What is an Internet Call Center?
An Internet call center is a solution for businesses who wish to virtually operate a call center-like operation. Internet call centers work like traditional call centers, except with a few main differences. Location, costs and employee demographics are some the things that make an Internet call center very different from its traditional counterpart.
An Internet call center may be run from anywhere. This is because call centers are usually solutions that are hosted on the Web. Whereas physical landlines and cables once anchored call centers to a specific location, Internet call centers' use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows business owners to literally set up shop anywhere they please. When dealing with an Internet call center, the only constraints are technology- and software-related. When one considers that these two things can also be easily remedied through hardware and software upgrades and updates, the possibility of a viable and profitable business becomes closer to a reality.
Profitability for business owners can increase due to the low costs associated with operating and maintaining an Internet call center. Because most call centers exist virtually, business owners do not have to rent space to set up their business. They are also spared from monthly bills associated with the upkeep of telephone lines. Even utility costs considered to be necessary for the running of any business like electricity bills do not factor into business costs. Business owners can simply purchase software and licenses at their leisure or when their needs arise and use it to conduct sales.
In addition, employees can be located anywhere. Internet call center employees can function as agents of the business from any location as long as they have an Internet connection and the correct authorization to access the software. Work assignments and instructions usually appear on computer screens for each employee. Even physically dialing a phone number is taken care of by the software. Automatic dialing frees the employee to complete other tasks while the software calls numerous phone numbers until a prospect answers the phone and makes himself available to be spoken to.
Internet call centers can give a business owner many advantages over competition. By implementing an Internet call center, a business owner may significantly lower his business costs, streamline his operations and increase his profit margin. Virtual call center solutions like these can be just what any small business needs to rise in its industry.
I've worked in a call center (more of a customer service call center than what's described in the article), and I feel like having the call center online wouldn't be as helpful because a lot of the time reps had to ask supervisors for help, or even locate a product and have it in their hands when they talk to the customer.
Obviously, none of this can be done at home, so for a company like this I don't think it would work.
The basic idea of an internet call center sounds extremely beneficial, but I wonder at the effects on employees. Would productivity decrease, or maybe increase if the employees were allowed to work from anywhere they were comfortable? Would call center service improve if the employees don't feel like they're locked up in the office?
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