When we discuss customer service, the call center comes into first place. It is the reason that call centers processes to interact with customers worldwide to resolve their queries by providing necessary solutions. Most businesses across the world outsource their call center needs since outsourcing is found to be cost-effective and reduces stress. Outsourcing call center services will also provide opportunities to focus on main business processes and work on new business strategies.
Businesses can optimize their outputs by introducing delegation into processing their operations. As a result, companies will likely outsource services they cannot maintain in-house. Additionally, outsourcing offers many benefits that are translatable across the organization and often down to the customer.
Some services can be fulfilled via telephonic communication with customers. In these situations, a call center can add the required value. Call centers can send and receive business-related inquiries via the telephone in large volumes. There are essentially six call center types;
In-house: where the call center is owned by the business and employs the agents working. Every employee will work inside the organization.
Outsourced: the delegation of the call center responsibility to a third party. A separate team from the outsourced provider will work for the organization.
Offshore: call centers outside geographical boundaries are employed for their added benefits, including lower taxes, cheaper labor costs, and enhanced professional skills.
Virtual: the payment of an annual fee to provide hardware, software, and data equipment in a predominantly cloud computing environment. It allows employees to work remotely as needed.
Inbound: call centers that function on calls coming to the business from customers
Outbound: call centers that function on calls leaving the business to customers
The employment of inbound or outbound call centers heavily depends on the function delegated to the call center. A better understanding of these terms helps make the decision-making process simpler. So, let us discuss both in detail.
What is an Inbound Call Center?
Inbound call centers refer to customers reaching out to the business. These call centers are normally service oriented and can be an effective tool to retain customers and encourage new ones. These are from the existing customer base who require support from the business regarding the product or the service.
Types of inbound call centers include:
- Customer Service
Customer service call centers work best for customers facing product issues or needing further clarification. The operator can get in touch with the client for details about their concerns and attempt to solve them. The agent can answer all queries or sustain a conversation where the customer wants to be heard. If required, the operator redirects the customer to the required department to escalate a problem that cannot be resolved on the phone.
- Technical Support
These call centers are focused on addressing concerns around purchased products. Technical support in call centers can address issues such as defective products, broken items, wrong specifications, or missing parts. In this case, the vendor attempts to solve the customer’s concern through understanding the issue and polite exchanges. Customers can be very temperamental in these environments, and representatives must maintain composure and exercise patience.
- Inbound Sales
Before an individual becomes a customer, they will likely encounter details about your service provision. These details encourage them to complete a sale which can be done through a distributor or directly. Inbound sales happen when prospective customers communicate a need for products or services and contact the call center directly. Operators must have strong people skills and talent to convert the inquiry into a sale. The right words become effective sales tools when used correctly.
What is an Outbound Call Center?
Outbound call centers function opposite inbound call centers. The calls are conducted by operators and are conventionally sales oriented. These calls are outgoing calls to the shoppers who may require the product. Outbound calls may be performed to conduct market research on the product. There are predominantly two types of outbound call centers;
- Cold Calls
Cold calling involves reaching out to the customers directly to achieve a business activity. While considered archaic and traditional, recent training modules have created a new army of efficient, effective, optimized operators that produce results. There are three types of cold calls businesses employ;
Telemarketing: agents presenting the company to a larger pool of customers. They call to spread awareness and answer any questions an individual may have about the organization and services provided.
TeleSales: previously identified leads can be pursued by agents via telephone conversations. These phone calls help build revenue and are critical to business development. In addition, call centers can simultaneously pursue large numbers of leads, covering larger ground over shorter periods. The result is improved profitability.
Market Research: companies often conduct surveys over the phone to understand what their target demographic likes or to deduce who the target market is. Agents are equipped with a list of questions and the right mannerisms to approach customers. Cold calls can effectively gain the insight required to launch effective products and marketing strategies.
- Warm/Hot Calls
Warm or hot calls are follow-up interactions based on a successful first encounter with a prospective client. These calls are aimed at closing deals and are more welcome by customers as the client is familiar with the organization.
It is a type of call where calling the customers who have already expressed interest in buying their products or services.
What are the prime differences between the two?
Some differences extend beyond functionality between inbound and outbound call centers. One of the key differences between the two revolves around the technology used. Inbound call centers will likely use continuous call monitoring systems, call management systems, and IVR (interactive voice response) systems. These help customers trying to reach the organization feels customer service initiatives consistently through their interaction with the business. Outbound call centers focus on operators and CRM systems to find interested customers. Since their interactions revolve around selling to customers, finding a solid base and the right agent attitude is critical.
Another key difference revolves around the training and impression the agents give the client. Inbound call centers must always express concern and remorse. They are responsible for the actions outlined by the customer and act as a business representative to quickly implement a solution. On the other hand, outbound call center employees need to exercise cognizance and gauge how to best sell to their clients. Creating trust without being intrusive is critical.
Finally, inbound call centers focus on passive selling by creating a more comfortable customer environment. As a result, they can make clients feel appreciated and listened to. On the other hand, outbound call centers tend to handle things more aggressively and calculatedly.
The differences between inbound and outbound call centers help businesses fulfill their requirements and invest in only what they need. In addition, the services your organization is willing to outsource are a guiding light toward the right decision. Hope this article helped you understand the difference between both inbound and outbound calls that organizations use.
Some businesses may require inbound and outbound call center services to assist their customers. Choosing the right outsourcing vendor is also the key. Various factors should be considered before outsourcing the needs of your organization which will ensure your success.
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