In light of the current economy and the fact that many people are out of jobs, individuals are finding many unique and creative ways to gain employment. And, for companies in the call center industry, utilizing work at home agents is a way to minimize costs, while delivering successful results.
Keeping that in mind, many call centers deploy virtual software that allows agents to work outside of the office, through remotely connecting with in the cloud software.
On a recent radio show in Mendocino, hosted by Sharon Davis, who runs a 'work at home' blog as well, guest speaker MJ Willard, who runs the National Telecommuting Institute, discussed the benefits of virtual call centers and, specifically, why hosted contact center and call center on demand software provider Five9's Virtual Call Center Suite is such a great product.
'We came across a company in the last 6 months called Five9 and they don't hire people directly, but they produce this hosted app that allows any call center outside - small ones, large ones - and they can go virtual in a matter of a week or so,' Willard said. 'We actually use them ourselves for our own recruiters. It took us a week to go virtually with our workforce.'
With over 800 call centers using Five9's technology to support their remote agents, it's no surprise that Five9's Vice President of Product Management, David Van Everen, attributes the current economic status as a result for this movement.
'The economy is recovering slowly, and companies are being careful in hiring people back on - work-at-home jobs are good for part-time workers and for companies that want to keep facilities costs down,' Van Everen said, adding that the Five9 systems enable virtual, on-demand call centers.
'Our customers' call center agents need only a personal computer, a headset and an Internet connection, and can work anywhere,' he said. 'They connect over the Internet to one of our secure data centers.'
In order to manage work at home agents, Five9's call center software enables managers to supervise work-at-home agents as effectively as if they were in a centralized call center.
'For example, the Five9 Supervisor enables supervisors and managers to view each agent's status in real time, monitor agents' calls, and even whisper advice to an agent or enter into a phone conversation when needed,' Van Everen said.
And, according to Five9, the trend of more work-at-home employees will only continue going forward.
'Broadband penetration in the U.S. is continuing to increase, driven by market forces and initiatives like Google (News - Alert)'s Fiber for Communities initiative, which promises 1 Gbps internet access to business and residential users,' Van Everen said. 'According to a recent research report, high-speed fiber Internet access connections for homes is growing in excess of 30 percent annually.'
'More companies are realizing the cost benefits of switching from premise-based call centers to an on-demand virtual call center that facilitates work-at-home agents,' he added.