So, we’ve talked about how to successfully hire remote customer support. Now, some of you might be wondering why you should hire remotely when you can also outsource to an onsite provider. After all, that option would still service your customers while taking such a time-consuming task off your hands.
Okay, before we go into the advantages of hiring virtual phone support professionals, let’s establish some definitions. Virtual phone support refers to customer-facing remote workers. They generally handle inbound calls from clients (e.g., concerns, requests, inquiries, etc).
Onsite call center agents, on the other hand, carry out the same functions, but in a physical location. They’re usually hired by one company and report to one office. Sometimes, they serve as in-house customer support, though they can also be subcontracted to other companies.
Initially, companies subcontracted their customer support to onsite call centers. As time went on, however, more and more of them shifted to virtual phone support professionals instead. Here are four reasons why:
1. Lower costs.
Setting up your own in-house call center is expensive. Apart from leasing the office space for it, you also need to provide each of your employees with their own desks, chairs, and amenities. Then there are phone terminals, hosting servers, and a PBX on top of all of that.
Even if you do outsource your phone support to an onsite call center, their charges would still reflect the aforementioned expenses.
Hiring virtual phone support, on the other hand, eliminates the need to provide all that hardware. Your remote phone support team would have their own, as well as their own working space at home. No need to lease big office spaces. Ditto for utilities. You won’t have to pay a cent for electricity, water, or maintenance charges with a distributed phone support team.
2. Improved mobility.
Virtual phone support professionals can work from anywhere, so long as they have a steady internet connection and the right equipment. Since they can work at home, they enjoy greater flexibility. Not having to deal with a stressful commute also ensures a more stable mood at work, something which your customers will definitely appreciate.
3. Reduced turnover.
The call center industry’s turnover and attrition rate is notoriously high. This is often due to a lot of stressors at work. Constantly being on the receiving end of complaints, late hours, and other work-related triggers are enough to make anyone quit before long.
While phone support will always be a challenging job, having control over your schedule and environment helps. This is where a remote staff comes in. Since they work from home, they have better control over their surroundings. They can also take a breather between calls as needed and the flexibility allows them to find comfort in their families every so often.
The bottom line is, a relaxed and relatively stress-free phone support staff is more likely to stay longer. They also tend to be more efficient and make for improved customer service.
4. Wider talent pool.
A distributed phone support team means that you won’t have to contend with geographical boundaries. This implies that you can hire the best people for the job, period, as opposed to the best people in your immediate area.
Furthermore, a global remote phone support workforce entails active talents in multiple time zones. This, in turn, enables you to extend your office hours. If you want, you can even provide 24/7 customer support, which could give you an edge over your competitors.
5. Smaller carbon footprint.
A remote phone support team is simply better for the environment. No physical commutes means less cars or vehicles on the road, and thus, less smog. The energy savings that come with a distributed team are also just as beneficial for the planet as they are for your business.
Lastly, since most virtual call center software operate on a cloud, you’d eliminate a lot of paper and hardware waste. How’s that for sustainability?
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