If you want to take your life into your own hands and become your own boss then there a few different entrepreneurial moves that you could make. If you’re comfortable talking with people on the phone and want to work from home, building a virtual call center might be the right option for you. There are plenty of benefits to starting your own virtual call center such as setting your own work schedule and being able to help people. There are minimal startup costs, so if you’re on a budget, starting a virtual call center won’t drain your resources. All you need to begin is a room with minimal background noise where others won’t disturb you, good software, and high-quality telephone equipment. Virtual call centers are great opportunities for marketers to make a higher profit by selling products and services over the phone.
As previously mentioned, the startup costs for a virtual call center are low. An important item that you will definitely need is a good quality headset. You will be wearing the headset while talking to clients on the phone for hours at a time, therefore a hands-free device that you will be completely comfortable with is very important. A wired telephone connected to the broadband internet is better suited to virtual call centers than a wireless device. Wired phones have better connections while broadband networks are faster and less likely to drop calls. In the virtual call center business, a dropped call could mean a dropped customer.
2. Feel Out Your Options
The previous trend implied that businesses were demanding local call centers instead of outsourcing overseas. However, now, we are seeing a shift towards hiring a virtual call center. And so, having the necessary cloud-based communication solutions becomes imperative.
Depending on your clients, you may have to download a specific software program or use an internet phone service such as Skype or a chat interface. If your client does not provide you with software, then it will be up to you to find one that works for your needs. Virtual call center software is essential when starting your business, but there are so many programs it may be a little overwhelming trying to find the right one for your center. There are many programs that are available and offer free trials, therefore you can try a few different options before committing to one program. Once you’ve chosen one, you will enjoy a lighter bill than a larger company may have to endure while maintaining an equal level of professionalism. These software programs allow you to work from home and eventually hire others that can work remotely from their homes as well. If this structure works for you, you will still have the ability to monitor their performance.
A few questions to ask yourself before committing to a program, according to the Aircall blog include, “What are your business’ particular requirements that your provider must be able to meet? Is your activity seasonal? Do you need to operate in a certain language, or from a certain area?” Once you have answered these questions you can discuss openly your needs with the software providers and they can guide you towards the best choice.
3. Impress Prospective Clients
Virtual call centers offer entrepreneurs a lot of options for finding clients because you are not restricted to your city or even just your state. Trying to get the first client for your startup task may seem like an insurmountable task and you need to be prepared to hit the ground running and be able to describe to any prospective clients why your new company is going to succeed where so many other startups fail. It is also important to research your prospective clients so that you will be able to assure them that you know the ins and outs of their business and will be able to represent their brand in a better way than a different call center would be able to. On the other hand, if they aren’t using a call center, let them know why they should be using one to beat their competitors and gain more customers.
Once you’ve set up your own virtual call center and found one or more clients, it’s time to really start growing your business. Becoming a good networker can bring opportunities from multiple time zones. Attend as many networking events as you can, but before you go, make sure you have created a list of your talents and skill sets. Knowing what you’re capable of and being able to articulate how you may be able to help them will make it easier for you to connect with someone. Always follow up with the people that you’ve met and they will often take it from there.
Other ways to network include using social media channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter. If there aren’t many networking events in your area or you just really don’t have the time, social media offers many opportunities. Don’t be afraid to send someone you don’t know an invitation to connect. Just be clear on your intentions up front and make sure you include a message, such as a resource they might find useful, or an offer of your services.
5. Rehearse Your Pitch; Take Care of Your Reps
Now that you have secured your clients, make sure that your sales pitch is up to par. Constant improvement is key to every great business. Practice your script over and over until you’ve perfected it, and then take notes on what works and what does not with your customers to perfect it even more. If you find your new software or telephone equipment to be a bit overwhelming to operate, don’t be afraid to find a training class. Especially as your business grows, knowing how to utilize your equipment is important when the multiple phone calls start to come in. This can be draining at first but eventually will become a welcome challenge.
Remember to be flexible on your hours of operation if you have clients in different time zones, too. As mentioned before, virtual call centers are great for people who are upbeat and positive with good social skills. This isn’t to say you won’t have a bad day every now and then; and besides, it’s important to find ways to handle the negatives that will inevitably pop up. Try some of the mental remedies such as playing uplifting music, practicing meditation and concentrating on gratitude. Focusing on your breath during a moment of intense emotions assists in calming your harsh thoughts. If you keep these tactics in mind throughout your process of creating your virtual call center, from the first thought to finalizing your client list, then your business idea will soon become a profitable enterprise. Also, keep average call center attrition rates in mind and work towards building a productive environment and team culture.