How to Start a Virtual Call Center that Transforms Your Business Growth

Aug 9, 2022

How To Start a Virtual Call Center USA 2022

While customer service is essential to nearly every business, multi-channel call center operations are becoming a standard for even small businesses.

Starting a call center from scratch, however, can be a costly and time-consuming process for any business owner or organization. As such, learning how to start a virtual call center becomes the smart entrepreneur’s move.

In this article, learn the steps you can take to start a virtual call center for your business, and the alternative you can take to save on costs without sacrificing the productivity your company needs.

Who Needs A Virtual Call Center?

Call volumes across all industries started to increase at a drastic rate during the pandemic. Combined with work-from-home orders, digitization of business operations became a goal for the global business community.

This movement for near-instant adoption of remote working practices included call centers, thus the rise of virtual call centers. 

While automated contact points helped businesses buy more time to move call centers into the digital space, only 48% of customers had a “satisfactory” experience. Resolution from human operators was also deemed “essential” by 72% of customers, increasing pressure on businesses to set up virtual call centers.

Now, up to 70% of call center operators are expected to continue working from home even after the pandemic. The eradicated cost of facility rental and maintenance also makes virtual call centers highly beneficial for businesses.

These factors contribute to the rising demand for virtual call centers coming from large-scale organizations and small-to-medium enterprises. If you have a business, you’ll probably need a virtual call center sooner or later.

How To Start a Virtual Call Center for Your Business?

Remaining customer-centric is key to successfully operating a virtual call center in any industry. Here are the steps you need to take to get started with your virtual call center.

1. Identify Your Call Center’s Focus

If it looks too costly to start immediately with an omnichannel virtual call center, your first step is to define where you will focus your efforts. 

Among the common options are technical support, after-sales support, customer account management, or chat support for inquiries your chatbot can’t handle.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may also start with an order fulfillment support center, booking and appointments management, or a billing support center.

2. Create a Structure for Your New Team

After identifying the type of support your first call center team will focus on, you have to build the structure for your future virtual call center operation.

You’ll need someone who will lead this team as you carry out your executive responsibilities. This person will be handling your agents or operators on a daily basis, providing support from the first day of training.

Your call center manager will also need to know where their team stands in your organization. Depending on the focus you’ve set, they may work closely with your sales, product, tech, or marketing teams.

Part of this step is outlining the daily tasks they’ll handle, your company’s call workflows, and the estimated amount of calls your operators can handle in a day. You’ll also need to identify if you will need to hire more administrative personnel to help with the management of your additional employees.

3. Calculate the Number of Employees You Need

To be able to calculate the number of employees you need, you can use a call center calculator to get an estimate. This should give you a clearer picture of how big of an expansion you’re about to undertake.

Doing this step carefully will help you avoid understaffing and delivering poor service, and overstaffing and straining your business’ finances. Using a call center calculator will also teach you about common KPIs in call centers.

3. Determine Your Budget for The Project

After you have an estimate of the number of people you need, you can get a clearer picture of the budget you need to get started. You’ll know how much money you need for labor costs and equipment, and how much you can spend on your call center tech.

As you learn how to start a virtual call center, you’ll be making some adjustments to every part of the process with the new information you learn. Your estimated costs will let you know how feasible a virtual call center will be for your business.

This step is the part where you will make adjustments to your expectations and goals based on your budget. The budget you can allot will also direct you on which adjustments you need to make for this expansion work.

Take note that the average cost of starting a virtual call center is around $5000.

4. Delegate a Project Manager

Once you’ve set a budget for your new business operation, you can start hiring to build your team. The first hire you will probably need is your virtual call center’s project manager.

Your project manager will now take the lead in executing your vision for your new virtual call center. They need not be familiar with how to start a virtual call center, but that would be a huge benefit for your company.

Choose a project manager who has experience in at least managing a team of call center agents if you can’t find one who has managed entire call center operations. They’ll be helping you manage your virtual call center, track KPIs, develop call scripts, and optimize your overall workflow.

Depending on how experienced they are, you can delegate the rest of the process to them and get back to your responsibilities as a CEO or business owner.

6. Set the Geographical Scope of Your Recruitment

With the remote nature of virtual call centers, you can set a wide geographical scope for finding talented agents. You can even hire offshore phone operators to take advantage of the cost benefits of offshore outsourcing.

In this step, you need to research your customers, the types of call center agents they normally encounter, and the best places to find call center operators.

You may find cost-efficient locations for hiring, depending on the type of call center you’re setting up and the service you’re providing.

7. Find the Right Software

A few applications you’ll need for your virtual call center’s tech stack will include your dialer, VoIP or internet-telephony tech, a project management tool, and a CRM.

You may also need tools for data security, accountability, and timekeeping. Your best bets are solutions that can integrate into the technology your business already uses.

If you found an experienced call center manager, they can help you find the best solution that fits your needs much faster.

8. Implement & Integrate Your Call Center Software

After purchasing the software you need, it’s time to start implementing your call center systems and setting up integrations across all your tools.

As many virtual call center solution providers offer support throughout the entire subscription period, learn how it works so you can also understand how and if you can scale with the same tech in the future.

9. Recruit and Onboard Talent

The next step is to recruit agents who will take on your customers’ calls on their day-to-day. By now, you should have the exact number of call center agents you need. Make sure to consult your call center calculator, your project manager, and your software provider for the most efficient number.

It’s a huge plus to hire experienced call center agents, but if that comes with a greater cost, make sure your call center manager has the talent to develop productive call center agents.

10. Train Your Agents

As your team gets filled with agents, your call center manager will be training them on your tech stack and call workflows.

Their training should also include call simulations, which you can listen to and help develop into a process that properly represents the quality of service you want your business to be known for.

11. Build a Culture of Success

Since you were able to build enough success to get started on a virtual call center, you should be able to facilitate the same culture of success with your new call center team.

Remember how you’ve done it with your current employees and teach your call center manager how to do the same with their team of agents. As a best practice, find ways to institutionalize your culture through tangible measures.

How to Hire a Virtual Call Center

Instead of learning how to start a virtual call center, you can hire one by finding a company that offers virtual call center services. Doing so eradicates setup costs and shortens the weeks or months you might take on research, planning, recruitment, and training.

Step 1: Contact Virtual Call Center Companies

To get started, start looking for companies that offer virtual call center services. A sign-up form is typically available for you to submit some contact details. 

This will help representatives from the company to get in touch with you and familiarize themselves with your business prior to your very first meeting.

Step 2: Get Your Needs Assessed

Usually, through discovery calls, someone from the virtual call center company will ask some probing questions to assess your needs.

This is where they’ll find out how you want your call center team to be set up, the tools you’ll need, the number of people you need, and what kind of solution they can provide for you.

Step 3: Meet Your Account Manager

After signing a contract with the virtual call center company, you’ll get to meet an account manager or a representative who will help you set up your team.

They’ll be learning about your business so they can find the best people in their talent pool to join your team. From there, it only takes a few hours or days for you to have your team of virtual call center agents.

Starting vs. Hiring a Virtual Call Center

Starting and hiring a virtual call center both have their pros and cons. You’ll have a fundamental knowledge of your call center operation if you start one, but it will take a lot of time. Hiring a virtual call center will have a lot of cost benefits, but you will have to find a service provider you can trust.

Learning and implementing how to start a virtual call center can present a steep learning curve to any entrepreneur. It can also be a costly project to execute. If you think this will be a problem, you have the option to hire a virtual call center instead.

Virtudesk’s virtual call center leverages the inexpensive cost of outsourcing to virtual assistants in the Philippines to provide a cost-efficient solution for you. There are also data security protocols and tools in place to protect your company and customers’ information.

virtudesk virtual call center benefits USA 2022

If you’re interested in getting the benefits of hiring Virtudesk’s virtual call center for your business, fill out the form on this page and one of our consultants will get in touch with you.

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