What Are Virtual Call Centers? How To Get Started & The Best Software

What are virtual call centers? In this comprehensive post, we’ll cover how to set one up, pros and cons, industries, and the best software.
Published on: Nov 01, 2023
Last updated: Nov 02, 2023


  • Virtual call centers are remote, cloud-based alternatives to traditional call centers.
  • They rely on the internet and digital tools to connect agents with customers.
  • Virtual call centers offer cost-efficiency and scalability, reducing the need for physical office space.
  • They enable access to a global talent pool, facilitating diverse language and skill sets.
  • Remote work and various communication methods, including cobrowsing, enhance flexibility and continuity.
  • Industries like e-commerce, healthcare, finance, and more use virtual call centers for scalable and cost-effective customer support.
  • Challenges in remote management and security concerns, such as data breaches, are potential drawbacks.
  • Ensuring employee engagement and supervision in a remote setting can be challenging.
  • Setting up a virtual call center involves business planning, hiring, training, software selection, and infrastructure setup.
  • Recommended virtual call center software includes options like Fullview, Zendesk, Intercom, and Dixa.

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In today's highly competitive business landscape, customer service stands as the cornerstone of success. With so many options out there, it’s not enough to offer what’s considered ‘good’ customer service. It must be superior to what’s provided by your competitors.

Surprisingly, statistics show that 58 percent of U.S. consumers are willing to pay more for a brand that offers better customer service than its rivals. However, in an era where remote work has become the norm, businesses no longer have the option of housing customer service agents in a physical office.

The good news is that virtual call centers present the perfect solution to bridge this gap. In this article, we’ll talk about what virtual call centers are, dissect their key components, highlight the advantages and drawbacks of this technology, and guide you through the process of setting up your very own virtual call center.

Definition of virtual call centers

To start, we need to understand what virtual call centers are. Virtual call centers are also known as:

  • Remote call centers
  • Cloud-based call centers
  • Virtual contact centers

A traditional call center is typically located within a centralized office where you’ll find all call agents under one roof. Virtual call centers utilize the internet and digital tools to connect agents from different locations with customers. This makes it possible to provide top-notch service from anywhere.

Since the workforce has moved to a primarily remote work model, virtual call centers have grown in popularity as opposed to traditional call centers. Virtual call centers are also cost-effective due to not having to pay for an office space for employees.

Key components of virtual call centers

A virtual call center is made up of several key components, including:

  • Remote virtual call agents
  • Cloud-based software
  • Integrated communication tools

When working remotely, agents can’t get up and walk across the room to ask someone a question. That means they’re going to need cloud-based software as well as communication tools in order to provide customer service.

These three components along with practicing the best customer support practices will allow a virtual call center to function seamlessly.

How they differ from traditional call centers

There are several differences between a traditional call center and a virtual one. The most obvious being that a virtual call center doesn’t conduct business within a physical office. Employees can be located all over the world working remotely, which gives businesses the ability to provide customer service at any time of day. (customers LOVE that.)

Another way virtual call centers differ is that the scalability is essentially endless. Since they aren’t confined to the space of one office, as business grows they can add more agents as needed at little extra cost.

How do virtual call centers work?

Now we’re going to dive into how virtual call centers work. It can be confusing if you don’t know what you’re getting into, so we’ve broken it up into a comprehensive guide.

The technology behind virtual call centers

Technology is the backbone of the virtual call center. The technology stack works together as the foundation to ensure seamless and efficient operations across the business. It typically includes:

  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • VoIP facilitates clear communication between agents and customers no matter where they are in the world.
  • Customer relationship management systems (CRM)
  • CRMs are utilized by agents to gather customer data to improve service with personalized interactions and effective resolutions.
  • Data Analytics and session replays
  • Data analytics are used to provide real-time insights that drive decision-making during a call along with optimizing the process.
  • Session replays technology makes it so that companies can auto-record and watch users sessions in their app or on their website so they can identify user behavioral patterns and issues with their product.
  • Cobrowsing
  • Cobrowsing technology gives agents the ability to initiate a screen control session with users live on the company's website or app to guide them through the process of solving issues. It’s an essential component of technical support.

Together, these technologies not only help call center agents efficiently handle calls, but they also drastically improve the delivery of customer service.

Virtual call center infrastructure

A robust infrastructure is the unsung hero of a virtual call center. It provides a solid foundation that uninterrupted and stellar service is built upon. Server hosting is a crucial element to ensure that there are no limitations to not having a physical office. Redundancy plays a pivotal role, with backup servers and failover systems standing ready to kick in should a primary component falter, guaranteeing continuity.

Network security measures, including firewalls and encryption, create an impenetrable shield to safeguard sensitive customer data. The importance of such a resilient infrastructure cannot be overstated, as it ensures that customer interactions are seamless, irrespective of unforeseen disruptions, making it the cornerstone of a virtual call center's reliability and performance.

Remote work and communication

In the world of virtual call centers, remote work and communication are a dynamic duo that allows businesses to provide powerful customer support. While they are referred to as a virtual call center, agents will use various forms of communication such as calls, live chat, and email to talk to customers as well as other agents.

Another tool call center agents can use is cobrowsing. In addition to using communication tools like live chat and being on the phone, cobrowsing is an excellent way to enhance the customer experience. With cobrowsing, you can look at the problem together, take control of a user’s computer screen and solve issues in real-time.

Virtual call centers also allow agents the ability to telecommute. Gone are the days of driving into the office and working on the same schedule. This also gives agents the option to work in different time zones if they prefer to work different hours.

In what industries are virtual call centers used?

There are many different industries that can benefit from using virtual call centers, such as:

  • E-commerce: E-commerce businesses often require customer support to address inquiries, process orders, and handle returns. Virtual call centers allow for scalability and cost-effective customer service during peak seasons.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare providers use virtual call centers for appointment scheduling, prescription refills, and medical inquiries. This ensures patients have access to the support they need.
  • Finance and Banking: Financial institutions employ virtual call centers for account management, fraud detection, and customer inquiries. Remote agents can provide services securely and efficiently.
  • Insurance: Insurance companies utilize virtual call centers for claims processing, policy inquiries, and customer support. Agents can handle claims from various locations while ensuring data security.
  • Travel and Hospitality: The travel industry benefits from virtual call centers for booking reservations, handling travel-related inquiries, and providing assistance to travelers around the clock.
  • Technology and Software: Tech companies use virtual call centers for technical support, software troubleshooting, and product inquiries. This approach ensures timely and responsive customer assistance.
  • Education: Educational institutions use virtual call centers for student inquiries, enrollment support, and academic counseling, especially in the era of online learning.
  • Real Estate: Real estate agencies can benefit from virtual call centers for handling property inquiries, appointment scheduling, and providing information about listings.

What are the benefits of a virtual call center?

Virtual call centers are an excellent alternative to traditional call centers in many ways.

Cost-efficiency and scalability

First, virtual call centers are cost-effective. No longer do businesses need to rent out an office space to house employees, or expensive security hardware. Since the software is cloud-based, it’s unnecessary to spend cash on large physical hard drives and other security equipment. So, along with saving on rent, businesses are cutting costs in other areas as well.

All agents will typically need is a laptop, headset, and internet access to run everything needed to work. No more huge desktops and cubicles to worry about.

Along with saving on cost, having what is essentially a digital office means there are no space limitations. A business can grow exponentially without having to move to a new location with more space. As long as you can pay your employees and provide them with equipment, a virtual call center can grow and grow.

Access to global talent

Another benefit to a virtual call center is that you’ll have access to a global talent pool as opposed to only those who could make it into the office. Companies can hire skilled agents from around the world to create a powerhouse support setup to deliver the best customer service in their industry.

This also allows businesses to hire employees with diverse languages and skill sets. Having a team that can provide customer service globally will set you apart from the rest.

Improved flexibility and continuity

Since there is no physical office, virtual call centers allow employees more flexibility in the hours they choose to hours. For example, if employees want to work at night, they can work different hours to provide customer service even after business hours and to customers across the globe.

The virtual format also allows for continuity even during challenging circumstances. Since agents aren’t in one location, there is better disaster recovery and an opportunity to continue to provide service.

What are the drawbacks of a virtual call center?

Yes, there are tons of reasons to start a virtual call center, but there are also drawbacks to this model.

Challenges of remote management

Managing employees who are remote means that you won’t be able to look over their shoulder. They are typically in their homes, which can make monitoring performance and team collaboration difficult. Training can also be hard since you’ll be doing it remotely through a video call.

To combat this, it’s important to provide consistent feedback to agents as well as recognition for their efforts. This will help keep teams motivated and help them grow. While providing service to customers, agents should also have access to support when they have technical issues on the job, as well.

Potential security concerns

Something to consider when operating a virtual call center is security risks. With everything operating on a cloud-based infrastructure, there’s potential for data breaches, privacy and compliance issues.

To mitigate these concerns, ensure that your team is aware of all data privacy policies as well as having them use secure communication channels. If you’re working with sensitive data such as medical records, make sure you are in compliance with HIPAA regulations. Comprehensive employee training on data security is an absolute must in a virtual call center.

Employee engagement and supervision

It can also be difficult to keep remote employees engaged and motivated. Regardless of being in an office, it’s important to still do team-building exercises such as:

  • Online games
  • Team challenges
  • Collaborative projects
  • Virtual happy hours

It’s important to remember that even though employees are remote, they should still be engaged in the workplace and feel included. As for supervision, having weekly individual meetings with call center agents can give you a place to provide constructive feedback as well as allow them to voice any concerns.

How to set up a virtual call center?

Now that we know all about what a virtual call center is, it’s time to talk about how to set up your own!

Step-by-step guide

  • Business planning
  • The first thing you should do is develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your objectives, finances, required funding, and long-term strategies and goals.
  • Hiring
  • It’s crucial to vet and select remote agents with the necessary qualifications to do the job such as strong communication skills and product knowledge.
  • Training
  • Develop a structured training program that covers product knowledge, customer service techniques, and software.
  • Software selection
  • Choose a reliable virtual call center software that aligns with your business needs such as CRM, VoIP, and cobrowsing tools.
  • Infrastructure setup
  • Establish a server hosting solution for your virtual call center that ensures redundancy and security measures along with a disaster recovery plan.
  • You will also need to implement data security measures such as encryption and access control.

Legal and regulatory considerations

Legal and regulatory considerations are paramount when running a virtual call center, as they encompass a range of aspects, from data protection to labor laws. One of the biggest concerns is data privacy and security.

Labor laws and regulations also play a critical role. In a virtual setting, businesses must navigate the complexities of employment laws across various regions, as remote agents may be located in different jurisdictions. It's imperative to stay compliant with employment contracts, wage and hour regulations, and tax laws specific to remote work in each geographic area. Providing a safe and ergonomic workspace for remote agents is also sometimes a legal responsibility.

Technology and equipment requirements

Setting up a virtual call center requires a comprehensive array of technology and equipment to ensure remote agents can effectively provide customer support. Here's a bulleted list of the essential components:

Hardware and Equipment:

  • Computers or laptops: Remote agents should have reliable computers or laptops with up-to-date hardware for running virtual call center software.
  • High-speed internet connections: A stable and high-speed internet connection is crucial for seamless communication with customers and accessing online resources.
  • Headsets with noise-cancellation features: Quality headsets with noise-cancellation capabilities ensure clear communication and minimize distractions.
  • Webcams: Video communication tools may require webcams for visual interactions with customers and team members.
  • Desk and ergonomic chair: Providing a comfortable workspace is essential for agent well-being and productivity.


Choosing the right tech stack is also essential. Here are a few software platforms you’ll need to include:

  • Helpdesk software like Zendesk
  • Multichannel support software such as Dixa
  • Technical support software like Fullview
  • Chatbox software such as Intercom

Best virtual call center software

We know that having virtual call center software is essential, but what are the best ones? In this section we’re going to cover:

  • Fullview
  • Zendesk
  • Intercom
  • Fullview
  • Dixa

Technical support software: Fullview

With cobrowsing and replays at your fingertips, Fullview is an essential technical support software for starting a virtual call center — especially in work in SaaS, financial services, or insurance.


  • Cobrowsing and zero-download screen control
  • An in-call chat feature
  • Annotation tools
  • Console logs
  • Session replay recordings
  • Call recordings


  • Zero downloads and easy installation
  • Cobrowing on your website or web app, or on third-party websites
  • Filter options to find recordings
  • Progress bar on session replay recordings so agents can skip ahead to moments of interest during a user session in their app
  • Auto-detection of bugs and user frustration signals such as rage clicks
  • 100% GDPR compliant
  • Data blurring and customizable privacy controls


  • Fullview doesn’t support mobile apps at this time


  • There is a free plan and free trial to start with on pro plans
  • Pro plans start at $47 agent per month with a minimum of 5 seats
  • For enterprise plans, you must book a call for a quote

User Reviews

Fullview has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on G2. Users love that Fullview is “very helpful to conduct a team connect with a video call” and “the ability to set up replays.” However, some users have noted “technical issues at some times.”

Helpdesk software: Zendesk


Zendesk is a prominent name in the realm of helpdesk software, offering a range of features designed to streamline customer support and issue resolution


  • Multichannel support
  • Ticketing system
  • Knowledge base
  • Automation
  • Reporting and analytics


  • User-friendly interface
  • Customizability
  • Many integration capabilities


  • Cost
  • Learning curve


Zendesk has multiple pricing plans. Something to keep in mind is that Zendesk can be pricey depending on the scale of your business.

  • Essential: Starting at $5 per agent per month, this plan includes core customer support features.
  • Team: Starting at $19 per agent per month, this plan adds collaboration features for teams.
  • Professional: Starting at $49 per agent per month, this plan offers more advanced support tools and analytics.
  • Enterprise: Starting at $99 per agent per month, this plan is designed for large organizations, providing custom reporting and data options.
  • Enterprise Plus: For larger enterprises, Zendesk offers a custom-priced plan with additional support and security features.

User reviews

On Software Advice, Zendesk has a 4.4 out of 5 stars rating with 3,747 reviews. Users love “how easy anyone can be trained to use this,” and “making sure clients are taken care of.” Others docked points because “their technical support is poor and hard to get.”

CRM software: Intercom


Intercom is a renowned name in the CRM software realm, specializing in customer messaging and engagement.


  • In-App Messaging
  • Email Marketing
  • Customer Data Management
  • Chatbots and Automation
  • Customizable Chat Widgets
  • Integration Capabilities


  • Real-Time Customer Engagement
  • Customer Data Centralization
  • Automation
  • Customization
  • In-App Messaging


  • Pricing
  • Learning Curve for Complex Features
  • Limited Reporting in Lower Plans
  • Focused on Messaging


  • Tiered Pricing: Intercom typically offers tiered pricing plans, with the cost varying depending on the features, support, and the number of users required.
  • Custom Quotes: For larger enterprises or businesses with specific needs, Intercom often provides custom quotes, tailored to the organization's requirements.
  • Free Trial: Most often, Intercom provides a free trial period for businesses to explore its features before committing to a paid plan.
  • Add-Ons and Integrations: Additional costs may be associated with add-ons, integrations, and any extra services or support required beyond the standard plan features.

User reviews

On Capterra, Intercom has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating with 1,014 reviews. Users love that “Intercom helps us get in touch with our user base quickly” and that they “have good support, good training materials and they are always releasing new features.” Others didn’t like that “a lot of ad block tools catch Intercom and block it.”

Multichannel support software: Dixa


Dixa is one of the top contenders in the world of multichannel support software, offering a suite of features that are designed to enhance customer support and engagement.


  • Omnichannel Support
  • Intelligent Routing
  • Real-Time Collaboration
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Integration Capabilities


  • Omnichannel Support
  • Intelligent Routing
  • Real-Time Collaboration
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Integration Capabilities


  • Pricing
  • Learning Curve for Advanced Features
  • Limited Reporting in Lower Plans
  • Focused on Customer Support


  • Tiered Pricing: Dixa typically offers tiered pricing plans, with the cost varying depending on the features, support, and the number of users required.
  • Custom Quotes: For larger enterprises or businesses with specific needs, Dixa often provides custom quotes, tailored to the organization's requirements.
  • Free Trial: Most often, Dixa provides a free trial period for businesses to explore its features before committing to a paid plan.
  • Add-Ons and Integrations: Additional costs may be associated with add-ons, integrations, and any extra services or support required beyond the standard plan features.

User reviews

On Capterra, Dixa has a 4.3 out of 5 stars. Users enjoy that Dixa has “excellent performance” and has a “flexibility for work that improves business performance.” What they don’t like is that the “analytics needs enhancements.”


The bottom line is that virtual call centers are a critical part of today’s evolving business landscape. Using the right tools and ensuring the proper security measures are in order will set you up for success to expand your customer support reach.


Sources last checked: 01-Nov-2023


Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager


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