Inbound vs. Outbound

Call centers are centralized departments to which phone calls from existing or potential customers are directed or the calls to the current/potential customers are made during marketing campaigns. The objectives of a contact center is to enhance customer satisfaction or make sales and profits for a company. Thus, two types of contact centers exist – outbound and inbound.

  • An inbound call center receives calls from current or potential customers for technical support, lodging complaints, accounts management or for queries about products or services.
  • On the contrary, an outbound call center reaches out to potential customers for upselling, cross-selling and for establishing brand loyalty.

Both inbound and outbound call centers use advanced software solutions to improve the work efficiency of the call center staff that includes agents, quality analysts and managers, and to offer optimum support to the customers.

Primary Objective of Inbound Call Centers

  • The main objective of an inbound call-center is to answer the customers’ queries and to resolve their problems.
  • It also collects customers’ complaints and notifies the respective department of a poor service delivered by a provider.

Since the inbound call-center agents are the representatives of a brand or organization; therefore it is essential for them to be courteous and helpful towards a customer. It is equally important for these agents to have extensive knowledge about the company’s policy to properly help customers.

Primary Objective of Outbound Call Centers

Outbound call centers use predictive dialer technology to reach out to a maximum number of potential or existing customers in a stipulated timeframe. Businesses may use an outbound call center for the following purposes.

  • To offer proactive customer services, such as informing the customers of delays or delivery
  • To make sales calls to the prospective customers
  • To make sales calls to the existing customers for renewals, cross-selling and up-selling
  • To make debt-collection calls
  • To perform surveys on customers’ satisfaction
  • To conduct market research
  • To book appointments

Common Services Available through Inbound Call Centers

Customer Service

A successful business does not just convert a user into a customer. It also prioritizes the conversion of a customer into a loyal customer to make maximum profit and to reach the top. Therefore, servicing customers is a priority for any business and the inbound call-centers can help businesses in this task. The agents provide active and effective support to strengthen the bond between a business and its customers.

The inbound call-center agents receive training to deftly handle customers’ problems and to resolve their issues, quickly. They can help businesses get loyal customers as well as turn the prospects into customers.

Technical Support or Help Desk

Information Technology (IT) companies or businesses dealing with technology have a team of inbound call-center agents to provide technical support to customers round the clock. Subsequently, agents are always present at the ‘Help Desk’ and perform numerous responsibilities and functions.

  • These individuals have sufficient technical knowledge to evaluate a problem in order to offer a solution.
  • Technical support remains available to the customers 24×7 in order to advice or to resolve their problems.

Help Desk plays a vital role in improving customers’ satisfaction for businesses associated with the IT sector.

Receiving Orders

The inbound call centers also take orders from customers and process the orders to ensure timely delivery. The call center agents catering order taking service are equally efficient at answering the callers’ questions regarding a product or service. The efficient performance of the call-center agents who take orders from the customers can increase a business’ overall sales.

Inbound Sales

The prospective buyers also call the agents of inbound call centers in order to receive detailed information regarding a product or service. This is called ‘inbound sales.’ The efficient agents may use this opportunity to motivate the caller in making an investment with courteous and tactful responses along with salesmanship. Therefore, inbound call-centers can increase a business’ ROIalongside strengthening the bond with current or prospective customers.

Common Services Available through Outbound Call Centers

Lead Generation

Lead generation is an effective process of getting new clients and outbound call centers can help businesses in acquiring more prospects. The outbound call centers use software solutions to gather information on the prospects and use the data to increase a customers’ interest in a product/service. The outbound call centers offer this service as a part of the marketing/sales initiative.

Telemarketing

The outbound call centers offer this service to promote or sell any product, service or a process to the prospective customers. The trained outbound call center agents may use this service to increase the sales or to inform the customers with updated information regarding a product/service. Hence, the telemarketing service can increase a business’ profit.

Debt Collection

The outbound call centers also place calls to the individuals or entities that owe money to a business. The financing companies, mortgage companies or insurance companies greatly benefit from this service. Trained agents can motivate the debtors to clear the debt without infuriating them, which is essential for the image maintenance of any business.

Market Survey

The outbound call centers can also survey the market to learn about the customers’ reactions on a product or service. Businesses use the feedback from the customers to learn about the deficiencies or to make a business strategy to address and resolve problems.

The outbound call-centers can also collect the views of the prospective customers about a brand or the effectiveness of advertisements during these surveys. Thus, an outbound call center enables a business to maximize customer satisfaction through market insights and surveys and the satisfied customers have the likelihood of becoming loyal customers.

Conclusion

Both inbound and outbound call centers assist in building a robust brand-image and stronger business’ growth. However, the agents of inbound and outbound call centers offer this assistance in different ways. A business may need the assistance of an inbound call-center if it cannot provide adequate technical support or fails to maintain the quality or frequency of customer-service. The assistance of an outbound call-center may become necessary if a business has difficulty in generating new leads or needs to update the business plan according to the consumers’ views.