The call center industry is not limited to the voice calls whereby the customer representatives communicate with clients through verbal means. A non voice account pertains to an account in a call center wherein agents communicate with clients in written form instead of talking to them verbally. In which case, customer queries are responded to by agents through email or chat. Customer concerns are handled through a chat service where communications are typed instead of vocalized.
The non voice account in a call center is advantageous on the part of the agent because written communications are less demanding and impersonal in nature. It is less demanding because written English is more standardized. It is not subjected to cultural accents and intonations, which is emphasized in a voice account. Written communication is also impersonal which can better conceal the emotions of both parties involved in the communication. Unlike in verbal communications in which the tone, intonation and volume of the communicators become reflective of their emotional dispositions, written communications often have less emotional factors in communications that can get in the way for effective understanding. Written communications are therefore helpful in maintaining objectivity of the dialogue instead of getting carried away by the emotions of the parties talking.
A non voice account is easier to handle because common answers or replies to general queries of customers are already prepared and is just a matter of retrieving the right information. While written communication in a non voice account may be objective, it is nevertheless not absolutely free from irate customers, who may use explicit terms to show their disgust or fury towards the customer agent. In which case, agents are still encouraged to maintain proper decorum and etiquette in responding to irate customers.
One of the major advantages of a non-voice account on the part of the customer is prompt reply. Because communication is typed or written, agents can delay the reply to the customers, which is annoying especially on the part of the client. Non voice agents should ensure that they respond to customers as fast as possible and make sure that they provide the right information the correctly addresses the customer’s queries.
Most call center companies in the Philippines like Sykes Asia, SITEL and Aegis PeopleSupport, among others has a non voice account where agents answer customers through email or chat. The qualifications for such a job are almost the same with a typical voice call center agent. English proficiency in written communications is apparently highlighted. In most instances, agents in a voice account are hired internally among existing customer representatives. However, there are also positions that are open to the public. Finally, most non voice account agents require special software skills like database applications (MS Access) to handle the tasks of the job.