivity.

Customer Support

In the following step, you need to look into the customer support that the solution provider itself has to offer. It is essentially one of the most fundamental things to do.

Here, what you need to do is select one of the top virtual contact center providers that offer onboarding support, training, and responsive & excellent customer service. If you do this correctly, you’ll be assured of prompt resolution of issues and smooth operation of your virtual call center.

Price

You also ought to check out the pricing offerings of all the providers. Going for the top results doesn’t actually mean you have to choose the costliest one. It is a must for you to set up a budget and then choose a provider that has a subscription structure that aligns with your needs.

As a guiding factor, you should remember that the real cost of a virtual call center solution directly depends on the features you want and the number of users. So it’s best to get quotes from several providers to find one that fits your budget.

Security

As the final step, you just need to make sure the provider that you finally choose offers robust security features to protect your customer data. This includes encryption, data backups, and access controls.

That’s because it said, ‘Security is paramount when handling sensitive customer data in a virtual call center environment.’ So, just put security first to make sure customer information is protected.

Start Your Virtual Call Center Business with KrispCall Today

When looking for a provider that offers one of the best virtual call center software, there could be no better choice than KrispCall. It offers a near-perfect solution that is comprehensive enough to give you all the features and functionalities you could ask for. All of which together contribute to the best results and provide enhanced productivity and customer satisfaction.

A notable feature of KrispCall’s virtual call center software includes the ‘Unified Callbox,’ which serves as an all-purpose dashboard. It lets you and your agents manage all the telephony activities from a single window. With it, you can manage all your voicemails, messages, notes, and contacts in one place. 

Additionally, you can use KrispCall on any device that you want, be it an Android phone, an iOS device, or a desktop. With this capability, you can operate your call center from any platform you prefer. With it, you and your team can stay productive wherever you are, at any time.

So why the wait? Book a free demo of KrispCall today and experience the difference in your virtual call center! See how KrispCall’s functionalities, capabilities, and features can take your customer interactions to the next level.

Conclusion

Launching a virtual call center can be a challenging task for you. But, following the simple steps such as defining your purpose, determining goals, setting a budget, and choosing the right virtual contact center software can simplify the process. 

Unlike traditional, virtual contact centers don’t need a physical location to operate. As a result, agents can work from anywhere just by connecting to a virtual call center. 

Once you switch from a traditional to a virtual call center, you will benefit in several ways. A virtual call center helps you to provide excellent customer service, reduce costs, and enhance productivity. Likewise, when choosing one, you need to look no further, as KrispCall’s virtual contact center software has all that it takes to meet all of your needs.

FAQs

How much does it cost to initiate a virtual call center?

If you are looking to initiate a virtual call center, you might have to pay as low as $1,313 or as high as $11,659, making the average to be somewhere around $5900. However, you should take note that the actual cost may significantly vary depending on where you set up your contact center, marketing & advertisement costs, website costs, and ticketing costs.

What are the benefits of starting a remote call center?

Starting a remote call center can bring forth a huge number of benefits, both for the agents and the business. Here are some of the key highlights of those:

  • Setting up a remote contact center can be beneficial in terms of cost saving, as there’s no need to make heavy investments in hardware and IT infrastructure.
  • Having a virtual contact center can let you access and hire talent from around the world, making it possible to hire agents with a broad range of skills and languages.
  • The flexibility that comes with remotely working contact centers can result in better productivity and autonomy.
  • With a geographically dispersed workforce that is connected virtually, you also get to provide 24/7 service to your clients.

How does a Virtual Call Center impact agents’ productivity?

Agents working for a virtual contact center seem to have better productivity than traditional call center agents. That is because of the following reasons:

  • They get to use virtual contact center tools that help them manage calls more effectively and also streamline their workflows.
  • It is easy for supervisors who oversee a virtual call center to monitor their agents, which presumably means higher agent productivity and better CSAT.
  • In a virtual contact center, agents get quick access to knowledge bases and other resources that they can use to provide faster responses.
  • The flexibility of virtual call centers makes them ideal for agents who need to balance their work and personal lives.

What are the different types of businesses that require a virtual call center? 

Here’s a list of types of businesses that may require a virtual call center:

  • Customer service-oriented businesses.
  • E-commerce businesses.
  • Telecommunication providers.
  • Financial Services.
  • Healthcare & Hospitality.
  • Airlines.

How does a Virtual Call Center improve customer service and satisfaction?

Virtual call centers offer several advantages over traditional on-premise setups that can lead to improved customer service and satisfaction. Here are some factors that influence that:

  • Virtual call centers have better and faster call-handling processes.
  • Virtual contact centers often provide multilingual support.
  • With virtual call centers, customers can get help whenever they need it, as agents are available 24/7.
  • Virtual contact center agents have personalized their approach and are better able to meet the needs of customers.
  • The quality and service delivery of virtual call centers is just better.
Arun Chaudhary

Arun is SEO Analyst at KrispCall. He has written in extensively in the field of cloud telephony and call center solutions.

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