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Virtual Call Center

Jive offers a powerful, user-friendly Virtual Call Center solution (also called Hosted Call Center). With its robust feature set, intuitive web interface and detailed reporting and tracking, our solutions are a perfect fit for both in-house and outsourced virtual call center applications.

We're also able to offer integration between our service and popular CRM software such as SalesForce, Microsoft Dynamics and SugarCRM. Streamline your call center deployment with click-to-dial from your CRM, screen pops, conference calling, and more.

This page will walk you through our specialized virtual call center service and how it can make your deployment work more efficiently for you. It will also serve as a primer if you're new to the topic: you can learn about the process of setting up a virtual call center, see an example of virtual call center design, and brush up on your call center terminology.

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Top 10 Reasons to choose our Virtual Call Center

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1. Get a Full-Featured Call Center and Hosted PBX

Our "Call-In-1" virtual call center solution combines Jive's robust Hosted PBX platform and North American network to deliver state-of-the-art contact center technology for departments or teams of any size.
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2. Easy to Design, Deploy, Train & Support

With increased flexibility, you can spend less time managing the system and more time with your team. Our Project Managers and Network Architects will help design a virtual call center solution tailored to your business. Your dedicated account manager will work with you to provide full training via webinar, video and on-site presentation (where available).
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3. Cost-Effective, with Rapid ROI

Reduce or eliminate specialized hardware, software and IT expenses! In most cases, we reduce 80 per cent of the upfront capital, installation, configuration and ongoing costs. With the cost savings benefits of cloud-based services, your ROI is easier to achieve by reducing deployment and training timelines. We can have your virtual call center operating within 5 business days!
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4. Connect Your CRM

The Call-In-1 solution integrates voicemail, email and CRM straight out of the box (with most major CRMs). Benefit from click-to-dial from the CRM screen, screen pops, conference calling, extension dialing and hot keys for pre-recorded voicemail messages.
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5. Your Management Toolset

The Call-In-1 virtual call center solution makes it easy to manage and measure your workforce with historical and real-time metrics. With Call-in-1's user-friendly interface you have the ability to adjust Call Queues and Target Service Levels, Skill-based Routing, Agent Timeouts, Join or Leave when Empty and more. Our aim is to increase productivity and simplify management!
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6. Reliable Network, Platform and Interface

As a premier North American telecom company, we run a voice network optimized for quality, stability, and redundancy. Our developers and technical staff are in-house, constantly upgrading our proprietary platform and distributing updates free of charge. The Call-In-1 virtual call center solution is feature-rich and managed through a user-friendly web interface.
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7. Anywhere - Anytime

The Call-in-1 virtual call center solution is Cloud-based and accommodates remote workers or seasonal business. With the click of a button you can add or remove agents to multiple campaigns. Our Call-In-1 package can be accessed throughout the world and is scalable and easily deployed to in-house, home-based and offshore agents providing a flexible staffing option. Call-In-1 is truly a solution to fit the needs of any business.
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8. Get Better Performance Metrics

Quickly and easily gather key indicators - such as average hold time, percent answered vs. abandoned, longest time to answer, and much more! Our virtual call center offers you tracking and reporting of these critical metrics, and lets you get even more granular by specifying which date ranges and call queues you wish to examine. You can also easily export to spreadsheet format for review.
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9. Build Your Call-in-1 Solution

Your Project Manager will perform an in-depth needs analysis and guide you in building a tailored solution that meets your contact center requirements. Take advantage of our resources to efficiently plan and deploy the virtual call center that will meet and exceed your business needs now and into the future.
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10. We Have You Covered

As a truly North American telecom company we provide unparalleled reach. Our service will allow you to: transfer existing numbers from across North America to our service; offer your customers toll-free and local contact options; receive faxes via e-mail; and send faxes digitally.

Requirements (PDF format)

We've developed a series of documents of Virtual Call Center requirements, which are available free of charge, in PDF format. Simply click to download the document(s) that interest you. Please note that you will require the Adobe Acrobat reader software; please visit http://get.adobe.com/reader/ to download the software.
Requirements, Part 1: Internet
This document serves as a high-level introduction to the Internet infrastructure you'll need to launch your Virtual Call Center.
Requirements, Part 2: Software
Your selection of software will be critical to the success of your call center deployment. Find out how to develop a list of needs and wants to help guide your choices.
Requirements, Part 3: Phones
To get the most out of your deployment, you'll need to choose phone models that give your staff all the features and flexibility they need, while remaining cost-effective.
Requirements, Part 4: Provider
Even after completing the three previous steps, you must be sure to choose the right provider for your needs. Reliability and support quality are mission-critical.

What is a Virtual Call Center?

Definition from Wikipedia: A call center or call centre is a centralized office used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone.

Simply put, a virtual call center is a group of staff who make and/or receive a large volume of incoming and/or outgoing calls, typically for a focused business application. For example, many virtual call centers provide technical or product support. Others are focused on generating sales; still others may include medical call centers managing patients, or centers acting on behalf of charitable organizations to solicit donations.

A Virtual Call Center, or Hosted Call Center, is very similar in concept to a traditional call center configuration, but has some important advantages.

Firstly, a virtual call center does not have to be in a "centralized office" as the above definition states. Although this is certainly one possible configuration, it is not required. With our Hosted PBX Technology, your virtual call center agents can be decentralized and physically far apart, but still integrated seamlessly into one system using our virtual call center software.
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Virtual Call Center Advantages

The web-based nature of our Virtual Call Center service allows for a great deal of flexibility and customizability on the fly. With Jive, virtual call centers can be rapidly deployed, scaled, and modified to meet your specific needs.

Call centers are by nature complex operations. Managers must oversee multiple agents, ensure that the constant volume of calls is answered, and still be accountable to their supervisors.

Jive makes virtual call center operation simple while giving managers all of the power and fine-grained control they need. We also offer end-users control over their own settings, such as signing themselves in and out of call queues. This distinction in access levels means that your virtual call center deployment enjoys greater security - you can choose which level of access you wish to grant to your staff.

See below for some illustrated examples of how we can streamline your virtual call center operations and help ensure that all your employees work efficiently while remaining highly accountable.
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Call Queues - the core of an effective Virtual Call Center

Any virtual call center consisting of more than two or three employees almost certainly needs a call queue system to manage incoming calls. Call queues allow virtual call center employees to efficiently deal with incoming calls by intelligently connecting customers to agents who are available and (optionally) not ringing employees who are currently engaged in a call and helping other customers. Agents are also able to sign themselves in and out of queues and set their status to "On Break" so that all agents and managers know that the particular agent is not currently available to take calls.

Through our virtual call center software, you can create multiple call queues and assign agents (members) to one or more of them. You're able to manage any queue by adding or removing agents at any time. See screenshot below for an example. This company runs a lawn and garden products website and has set up multiple queues within their virtual call center to answer calls for product inquiries, sales questions, support and more.

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An example of a company using multiple queues to manage their calls for various departments.
While waiting for an operator, your customers hear the music of your choice. You can also play custom on-hold promotional messages informing your customers of the products and services you offer and the benefits of dealing with your company. On-hold music is highly customizable - you can supply your own pre-recorded sound files, then upload and manage them at any time through our web-based virtual call center software.

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Choose whether the system will announce estimated hold time / position and how frequently it will do so.
To assure your customers that their call will be attended to, you can choose to have the system announce an estimated hold time / position and how frequently to announce it (see screenshot above).

Our virtual call center management software also allows you to specify a number of important overall settings, such as call distribution strategy. A strategy is essentially a "pattern" for receiving incoming calls and passing them to call queue members. For example, the simplest and most automatic call distribution strategy is to "Ring All," which simply means that all agents will be called simultaneously when an incoming call to the virtual call center arrives in the queue. The "Round Robin" strategy will ring the whole group, but do it in sequence rather than simultaneously. "Random" does exactly what its name suggests. There are more strategies and we invite you to explore our software to find the one that's perfect for your own virtual call center.

Go further with customizing your queue configuration - Jive lets you set the following options to optimize your queues for your specific business application.
  • Target service levels: a reporting feature that lets virtual call center managers set targets for how quickly calls should ideally be answered, and checks how frequently in practice those targets are being met
  • Agent timeouts: (how long to ring each agent before moving to the next
  • Ring or Do Not Ring when in Use: choose whether calls should ring an agent who is already on the phone
  • Join when empty: Determines whether callers are able to join a queue that has no agents currently available
  • Leave when empty: Determines whether callers who are waiting in a queue should be forced to leave when the last available agent departs the queue and there are no agents left in the virtual call center
See screenshot below for illustrated example.

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Set a number of powerful top-level options for your queue(s).
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Virtual Call Center Tracking and Reporting Tools

Are you responsible for managing your company's virtual call center? If so, you'll be pleased to know that Jive offers you a comprehensive set of data tracking and reporting tools.

If you just need to quickly track the current status of your queues, simply hover your mouse over the queue name and you'll see a snapshot of the queue's current status, including a list of agents in the queue, when they last took a call, how many calls they've taken total, and more. See screenshot below.

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See all your call queues at a glance and the status of each agent in the queue.
You can also get a more detailed breakdown of each queue showing statistics such as active calls and recently completed calls, with data on entrance time, caller ID, wait time, and much more.

To see your virtual call center's detailed statistics over time, use our powerful Reporting interface. Choose a start date, specify a queue or number of queues, and choose whether you want an hourly report structure, and your data is presented in seconds. The data is extremely granular and allows you to immediately identify the following important criteria:
  • How many calls came into your virtual call center
  • How many of those calls were handled by agents
  • How many were abandoned
  • Average hold time before an agent answers
  • The average and longest times before an agent answered a call
  • How long the average caller waits before giving up
  • Total time your agents spent on the phone
  • ...and much more!
You can create customized reports by filtering data based on criteria such as:
  • Extension/Agent
  • Call type
  • Number called
  • Date Range
See screenshot below for a sample of reporting statistics. You can also export this data to a spreadsheet-friendly format.
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See fine-grained reporting statistics over a specific period of time and export it to your favourite spreadsheet software.

To get started on setting up your own customized virtual call center, contact an Jive representative to receive a free, no-obligation proposal.

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Virtual Call Center Terminology

  • Abandoned: Calls are considered abandoned when they are neither answered by an agent nor sent to voicemail or an alternative before the caller hangs up. Statistics dealing with abandoned calls (such as Percentage Abandoned and Average Abandoned Time) are important indicators of whether your virtual call center agents are attending to their calls in a timely manner.
  • ACD: Automatic Call Distribution. This feature directs calls to agents in queue on a first-come, first-served basis. Jive then allows you to set various strategies and top-level options for these queues, as well as options for what will happen to calls that go unanswered for a certain period of time.
  • Agent: The term "agent" simply refers to staff who serve in virtual call center capacities.
  • Agent Timeout: A figure, typically expressed in seconds, that determines how long the call queue will attempt to ring a given agent before giving up and moving to another agent in the queue.
  • ASA: Average speed to Answer. This figure represents an average of the wait time before calls are answered.
  • Handled: When your agents accept an incoming call, that call is considered to be Handled.
  • Idle: This state simply means that the agent is not currently handling any calls, and is available to do so.
  • Join when Empty: Set this value to allow or disallow callers to enter your call queues when no agents are available to handle calls. If you are concerned about callers waiting only to realize that no agents are available, you might wish to set this value to "No." However, if you have virtual call center agents who regularly rotate shifts and it is normal for your company to experience brief periods of time in which no agents are in the queue, then leave this value set to "Yes." When your agents enter the queue they will be notified of any waiting calls.
  • Offered: Calls that come into the queue are considered to be "Offered" calls. The calls are then either handled or abandoned.
  • Queue: One of the cornerstones of a call center system, a queue is essentially a "lineup" of calls waiting to be answered in an orderly manner by agents assigned to that queue. As described on this page, call queues can be highly customized to one's specific business needs.
  • Ring in Use: This setting dictates whether the call queue will notify agents of new incoming calls when those agents are already handling calls. If the setting's value is "no," the system will notify only agents who are currently "Idle" of incoming calls; it will not ring those agents who are already speaking. This may be desirable if managers do not want their agents being distracted once they have answered a call.
  • Target service level: A numeric goal for answering calls within a certain period of time. The figure is typically expressed as XX / YY, where XX is the percentage of calls and YY is the speed at which they should be answered. For example, a target service level of 80 / 20 indicates that a business intends to answer 80% of its calls within 20 seconds. Jive's call center reporting tools allow managers to track how well the goals are being met.
  • Total talk time: The sum of the time that all agents spent speaking to prospects/customers. This figure refers only to actual conversation time; hold time is not part of the calculation.
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