Pros and Cons of Starting a Virtual Call Center Business
According to Business Wire, global market share for virtual call centers is estimated to reach almost 48 Billion USD by 2025 as trends in outsourcing and virtual assistance continue to increase. Startups that offer virtual call services have several advantages that can provide savvy entrepreneurs with a lucrative and scalable opportunity. Reviewing the pros and cons of virtual call centers can help you establish a business model that works best for your management style, budget, and future goals.
You can either create your own branded company while subcontracting employees through a virtual call center or you can start your own call center with your own employees. Some companies blend both scenarios when they already have a call center at a brick-and-mortar location but choose to grow by outsourcing additional call volumes to virtual call centers. In this guide, we’ll look at the pros and cons of both approaches.
Subcontracted Call Center Cons
In this scenario, you can create your own brand to utilize the services of a pre-existing call center, managing the cost of the call service subscription against the price you will charge for these services. Creativity is key in finding ways to differentiate your specific brand from the services already offered, or in marketing to a new industry segment that hasn’t yet embraced widespread use of virtual call centers.
Lacking a brick-and-mortar structure can sometimes be a drawback to the appearance of legitimacy to some potential clients, especially when local meetings are required and your client doesn’t have adequate meeting space. You’ll have to be exceedingly efficient with your time to keep the highest possible profit margin, and you may want to build additional services into your sales package that only you can provide.
Subcontracted Call Center Pros
This kind of startup can be done with very little investment in hardware, space, or other capital requirements, and the freedom of location means you can set up a small home office anywhere and keep initial overhead low. Hiring and human resources functions can be minimal as you are outsourcing the employees through the virtual call center, which can significantly simplify your process and enable you to stay agile and responsive to new business.
Self-Hosted Call Center Cons
A professional call center will need cutting edge technology and processes to maintain efficiency, report metrics, and provide your clients with a robust interface they can use to manage their usage and procedures. This means you’ll need to purchase hardware and software licenses as well as furniture and supplies. While there are several out-of-the-box software solutions for call centers, you may also need to hire a software architect to design your branded client interface, which will all eat into your initial profits.
If you are the primary employee using this startup as a method for self-employment, you’ll need to have a backup system for the times you are sick, on vacation, or trying to catch up on other roles within your company. There are several duties you could outsource like accounting, HR functions and social media marketing, but you’ll need to determine cost-effectiveness.
Self-Hosted Call Center Pros
Business ideas with a clear edge over the competition or unique niche in the marketplace can shine in this scenario. You have creative license and complete control of the process to offer exactly the kind of custom-tailored experience in your startup vision without compromising details based on the more limited scope of abilities of a subcontracted virtual call center.
The beauty of virtual call centers is that business owners can blend both of these options as the company grows, bringing some services in-house or outsourcing them as needs change