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What Is the difference between inbound and outbound call centers?

The call center is still essential for handling consumer queries in the era of chats and social media. According to the Call Center Helper report, despite bots and automation, still 81.5% of the total inbound call center interactions are handled by conventional technologies like the telephone and email. 

The experience comes the closest to direct client interaction. Call centers operate a lot of incoming and outgoing calls. You may choose the most satisfactory solution for your company by knowing the distinctions between inbound and outbound call centers. 

In this blog, we will discuss:

  • What is an inbound call center?
  • What is an outbound call center?
  • What Is the difference between inbound and outbound call centers?
  • Types of Inbound Calls
  • Two categories of Outbound Call Centers
  • Cold Calls
  • Warm Calls
  • Types of Outbound Call Centers

What Is an Inbound Call Center?

Inbound call centers, as the name suggests, deal mostly with incoming phone calls from current and new customers. Given the nature of the calls, this kind of call center leans more toward providing excellent customer service.

Answering inquiries and addressing customer issues are the main priorities of inbound call centers. Inbound call centers are also handling customer concerns. It is critical that these representatives are kind, helpful, and knowledgeable about company policy because they frequently represent your organization to many clients as their sole point of contact. According to VOIP statistics, when a customer’s problem is resolved on the first call, only 1% is likely to go to a competitor as compared to 15% when the issue is not addressed sufficiently.

What Is an Outbound Call Center?

Unlike inbound call centers, outbound call centers typically place more calls than they receive. Their key priorities are creating sales, interacting with current and new clients, and promoting the business.

These call centers often provide lists of current or potential customers to their support agents. 

What Is the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Call Centers?

The call centers that handle inbound and outbound calls are extremely different. Outbound call centers make sales calls, while inbound call centers take calls. The two call centers have different goals as well. Inbound call centers often respond to consumer complaints in an effort to foster customer loyalty and retain customers. Outbound call centers aim to pique buyers' attention. 

Types of Inbound Calls

Although inbound call centers can be of any size or shape, they often fall into one of four types.

1. Customer Service

When a current customer calls to manage their account, ask a question, or express a concern, we are talking about customer service provided by an inbound call center. These phone calls often consist of returns, customer feedback, over-the-phone payments, updates to mailing addresses, questions about policies, practices, and so forth.

Many of these problems might be solved electronically. Additionally, a lot of incoming call centers have begun playing recordings to customers while they are on hold in order to lead them to helpful online resources.

2. Technical Support

When something goes wrong, customers call technical support. They typically make the contact in an attempt to solve the issue when a product isn't performing properly. Technical support frequently hears from clients who are dissatisfied with the current situation, whether it be a cell phone that won't receive GIFs or a computer that won't turn on.

Technical support inbound call centers need employees with patience and composure who can handle complaints and requests. The bulk of inquiries are from unhappy customers. With the proper staff, complaints can be addressed, and irate customers may be calmed down, restoring brand loyalty and promoting repeat business.

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3. Inbound Sales Call

In some cases, rather than calls from current customers, inbound call centers will receive calls from potential customers looking for more information. When this happens, talented employees can take advantage of the opportunity. Salesmanship and tact are essential in this situation and putting up a kind and welcoming front for the business helps convert leads into customers.

Instead of integrating different types of calls, some larger organizations have entire call centers devoted just to an inbound sales call. The center can be specifically staffed with sales in mind, enabling the business to present itself in the best possible light.

In order to establish a relationship with the prospect during an inbound sales call, the representative should first find areas of mutual interest and provide relevant information. To win the prospect's trust, they should be honest, ask open-ended questions, and let the prospect lead the dialog.

4. Upgrade and renewal inquiries

This type of inbound call interacts with existing customers who have made the decision to renew, upgrade, or combine their subscription plans. Customers often stay with a company because they are happy with the level of service they receive. Agents working in inbound call centers should know about the full range of goods the company offers. Also, they have to understand any ongoing sales and the benefits of maintaining or upgrading their plans. They must be educated to process the renewal or upgrade themselves, or to assist the consumers by transferring the call to a licensed sales call agent for plan expansion, in addition to being knowledgeable and persuasive.

Two Categories of Outbound Call Centers

While there are notable exceptions (such as political organizations doing polls, businesses conducting surveys regarding service and product quality, or market research), outbound call centers mostly concentrate on a sales call, and the calls fall into one of two categories.

1. Cold Calls

Cold calling is the practice of making phone calls to prospective customers who weren't expecting them. This telephone conversation is their first contact with the business, for better or worse. Depending on who answers the phone, these types of calls can make a potential customer feel frustrated and untrustworthy, making it more difficult to close the deal.

A thick skin is necessary for the workers of cold call outbound call centers because people frequently express their displeasure with the calls. For teams that can persevere, they can achieve certain sales calls.

2. Warm Calls

In contrast to cold calls, warm calls are the outcome of the previous contact with the lead. Whether it be a recommendation, a meeting or interaction at a convention, or a past call. These calls are typically better received and have higher conversion rates because the lead is expecting them.

Types of Outbound Call Centers

1.  Appointment Setting

Outbound representatives set up meetings or appointments between the customer or lead and the designated salesperson. They will confirm the most convenient time and day for to speak with a company representative. To keep the prospect interested in further communication, the agent must be both accurate and effective while also being engaging.

2. Lead Generation

Through the warm and cold calls, outbound agents generate leads by looking for chances to stimulate a person's interest in the company's goods. The possibility that a prospect will transition from being just interested in becoming a customer is assessed during the call by gathering information.

3. Telemarketing

Telemarketing is even comparable to door-to-door sales. Salespeople use phones to pitch their items to potential customers. They arouse interest in their product or service by explaining how it might be the perfect solution to a potential customer's needs, including probing and matching questions.

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4. Tele sales

Tele sales, which is frequently grouped with telemarketing, has a different purpose in mind: to close the transaction. Typically, sales representatives step in where telemarketers leave off. For the purpose of pursuing qualifying leads and subsequently converting them into sales, they must be persistent and convincing.

Since conversion rates are the main factor influencing telesales professionals' performance, having a strong list of qualified leads is essential.

5. Market Research

Outbound calls are not always made to make sales; some are made to gauge consumer interest in a product, service, or brand. During the outbound call, an agent will inquire about the target market using a list of questions created by the market researcher or company in question (and their perception of the company or product). The information gathered will be used to modify products or marketing strategies.

Benefits of Inbound and Outbound Call Centers Management

1. Strengthen customer relationships

You will immediately notice how the quality of your customers' experiences increases as you increase contact touchpoints and methods. Automatic welcome calls to new customers are a simple gesture that helps to build relationships with customers and gives businesses the chance to promote other products and services.

2.  Proactive customer feedback collection

Asking a customer for feedback following a service performed demonstrates your interest in and concern for your clients' needs and the quality of your job. In the end, this will encourage your consumers to promote your company, encourage recommendations, and thus raise sales.

3. Intelligent inbound call center routing

In the area of service support, making informed decisions about who answers the phone when a customer calls can have a significant impact. The best agent receives the calls and assists the customers with their problems more promptly. This allows the agent to help more clients throughout the day and keep them satisfied.

4.  Advanced Interactive Voice Response (IVR) set up

Even when you have automatic agent dispatching set up, it can be difficult to physically answer every call that comes in. However, when Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is enabled, things become a lot easier to handle. IVR deployment results in advantages for both clients (who can access answers more quickly) and agents (they only need to attend to calls that need their attention). Consequently, both parties save a ton of time and stress. Additionally, the Live IVR solution may read information from external systems like CRM, eliminating repetitious queries and freeing up an agent's time for more important assignments.

5. Real-time customer prioritization

Real-time communication with a consumer leaves little time for planning. Here, Live offers a "customer 360 view," which helps agents better understand the context in real-time interactions by evaluating everything and fusing it with customer history. Agents are able to offer superior on-site assistance in this way.

6. Context visualization

At Live, enabling call center operators to recognize high-priority cases is just the beginning. Agents may visualize the ideal course of action for enhancing support efficiency with the aid of advanced features that actually comprehend the context and highlight essential points.

Conclusion

You might need help with your inbound or outgoing call centers, depending on what your team is finding challenging to handle. Furthermore, It makes no difference whether you already have established inbound or outbound call centers or are building one from scratch. What matters is that you integrate the best customer experience solutions and continuously enhance every stage of the customer journey. Live can be an excellent option in this case for both inbound and outbound call centers.


Learn more about how the Live product family can help you support and improve your customer experience strategy.

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