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Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology is the future of telephone and, more precisely, marketing communication. In this era of telemarketing, customer relationship management (CRM), and data collection, a VoIP call center optimizes response effectiveness, marketing strategy, and, in some cases internal company functions. Essentially, a VoIP call center centralizes telemarketing, ordering and customer service functions for various manufacturing and service companies.
VoIP is the breakdown of telephone voice data into digitized packets. The packets are then segmented, compartmentalized, and transmitted, in bits and bytes, via a packet switching network, to a designated Internet Protocol (IP) address. The receiver of the message will be another computer that collects and reassembles the data at the receiving end of the transmission and presents a voice on the receiving telephone. A VoIP system, therefore, all but eliminates the need for a Local Area Network (LAN) connection -- a phone line.
Ordinarily a large, open space divided into cubicles, a VoIP call center is a virtual warehouse for sales and marketing, and, to a lesser extent, customer service functions. A typical VoIP call center includes varying numbers of linked micro-computers, often called stations, as well as mainframes, desktop computers, and LANs. Because VoIP communication transmission and reception devices haven’t quite caught up to wireless technology, the need for some traditional LAN capability still exists.
The digitizing of telephone communications through the internet allows the staff of a VoIP call center to initiate and respond to almost limitless simultaneous telemarketing calls, phone orders, and/or customer inquiries. The efficiency and volume of telephone communications in a VoIP call center is micro-managed by technologies that are known collectively as Computer Telephony Integration (CTI).
Since all telephone functions are computerized, and since the Internet is far more capable of handling multiple phone transmissions than a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), a VoIP call center manager need not worry about overburdened telephone lines, or the expense of traditional telephone service. Prospect identification, CRM, oversight of service levels, and sales projections and results are all undertaken simultaneously at the call center using VoIP software.
Workers at a VoIP call center – euphemistically called “associates” or “agents” – are notoriously underpaid, overseen, and in many cases, desperate. These workers are often ineffective at presenting any sort of inspired telemarketing pitch. To avoid this, computers at the call center will automatically identify a sales prospect, dial the prospect’s number – at dinnertime, if possible – and, should the prospect be caught unaware, initiate a pre-recorded telemarketing pitch.
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