Most call centers are based in a centralized location, with many call center agents working side-by-side in cubicles answering telephones or making outbound calls. Nevertheless, with the advancement of technology, alternative call center arrangements have emerged. But now call centers can make use of remote agents, temporary agents, virtual call centers and interactive centers.
These agents can work at home with the use of their computer and telephone. Besides, they are able to access their companies' network and remotely take incoming calls or fulfill outbound calls. Such agents provide different advantages for their company and also enjoy a few of their own. Moreover, they require fewer expenses for the hiring company. These people stay at home while they work, but this means no commute or travel time, and no associated expenses.
Virtual Call Centers
As for virtual call centers, they are smaller groups of agents who are connected to other call center agents but at a different location. The main goal of these groups is to work closely with one another and provide support, interaction and back up when needed.
Interactive centers go beyond just answering phones or making outbound calls. These agents handle email, online live chat and other web based communication.
Temporary agents act like an interchangeable workforce. And they are only called in during periods of time when the call center volume is expected to be extremely busy. With this, the company can only hire additional staff when they are needed, for example around holidays or tax time.
Call center alternatives are in fact capable of re-shaping an industry. With the new communication avenues of the web, call centers can reach existing customers and prospects in new and effective ways. But there is one limitation and this is is a companies' imagination.
Remote and virtual call center agents lack the ability to participate in the team atmosphere. But it can be motivating and rewarding for most call center agents. While having freedom and flexibility of working from home, call center agents in remote or virtual locations have less structure and more distractions than most highly structured professional call centers.
There is a competitive advantage to having a call center that handles all calls in-house, has ongoing sales training, strict quality control measures in place and always has your company values in place when handling your call.