Today’s fast-paced business world relies heavily on virtual phone systems for call center efficiency. Providing good customer support is crucial for every call center to retain customers. Companies are shifting their workspaces from traditional call centers to virtual call centers.
A virtual call center helps your employees manage high call volumes and provide good customer service all day. It allows them to engage with customers from any location. Call centers can rapidly increase their operations, save costs, and enhance agents’ workflows.
This article will discuss how virtual phone systems can improve call center efficiency. Let’s start with a definition of virtual phone systems.
What is a Virtual Phone System?
A virtual phone system, or virtual call system, is a cloud-based communication platform that lets you make and receive calls online using Voice over Internet Protocol(VoIP). It doesn’t require a physical or traditional landline to operate, as it runs on an internet connection.
A virtual call system can be set up on all internet-connected devices: smartphones, laptops, desktops, and tablets. With an internet connection, it can provide virtual call services anywhere in the world at any time.
Features of Virtual Phone Systems
Virtual call systems have numerous features. Some important features include
Call recording: Virtual call systems offer a call recording feature that lets you keep records, deliver real-time feedback, and track calls.
Call routing and forwarding: This feature allows you to direct incoming calls to other departments, teams, and devices. You can forward calls to the location wherever your customer wants.
Call reporting: Data is key for businesses to remain competitive. The use of call center software allows you to keep reports of your calls. Those reports can be used to get information about customers’ calling patterns, including their busy periods, active periods, and call times.
Callbacks and queueing: This feature lets you queue calls when employees are busy. It also helps in handling missed calls with an automatic callback feature.
Video conferencing: This feature is especially beneficial for remote working environments. You can get higher engagement by communicating face-to-face with your team. It saves money on business travel.
Integration with other tools: Virtual phone systems can be integrated with other tools, like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, Slack, SaaS tools, and many more.
Benefits of Virtual Phone System
There are many benefits of virtual phone systems for call centers and businesses. The top benefits are:
1. Lower Costs
A virtual call system is cheaper than a traditional Private Branch Exchange(BPX) one. It doesn’t require expensive hardware and software. Everything is set up on the cloud. It reduces PBX costs, copper wiring charges, and repair and maintenance fees.
It also saves costs on business travel by allowing employees to communicate remotely with a video conferencing feature. A virtual call system is great for cost savings.
2. Easy to Scale
Virtual call systems are easy to scale up and down. In the virtual call system, your numbers are connected with accounts, not devices, so there is no need to add or remove hardware components.
As your company grows, you can simply add a user to your existing plan or upgrade the plan as per your requirement. You don’t need to move the hardware components if you ever plan to shift your office.
3. Provide Professional Appearance
Businesses and call centers work can be chaotic. There will certainly be unorganized operations, but you don’t want the public to know it. You want to create a well-established image for your company.
Virtual call systems can enhance your business profile by providing top-quality services to your customer. It lets you customize your call settings, such as greeting your customer yourself or using different voices to create a professional-sounding introduction to your callers.
Similarly, a virtual phone system assists you in call routing, forwarding, queueing, and callback, which helps build a customer-focused brand image.
4. More Visibility and Control
The virtual phone system allows not only voice calls but also video calls and messages which makes it easy to track information. You can get access to call monitoring and call recording features.
This lets you look at all the information in detail and control and adjust the features you want. You can supervise call logs and assess the quality being served by your company.
Overview of Call Center Efficiency
A call center is a department that handles incoming and outgoing calls from current and potential customers. A team of customer service specialists and advisors, also known as agents, handles these calls.
Call centers are essential to understand customers’ needs. It helps to provide service or support to your customer 24/7. Customers do not need to wait in line for a long duration, they can just send an email and expect to receive a call within a few hours.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in Call Centers
Analyzing call center key performance indicators(KPIs) is crucial to evaluate the efficiency of the call center. It is important to guide employees, set financial and performance goals, and determine the overall effectiveness of the call center. Below are some KPIs for call centers:
1. Percentage of calls blocked: This measures how many calls are put on hold compared to the total number of calls. Keeping blocked calls to a minimum is vital.
2. Average handle time(AHT): It measures the average time it takes for an employee to solve the customer’s problem.
3. Sales per agent: It is the evaluation of the sales made by each team member.
4. Customer effort score(CES): It indicates how easy it is for customers to complete transactions in your call center.
5. Service level: It is the percentage of calls answered within a specific number of seconds.
6. The average speed of answer: It is the calculation of the average time taken for calls to be answered during a specific period of time.
7. Average handle time: It calculates the time passed when an agent answers a call until the agent disconnects.
8. Call arrival rate: It measures the number of calls your center receives daily.
9. Customer satisfaction: It is an indication of whether your customers are happy or not with the service you are providing. You can get this insight by asking your customers to rate your service.
10. Average call length: It is the measurement of the average call length in your call center.
Importance of Call Center Efficiency
Call center efficiency is the implementation of necessary elements to support customers and eliminate inefficiencies. The objective of call center efficiency is to improve overall performance. Ensuring call center efficiency increases customer retention, boosts customer experience, and builds brand loyalty.
There are many call center efficiency metrics. First-call resolution tracks whether agents can solve customer problems on the first call. Response time measures the average time agent take to answer customers’ calls. Service level metrics measure the percentage of calls answered in a particular period of time.
You can improve your call center efficiency by optimizing agent performance, offering customer service through different channels, and routing calls.
Challenges Faced by Call Centers
Call centers face many problems and challenges, even the best ones. It impacts their ability to provide quality service to their customers. Some of these challenges include:
- Difficulty in providing good customer services
- Limited call center budgets
- Failure to recruit good talent
- Lack of modern tools
- High employee absenteeism
- Long wait times
- Fail to optimize the workforce
- Lack of analytics and reporting
Ways to Improve Call Center Efficiency With Virtual Phone System
Using VoIP can significantly improve the efficiency of contact centers. Due to the flexibility and scalability nature of virtual call systems, call centers can greatly enhance their productivity. There are many call center solutions for business. Below are ways VoIP can improve call center efficiency:
1. Improving Call Routing
Virtual phone systems allow you to route incoming calls to other agents. It has an intelligent call-routing feature that takes incoming calls into a sorting queue and routes each of them to the appropriate department or agent.
Similarly, skill-based routing can improve call centers’ efficiency by analyzing customers’ issues and matching them with the right agent based on their qualifications, skills, and experience.
2. Streamlining Agent Workflows
Audio and video conferencing features allow the team to share files and screens, tag other users, react to messages, and assign tasks. In this way, it increases team collaboration between agents, enabling them to handle the calls efficiently.
The automatic call distribution (ACD) system receives incoming calls and delivers them to an available agent. Agents can manage large volumes of calls without being overwhelmed, which leads to quality management in virtual call centers.
Call monitoring and recording allow agents to record calls and monitor them. The recorded call can be used to get information about customers so that they can handle them effectively and provide a good customer experience.
3. Enhancing Customer Experience
Using a single virtual number allows your customer to eliminate confusion on which number to call. Customers can get connected to the right person without trying to call on multiple numbers.
Customers can access information with pre-recorded interactive voice response(IVR) system. IVR in a virtual phone system is really beneficial for call centers. It allows them to perform simple tasks through their phones without assistance. If they need help, they can use IVR to contact a department.
Call centers can use call reporting and analytics tools to get deep customer behavior insights. They can give a more personalized experience to customers by analyzing their calling patterns, such as their busy and active periods and call times.
4. Scalability and Flexibility
Virtual call systems are easy to scale up or down. You can easily increase or decrease the number of users and features anytime. You don’t need physical wiring and additional hardware to set up the system.
The best part is that you only have to pay for the services you actually need. Virtual call systems also provide geographic flexibility. Your call center doesn’t need to be located at a particular place. This opens opportunities for remote work environments. Your employees can work from anywhere in the world.
Similarly, you can achieve your business needs by leveraging the power of cloud-based solutions. You can access application services, storage, and other business tools through the Internet.
5. Integration with Other Systems
A virtual phone system can be integrated with other systems. You can integrate with computers, tablets, smartphones, laptops, and traditional landlines. You can easily navigate and connect to multiple platforms with an internet connection to provide a trouble-free ecosystem.
Integrating with Customer Relationship Management(CRM) software allows you to easily exchange data, saving you time manually finding numbers on other things. It helps to collect data effectively, minimize operating costs, improve productivity, and streamline post-call actions.
Additionally, you can integrate a virtual call system with ticketing systems to foster your support tool teams. It assists you to personalize conversations, streamline workflows, and automate repetitive tasks.
6. Security and Compliance Considerations
Security is an important factor in every business. You must secure your data to protect yourself from cyberattacks, malware attacks, password attacks, and other similar online security threats. Virtual calls ensure you to protect from these kinds of security risks.
Virtual calls encrypt your calls from unauthorized users. No one can find out and understand what you are saying. It gives you multi-factor authentication by forcing the user to go through two forms of identification to log in to the system. In this way, it provides an extra layer of security, making it difficult for unauthorized users to access your database.
Compliance issues are challenging for call centers. Staying compliant is important to prevent call centers from immoral business practices and provide a better customer experience. Staying compliant is also necessary to improve company culture, increase productivity, and increase retention of employees.
A virtual phone system guarantees compliance with its various features, such as call recording, routing, monitoring, data security, and encryption.
Virtual phone systems significantly enhance call center efficiency by improving call routing, streamlining agent workflow, enhancing customer experience, providing flexibility, integrating with other systems, and ensuring security to its users.
The future of call centers is going to be virtual. No one can ignore the advantages it provides to businesses. The trend of remote work is increasing rapidly, so a virtual call is going to be a necessity for call centers.
It’s a new and thrilling experience to be at the forefront of virtual and cloud-based technology. Utilizing the power of virtual phone systems can greatly boost business performance.