Constructing a World-Class Virtual Call Center with 8x8
December 17, 2012
By Susan J. Campbell
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Assembling dispersed workers to form a cohesive virtual call center team can be tricky. Collaborating across time zones and organizational borders are challenges that are often blamed when something goes wrong; however, most of the time, the culprit is not technological difficulty or the fact that team members aren’t all gathered in the same room. The root of dysfunction is that the virtual call center team is not operating as a seamless unit. In order to optimize your virtual call center experience, this needs to be fixed pronto.
Think of your virtual call center like a pizza. Having people working on a shared project doesn’t make them a team, just as pepperoni, cheese and tomato sauce alone don’t constitute this delicious, Italian dish. If you want dispersed workers who perform like team players, they need to be committed and accountable. This starts with setting proper priorities. Are your team players invested in the common project or are they focusing their efforts on other workloads?
Leading and managing remote workers requires constant attention to ensure members are collaborating and putting aside personal interests to achieve the common goal. In the absence of one-on-one communication, it becomes crucial for leaders to make up for them missing face-to-face presence by being able to show members of the virtual call center that they will be held accountable via phone, IM or SMS.
Members of the team also need to communicate and hold one another accountable, as well. Is there opportunity to share feedback? Are responsibilities clear? Structure and continued guidance are important, especially in the initial phases of team building, and the leader must direct that process.
According to this Business2Community article, it is not how smart or educated your team members are that ensures success but rather how well they communicate. An MIT (News - Alert) study on the topic suggests that communication patterns are a chief determinate of how well a team will perform; therefore, honing the communication of your virtual team will undoubtedly result in a higher performance virtual call center.
Deploying a world-class virtual call center does not have to be a complicated or expensive process, though. Leveraging communications solutions provided through hosted VoIP provider 8x8 is the fastest, easiest way to accomplish this goal. Start-up with 8x8 (News - Alert) is extremely cost-effective, as there is no hardware other than phones to implement. There is also no tech team or software needed. The solution offers low monthly service fees, advanced call features such as real-time monitoring, and the ability to utilize your own employees anywhere in the world.
The 8x8 Virtual Call Center is secure and scalable, offering features such as skills-based routing and multi-media queuing. With 8x8’s multi-media queue, customers are quickly directed to the best-suited agent, reducing call transfers, unnecessary repeating of information and caller frustration.
Translation: a higher level of service for your customers. Best of all, 8x8’s Virtual Call Center can be implemented immediately in as little as six hours.
And for those with mobile workers, 8x8 even has an app that allows you to convert any mobile device into a virtual office phone. Virtual Office Mobile accepts calls from your extension and displays your same number on caller ID. The app is compatible with the iPhone (News - Alert), iPad, iPod Touch and Android portable devices and is offered at no cost with 8x8 Virtual Office.
To learn more about all of 8x8’s offerings, visit www.8x8.com.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo