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Virtual Call Centre

Virtual Call Center

Easy Office Phone offers a powerful, user-friendly Virtual Call Center solution (also called
Hosted Call Center). With its robust feature set, intuitive web interface and detailed reporting and
tracking, our solutions are a perfect fit for both in-house and outsourced virtual call center
applications.
We're also able to offer integration between our service and popular CRM software such as
SalesForce, Microsoft Dynamics and SugarCRM. Streamline your call center deployment with
click-to-dial from your CRM, screen pops, conference calling, and more.
This page will walk you through our specialized virtual call center service and how it can make
your deployment work more efficiently for you. It will also serve as a primer if you're new to the
topic: you can learn about the process of setting up a virtual call center, see an example of virtual
call center design, and brush up on your call center terminology.

What is a Virtual Call Center?


Definition from Wikipedia: A call center or call centre is a centralized office used
for the purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume of requests by
telephone.
Simply put, a virtual call center is a group of staff who make and/or receive a large
volume of incoming and/or outgoing calls, typically for a focused business
application. For example, many virtual call centers provide technical or product
support. Others are focused on generating sales; still others may include medical
call centers managing patients, or centers acting on behalf of charitable
organizations to solicit donations.
A Virtual Call Center, or Hosted Call Center, is very similar in concept to a traditional
call center configuration, but has some important advantages.
Firstly, a virtual call center does not have to be in a "centralized office" as the above
definition states. Although this is certainly one possible configuration, it is not
required. With our Hosted PBX Technology, your virtual call center agents can be
decentralized and physically far apart, but still integrated seamlessly into one
system using our virtual call center software.
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Virtual Call Center Advantages


The web-based nature of our Virtual Call Center service allows for a great deal of
flexibility and customizability on the fly. With Easy Office Phone, virtual call centers
can be rapidly deployed, scaled, and modified to meet your specific needs.
Call centers are by nature complex operations. Managers must oversee multiple
agents, ensure that the constant volume of calls is answered, and still be
accountable to their supervisors.
Easy Office Phone makes virtual call center operation simple while giving managers
all of the power and fine-grained control they need. We also offer end-users control
over their own settings, such as signing themselves in and out of call queues. This
distinction in access levels means that your virtual call center deployment enjoys
greater security - you can choose which level of access you wish to grant to your
staff.
See below for some illustrated examples of how we can streamline your virtual call
center operations and help ensure that all your employees work efficiently while
remaining highly accountable.
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Call Queues - the core of an effective Virtual Call Center


Any virtual call center consisting of more than two or three employees almost
certainly needs a call queue system to manage incoming calls. Call queues allow
virtual call center employees to efficiently deal with incoming calls by intelligently
connecting customers to agents who are available and (optionally) not ringing
employees who are currently engaged in a call and helping other customers. Agents
are also able to sign themselves in and out of queues and set their status to "On
Break" so that all agents and managers know that the particular agent is not
currently available to take calls.
Through our virtual call center software, you can create multiple call queues and
assign agents (members) to one or more of them. You're able to manage any queue
by adding or removing agents at any time. See screenshot below for an example.
This company runs a lawn and garden products website and has set up multiple
queues within their virtual call center to answer calls for product inquiries, sales
questions, support and more.

An example of a company using multiple queues to manage their calls for various departments.
While waiting for an operator, your customers hear the music of your choice. You
can also play custom on-hold promotional messages informing your customers of
the products and services you offer and the benefits of dealing with your company.
On-hold music is highly customizable - you can supply your own pre-recorded sound
files, then upload and manage them at any time through our web-based virtual call
center software.

Choose whether the system will announce estimated hold time / position and how
frequently it will do so.
To assure your customers that their call will be attended to, you can choose to have
the system announce an estimated hold time / position and how frequently to
announce it (see screenshot above).
Our virtual call center management software also allows you to specify a number of
important overall settings, such as call distribution strategy. A strategy is essentially
a "pattern" for receiving incoming calls and passing them to call queue members.
For example, the simplest and most automatic call distribution strategy is to "Ring
All," which simply means that all agents will be called simultaneously when an
incoming call to the virtual call center arrives in the queue. The "Round Robin"
strategy will ring the whole group, but do it in sequence rather than simultaneously.
"Random" does exactly what its name suggests. There are more strategies and we
invite you to explore our software to find the one that's perfect for your own virtual
call center.
Go further with customizing your queue configuration - Easy Office Phone lets you
set the following options to optimize your queues for your specific business
application.

Target service levels: a reporting feature that lets virtual call center managers
set targets for how quickly calls should ideally be answered, and checks how
frequently in practice those targets are being met

Agent timeouts: (how long to ring each agent before moving to the next

Ring or Do Not Ring when in Use: choose whether calls should ring an agent
who is already on the phone

Join when empty: Determines whether callers are able to join a queue that
has no agents currently available

Leave when empty: Determines whether callers who are waiting in a queue
should be forced to leave when the last available agent departs the queue
and there are no agents left in the virtual call center

See screenshot below for illustrated example.

Set a number of powerful top-level options for your queue(s).


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Virtual Call Center Tracking and Reporting Tools


Are you responsible for managing your company's virtual call center? If so, you'll be
pleased to know that Easy Office Phone offers you a comprehensive set of data
tracking and reporting tools.
If you just need to quickly track the current status of your queues, simply hover
your mouse over the queue name and you'll see a snapshot of the queue's current
status, including a list of agents in the queue, when they last took a call, how many
calls they've taken total, and more. See screenshot below.

See all your call queues at a glance and the status of each agent in the queue.
You can also get a more detailed breakdown of each queue showing statistics such
as active calls and recently completed calls, with data on entrance time, caller ID,
wait time, and much more.
To see your virtual call center's detailed statistics over time, use our powerful
Reporting interface. Choose a start date, specify a queue or number of queues, and
choose whether you want an hourly report structure, and your data is presented in
seconds. The data is extremely granular and allows you to immediately identify the
following important criteria:

How many calls came into your virtual call center

How many of those calls were handled by agents

How many were abandoned

Average hold time before an agent answers

The average and longest times before an agent answered a call

How long the average caller waits before giving up

Total time your agents spent on the phone

...and much more!

You can create customized reports by filtering data based on criteria such as:

Extension/Agent

Call type

Number called

Date Range

See screenshot below for a sample of reporting statistics. You can also export this
data to a spreadsheet-friendly format.

See fine-grained reporting statistics over a specific period of time and export it to
your favourite spreadsheet software.

To get started on setting up your own customized virtual call center, contact an
Easy Office Phone representative to receive a free, no-obligation proposal.

Virtual Call Center Terminology

Abandoned: Calls are considered abandoned when they are neither


answered by an agent nor sent to voicemail or an alternative before the caller
hangs up. Statistics dealing with abandoned calls (such as Percentage
Abandoned and Average Abandoned Time) are important indicators of
whether your virtual call center agents are attending to their calls in a timely
manner.

ACD: Automatic Call Distribution. This feature directs calls to agents in


queue on a first-come, first-served basis. Easy Office Phone then allows you
to set various strategies and top-level options for these queues, as well as

options for what will happen to calls that go unanswered for a certain period
of time.

Agent: The term "agent" simply refers to staff who serve in virtual call center
capacities.

Agent Timeout: A figure, typically expressed in seconds, that determines


how long the call queue will attempt to ring a given agent before giving up
and moving to another agent in the queue.

ASA: Average speed to Answer. This figure represents an average of the wait
time before calls are answered.

Handled: When your agents accept an incoming call, that call is considered
to be Handled.

Idle: This state simply means that the agent is not currently handling any
calls, and is available to do so.

Join when Empty: Set this value to allow or disallow callers to enter your
call queues when no agents are available to handle calls. If you are
concerned about callers waiting only to realize that no agents are available,
you might wish to set this value to "No." However, if you have virtual call
center agents who regularly rotate shifts and it is normal for your company to
experience brief periods of time in which no agents are in the queue, then
leave this value set to "Yes." When your agents enter the queue they will be
notified of any waiting calls.

Offered: Calls that come into the queue are considered to be "Offered" calls.
The calls are then either handled or abandoned.

Queue: One of the cornerstones of a call center system, a queue is


essentially a "lineup" of calls waiting to be answered in an orderly manner by
agents assigned to that queue. As described on this page, call queues can be
highly customized to one's specific business needs.

Ring in Use: This setting dictates whether the call queue will notify agents of
new incoming calls when those agents are already handling calls. If the
setting's value is "no," the system will notify only agents who are currently
"Idle" of incoming calls; it will not ring those agents who are already
speaking. This may be desirable if managers do not want their agents being
distracted once they have answered a call.

Target service level: A numeric goal for answering calls within a certain
period of time. The figure is typically expressed as XX / YY, where XX is the
percentage of calls and YY is the speed at which they should be answered.
For example, a target service level of 80 / 20 indicates that a business
intends to answer 80% of its calls within 20 seconds. Easy Office Phone's call

center reporting tools allow managers to track how well the goals are being
met.

Total talk time: The sum of the time that all agents spent speaking to
prospects/customers. This figure refers only to actual conversation time; hold
time is not part of the calculation.