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How to Start a Virtual Call Center - An In-depth Guide

virtual call center
  • This guide will help you to understand, how to launch your virtual call center whether it’s inbound, outbound, onshore, or offshore while adhering to industry guidelines.
  • The benefits of virtual call centers are many like remote working, no need for dedicated offices in multiple locations, less upfront investment, minimal infrastructure, and the ability to communicate using existing devices like mobiles, laptops, and tablets.
  • Here you will learn the steps involved in setting up your virtual call center without the need for complex IT skills.

Table Of Contents:

What is a virtual call center?
How to start your virtual call center
Start with TeleCMI Virtual Call Center Software
Frequently asked questions

What is a virtual call center?

  • A virtual call center enables sales and support agents to work remotely, rather than being physically located in a centralized call center. It uses cloud telephony software which allows call center teams to handle customer interactions from their own computers or mobile devices enabled with an internet connection.
  • As virtual call centers can be located anywhere, they may be able to provide service in multiple languages or in multiple time zones.
  • Virtual call centers are often used by companies that want to reduce the cost of maintaining a physical call center facility, as well as by businesses that want to offer flexible work arrangements to their agents.

How to start your virtual call center

1. Choose the purpose of your call center

  • There are several types of call centers, like,
  • Inbound call centers: In an inbound call center, agents receive incoming calls from customers who are seeking support, assistance, or information.
  • Outbound call centers: In an outbound call center, agents make outgoing calls to customers for purposes such as telemarketing, sales, surveys, or debt collection.
  • Blended call centers: A blended call center combines inbound and outbound call center activities. Agents in a blended call center may receive incoming calls while also making outgoing calls.
  • Based on the above, determine the type of call center you want to launch and select the technology partner who can fulfill your requirements.
2. Choose communication channels
  • Choosing the right communication channels is crucial when starting a virtual call center. Here are some factors to consider when selecting communication channels:
  • Customer preferences: It is essential to understand how customers prefer to communicate. Conduct market research or analyze your customer data to determine their preferred channels. This can help you identify which channels to prioritize.
  • Nature of the inquiry: Different inquiries may require different channels. For example, a complex technical issue may require a voice call, while a simple query can be resolved via email or chat. Consider the nature of inquiries you expect to receive and choose channels that best suit them.
  • Agent skillset: Consider the skillset of your agents and select channels that align with their strengths. For instance, if your agents have strong writing skills, you may want to prioritize email or chat channels.
  • Cost: Different channels have different costs associated with them. Consider the cost of each channel and the volume of inquiries you expect to receive via each one.
  • Integration: Ensure that the channels you choose can be integrated with your existing systems and tools. This can help streamline communication, improve efficiency, and provide a better customer experience.
  • Some common communication channels for virtual call centers include:
  • Voice calls: This is the most traditional communication channel for call centers. It allows agents to have real-time conversations with customers over the phone.
  • Email: Email is a popular channel for handling customer inquiries that are less urgent or require a more detailed response.
  • Live chat: Live chat is an efficient channel for handling multiple inquiries simultaneously. It is especially useful for inquiries that can be resolved quickly. Examples like WhatsApp Business account and website/app live chat.
  • Social media: Social media platforms can be used to handle customer inquiries and provide support. However, this channel requires a strong social media presence and management.
  • Video conferencing: Video conferencing can be used for more complex inquiries that require a visual demonstration or explanation. It is especially useful for technical support or product demonstrations.
3. Choose a virtual call center software
  • Here are some factors to consider when selecting a virtual call center platform:
  • Features: Look for a platform that offers the features you need to support your call center operations. Some common features to consider include IVR, ACD, call recording, call monitoring, number masking, omnichannel communications, live reporting, VoIP calling, softphone, international calling, and analytics.
  • Scalability: Choose a platform that can scale with your business. Look for a platform that can easily add or remove agents, increase or decrease call volume, and support adding/removing virtual numbers or toll-free numbers.
  • Integrations: Ensure that the platform can integrate with your existing systems, such as CRM, help desk, or marketing automation tools. This can help streamline communication, improve efficiency, and provide a better customer experience.
  • Cost: Consider the cost of the platform, including any installation, licensing, or maintenance fees. Choose a platform that fits within your budget and provides a good return on investment.
  • Security: Look for a platform that is secure and compliant with industry regulations, such as ISO, PCI DSS, HIPAA, or GDPR. This can help protect sensitive customer data and avoid any legal or reputational issues.
  • User interface: Choose a platform that has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate for agents and supervisors. A platform with a clear and intuitive user interface can help improve productivity and reduce training time.
  • Customer support: Ensure that the platform provider offers good customer support, including technical support and training resources. Look for a provider that can provide support 24/7, as call center operations may run outside normal business hours.
  • Flexibility: Choose a platform that is flexible and can adapt to changing business needs. Look for a platform that allows you to customize settings and configurations to meet your specific requirements.
4. Configure your virtual call center
  • Configure IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system to manage incoming calls. Set up IVR menu options to help customers reach the right agent quickly. Configure routing rules to direct calls to the most appropriate agent.
  • Configure your Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) system to manage incoming calls. Set up call flow rules to ensure that calls are distributed evenly among agents. Configure queue settings to ensure that customers don't wait too long on hold.
  • Also, complete other required configurations before launching your virtual call center.

5. Set up a workspace

  • If needed, open a central office to manage your day-to-day operations and workforce. Recommended for large call centers with multiple teams, recruiters, and team managers.

6. Hire your team

  • Here are some key steps to follow when hiring workforce, team leaders, and CX experts:
  • Start by defining the job requirements for the positions you need to fill. This includes skills, experience, education, and other qualifications.
  • Advertise the positions in various online job portals and on social media. You can also post job listings on your company website and ask current employees for referrals.
  • Review resumes and applications to identify candidates who meet your job requirements. Conduct initial phone or video interviews to assess their communication skills, experience, and motivation.
  • Conduct skill-based assessments to evaluate candidates' ability to handle customer inquiries, follow procedures, and use the virtual call center platform effectively.
  • Check references to verify candidates' employment history, performance, and character.
  • Conduct background checks to ensure that candidates have no criminal history or other red flags.
  • Once you've identified the right candidates, extend job offers to them. Ensure that you clearly communicate job expectations, performance goals, and other details.
  • Furthermore, test the candidates' emotional intelligence and the ability to work under pressure as they are the most demanding skills in the call center work environment.

7. Train your team

  • Train your agents on your virtual call center platform, communication skills, customer service, and product or service knowledge. Provide them with the tools and resources they need to succeed in their roles.
  • Also, provide training on active listening, empathetic communication, and effective questioning techniques.

8. Develop policies and procedures

  • Develop policies that outline how your virtual call center will operate. This may include policies for call handling, outbound sales, customer service, escalation procedures, quality assurance, and other areas.
  • Develop procedures that outline the steps that agents should follow to carry out specific tasks. This may include procedures for handling customer inquiries, resolving technical issues, processing orders, and other tasks.
  • Regularly review and update your policies and procedures to ensure that they remain relevant and effective.

9. Obtain necessary licenses and permits

  • Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits is an important step when starting a virtual call center. The specific licenses and permits required may vary depending on the location of your business and the regulations in your industry.

10. Develop your service level agreements (SLAs)

  • Develop SLAs that clearly define the level of service your customers can expect, including response times, call resolution times, and customer satisfaction goals.

11. Implement a security protocol

  • Implement a security protocol to protect sensitive customer data, such as credit card information or personal identification numbers (PINs). Use encryption, VPN, firewalls, and other security measures to prevent data breaches. Choose a reliable cloud-based phone system for your virtual call center.

12. Set up your payment processing

  • Determine how you will accept payments from your clients and set up a payment processing system that is secure and convenient for your clients.
13. Establish a quality assurance program
  • Implement a quality assurance program to monitor and evaluate the performance of your agents, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that your customers are receiving the highest quality service.
14. Develop a disaster recovery plan
  • Develop a disaster recovery plan to ensure that your virtual contact center can continue operating in the event of a natural disaster or other unforeseen events. As the virtual call center completely relies upon an internet connection and device battery level make sure you have the right backups like USP in place to mitigate unexpected situations like power outages, etc.
15. Set up your reporting and analytics
  • Set up and track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as call volume, call duration, agent productivity, and customer satisfaction. Use these insights to make data-driven decisions and improve your operations.
16. Launch your virtual call center
  • Begin with a soft launch and gradually increase your marketing efforts as your team gains experience.
17. Develop a marketing plan
  • Develop a marketing plan to promote your virtual call center and attract new clients. Consider using social media, paid advertising, and other marketing channels to reach your target audience.
18. Monitor and grow
  • Use your virtual call center software to monitor your agents' performance, track key performance indicators (KPIs), and make improvements to your operations as needed.
Start with TeleCMI Virtual Call Center Software
  • Setup your cloud call center the same day, work from anywhere, easy to use, and enjoy all call management features. Start your free trial or contact us to get a demo.

Frequently asked questions


Setting up a virtual call center requires a strong internet connection, cloud call center software, skilled agents, and hardware devices like mobiles and computers to manage customer interactions.


Setting up a remote call center involves selecting a technology partner, hiring remote staff, creating workflows, providing necessary resources to agents, and configuring call center software.


The number of agents your call center requires depends on agent productivity, tools you use, and daily call volume to be handled by staff both incoming and outgoing.


There is not only one best KPI in the call center, as they vary by different activities and metrics like KPIs for agents, managers, revenue, expenses, and overall call center performance. Commonly, the best KPIs are first call resolution, CSAT, agent turnover rate, and average call queue time.

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