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Virtual contact centers - aka "customer service in the cloud"

Daniel Hong | Oct. 1, 2010
Enterprises should consider introducing elements of virtualization to their customer care practices

One of the major advantages of a virtual contact center is what it offers in terms of scalability and business continuity. Enterprises should expect that call routing patterns can instantly be adjusted to absorb an unexpected spike in call volume. If a given set of agents is suddenly unable to take calls, incoming calls should then be seamlessly routed to the next available skilled agent, and this shift should be invisible to the customer. Routing rules should be flexible and easily changed.

Maintaining high agent morale and team spirit is a challenge for widely dispersed home agents. Since agents in a virtual contact center do not share the same physical space, virtual contact centers must take extra measures to ensure morale remains high and agents are able to give each other the benefit of their experiences. Social networks have been used with success to help remote agents build a sense of community and ask work-related questions. Another strategy is to provide agents with structured performance-based incentives, which can include giving high-performing agents more access to coveted time slots. Associated with this strategy, agents are kept constantly aware of their performance relative to their peers via clearly defined metrics.


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