The Pros and Cons of Starting a Virtual Call Center Business
A virtual call center involves contracting with businesses to answer and monitor phone calls. Because it is a "virtual" center, it can be located anywhere in the world, regardless of the location of the business being served. A virtual call center business can cater to businesses that handle incoming customer service or technical calls but don't want to invest in a dedicated in-house staff for that purpose. This type of business can be started quickly and relatively inexpensively, and it has the potential to produce significant levels of income.
As you get started researching virtual call center businesses, consider these benefits:
- If running the business from a home office, startup costs can be limited to the computer and telephone system you'll need to take and route calls.
- Some virtual call centers can be operated as home-based businesses. And even if running the business from your home, additional employees still can be added if they are equipped to handle calls from their own homes.
- Incoming calls can be a drain on resources for businesses with a high volume of incoming calls, so there always is a need for reliable call centers.
- If you are an outgoing person with excellent people skills, this is an opportunity to make a career out of talking to and helping others.
- You can service local clients as well as clients from around the globe via the internet.
A virtual call center business has many benefits, but it's not without challenges. Some of the potential challenges of starting a virtual call center business include:
- Even if you're having a bad day, you always need to sound upbeat and positive for your callers. When things are falling apart, you still need to have a consistently pleasant voice, professional phone etiquette, and excellent organizational skills.
- Calls can come fast and frequently, and keeping up can be a challenge. Thriving in a fast-paced environment is a must. Some clients will have a high enough volume of calls that you sometimes will need to juggle more than one at a time.
- Necessary telephone equipment can be expensive, and you may need training to operate it expertly. You need a high-quality multi-line phone or virtual phone system, and you need to be an expert at operating it.
- You may need to be flexible on your hours of operation and willing to work evenings and weekends to accommodate clients in different time zones. As well, even some local businesses may be seeking call center support for evenings and weekends when their own offices are closed.
- It can be challenging to market your business and find clients. While networking with business owners in your community can help you with local clients, you need to have a plan for reaching clients outside of your surrounding area.
As you get started with making your virtual call center business idea a reality, take time to create a business plan to guide you, even if it is a quick, streamlined version. And learn from others' common startup mistakes so that you don't make the same errors when getting your business up and running.