Global Virtual Numbers and the International Call Center
Running a call center is challenging enough; add global virtual numbers to the mix and it becomes even more complicated. However, this challenge can be solved with an understanding of how global virtual numbers work and the right staff.
It’s important to understand how global virtual numbers work so that you can plan accordingly. These numbers are call forwarding numbers assigned to various countries around the world. They appear “local” to callers in these countries, yet they ring to a call center located somewhere else. For example, a caller in the United States may dial a traditional 1-800 number at 2:30 PM and be connected to a customer service representative in Singapore where it’s 5:30 in the morning.
In this example, the international call center in Singapore would need to have a team of customer service representatives who are fluent in English. Because of the time differences between the two countries, this team would need to work an unusual shift. After all, callers in the United States expect someone to answer phone calls during business hours. Not only must the call center have English-speaking staff available, it needs to be in tune with local time in the U.S.
To further complicate matters, international call centers often answer calls from other global virtual numbers. If our theoretical call center in Singapore also handles callers from the United Kingdom, Australia, and Russia, it will need English and Russian-speaking customer service representatives available during those countries’ business hours.
In addition to accommodating callers through staffing, the technology that powers global virtual numbers also has a role to play.
For example, callers who call at 9:00 PM local time do not generally expect a live person to answer the phone. In fact, many prefer to call afterhours so that they can simply leave a voicemail message and receive a callback the next day with answers. A feature called “time of day routing” can control how calls are routed based on the time of day it is in the originating country. The call center manager could set each global call forwarding number to ring to the call center during local business hours and then to voicemail afterhours. From there, appropriate staffing levels could be determined around these schedules. In addition, global virtual phone numbers can be set to emit a “local” ringtone so that callers hear the traditional ringing sound that their country’s phone system uses.
Global virtual numbers
Makes it possible for a single call center to handle calls from around the world, around the clock. Once you understand what calls are coming in, from where, and when, you can then staff the call center with the right people at the right time to handle those calls.