Home-based call center agents (or virtual agents) are rapidly catching up to the tradition brick-and-mortar call centers in terms of popularity. In a recent survey, it was found that 15 to 20 percent of the total agent population in North America’s 60,000 contact centers worked from home. This is predicted to reach 30 percent by 2013.
The advantages to home-based agents are obvious, and companies are rapidly switching methods in order to reap the benefits.
One of the most enticing reasons to switch from a brick-and-mortar call center to a home-based call center is cost reductions. When call center agents work from home, companies no longer have the expense of providing office space for them, ultimately lowering rent and utility costs. Additionally, agents typically have their own internet access and computer, thus employers are no longer paying for those associated expenses.
Hiring home-based agents also widens the employee pool; people who have disabilities and have trouble leaving the house can now work as call center agents. Some companies are now hiring vision impaired agents, while others are hiring disabled war veterans.
Studies have shown that virtual agents are more productive than in-office employees and their attendance is higher. Perhaps because agents are able to work from the comfort of their home, they are more willing to do so even when they are feeling a little under the weather.
Virtual agents are surely the future of call centers; is your company ready to make the switch?