Running a customer service call center has been a necessary evil in the business world for over four decades. While the quality of customer service has skyrocketed during that time, the essence of the job is still the same. Two to thirty professionals drive the commute every day to come in and sit at company workstations in order to answer calls and resolve any issues that customers might have. For the vast majority of customer service representatives, help desk technicians, and customer care agents never see a customer in person. They never see the customers' homes or offices and don't even lay a hand on the devices they troubleshoot. Everything is done remotely, that is remote from the customers.
A System Built on Outdated Technology
So why then don't we simply let everyone skip the commute traffic every day and simply hire people to work from home? If they're pleasant and capable on the phone at an office desk, they can be pleasant and capable anywhere, right? The answer, though few realize it, is phone lines. When customers call a helpline, they aren't calling an individual employee's phone number, they're calling the single helpline number shared by the entire company.
Old-fashioned phone systems back then needed very special equipment to sort these calls to the phones on call center desks which are physically connected by cables to the hub. But times have changed and any wire-based phone system is already dinosaur bones in the fast-moving business environment. The fact of the matter is that pure software communication has, at this point, far outstripped the telephone system and while we will always be grateful for instant wire communication as a stepping stone, it's time to leave it, and systems based on it, behind.
How VOIP Changes Everything
VOIP is a revolutionary change in audio communication requiring nothing but high-speed internet and a working computer or mobile device to function. The most important thing to remember about VOIP is that it is essentially a cloud-based service meaning that it follows all the rules and gets all the perks of the cloud. First, it is accessible everywhere there is clear internet signal. Second, it is software, not a cabled communications infrastructure, so it can be used on any device that can install the software and access the internet. This means that VOIP can be used by anyone with a login on any device with the software installed from anywhere in the world with wifi. The accessibility is staggering, but it gets better.
Remember the reason why customer service reps have to come into work? They needed to be at their desks where the wired phones were, but VOIP is neither wired nor location based. Even better, numbers are assigned to logins, not locations. This means that you can answer your work number at your work desk, at your computer at home, in the car, or even during your morning jog as long as your cellphone has the app and you are logged in.
Remote Customer Service Through VOIP
The final nail in the coffin of traditional call centers is the fact that all business-grade VOIP services are more than capable of sorting calls to a helpline to VOIP employee numbers just like a traditional phone system but without the need for everyone to be at a nearby desk. This simple feature combined with the fact that customer service reps can answer their work numbers from anywhere means that being on the clock and providing help desk services can now become a fully remote occupation, complete with pajamas and a lap kitty.
For more information about VOIP or how it can be used in your business, contact us today!