There are two types of Call Centers or Contact Centers and they both have their differences. There are Inbound Call Centers and Outbound Call Centers. The greatest difference between inbound and outbound is the percentage of inbound calls made versus outbound calls.
Inbound Call Centers versus Outbound Call Centers
If a Call Center or Contact Center receives 50% or more of inbound calls, they are considered an Inbound Call or Contact Center. If the reverse is true and the Call or Contact Center makes more than 50% outbound calls, they are considered an Outbound Call or Contact Center.
What is an Inbound Call Center?
An Inbound Call or Contact Center handles most inbound calls from customers. Customers may call regarding product orders, technical support, appointment setting, service or product issues and information, billing, shipping, and all other customer questions.
Excellent customer service is crucial to the success of an Inbound Call or Contact center. The ability to thoroughly train, maintain, motivate, and help to inspire employees to perform at the highest level of customer service excellence should be the goal of every company who offers Inbound Call or Contact Center services. Employees or agents need to possess excellent listening and problem-solving skills, have attention to detail and need to be able to communicate information calmly and clearly in a manner the call recipient can understand.
While the majority of calls for an Inbound Call or Contact Center are customer service oriented, Inbound Call Centers also may handle outbound calls such as setting appointments, renewal reminders, product updates and lead generation.
What is an Outbound Call Center?
An Outbound Call or Contact Center is typically sales focused although other businesses or organizations may use Outbound Call or Contact Centers for purposes other than sales such as market research, debt collections, customer follow-up, and fund-raising to name a few. Outbound Call or Contact Center employees usually work with a list of prospective customers that are carefully targeted individuals and or businesses.
Employees that work in Outbound Call or Contact Centers tend to be a bit more sales focused and aggressive but friendly and congenial in their approach. It is just as important for these individuals to be well trained and motivated as in the Inbound Call or Contact Centers. These individuals are ambassadors of your organization and you want the customer left with a positive impression regardless of the reason for the interaction.
Do you need an Inbound or Outbound Call Center Service?
Only you can make that call. Are you experiencing customer service issues due to the amount of call volume and response time it takes to get back to a customer, thus hurting customer loyalty? Are you losing business due to the inability to follow-up on sales leads in a timely manner? Could you be growing your sales if only you had help in making customer contacts? These are all questions only you can answer.
Once you have decided a Call or Contact Center will benefit your business you must decide what type of Call or Contact Center will be right for your business. This will help you form the basis for planning and executing systems and procedures for your Call or Contact Center. For example, if you will be primarily an inbound call center, you will not need certain related equipment, like a dialer, which would be needed for an outbound call center. Outbound Call Centers may want calling features such as Call Monitoring which allows for listening in on outgoing sales calls to customers. Call Center providers will be able to provide customers with recommended technology solutions for the two different types of Call Centers.
It is wise to determine what your current and projected needs may be before you start interviewing Call or Contact Center services. It is important to be as specific as possible to identify the specific needs of your business in relation to your needs for customer contact or calling.
What Type of Call Center is Right for Your Business and What to Consider?
The type of business, type of calls and volume of calls you expect will ultimately determine the type of Call or Contact Center needed. You will need to estimate the number of inbound calls anticipated and or the number of outbound calls expected. Do not forget to project some growth into your numbers.
Staffing is key to your success in contracting a Call or Contact Center. The people who are handling calls for your company and speaking to your customers need to be ambassadors for your business. It cannot be stressed enough how important the people you choose to staff your Call Center is to the overall success of this contracted service.
Verify the Call Center has the enough staffing and expertise to manage your type of customer calls professionally and successfully. It is important that the Call or Contact Service provider has programs in place to engage and retain top-notch employees to represent your business through your Call Center service.
Make sure that the people who will be interacting with your customers in the Call Center matches the overall feel of your organization. Investigate the type of recruiting, training, and retention the Call or Contact Center has for its staff.
It is a good idea to check references for a prospective Call or Contact Center provider, especially if they serve customers in a similar industry or business. What has been their success record with their existing clients?
It is greatly beneficial to the customer if a Call or Contact Center contractor has most if not all the in-house resources needed to run the business. RDI has the in-house services such as IT, legal and market research so that the cost is not passed on to you and you’ll receive a much better response time to resolve.
Call or Contact Centers who are on top of cyber security should also be at the top of your list. No one wants their customer data compromised in any way. RDI Provides IT security in-house and gives clients a peace of mind, knowing their customer data is secure.
Contracting this service by other Call or Contact Centers will again add to your overall cost of service. Ideally a Call or Contact Center provider employs a Chief Information Security Officer to assure your company is not only compliant with all regulatory compliance programs but also stays abreast of all virus protection needs, trends and developments.
The Value of a Well-Run Call Center
You cannot put a price on great service to your customers. Our professional, knowledgeable, and courteous ambassadors here at RDI, coupled by a sincere desire to fulfill and satisfy customer needs, will ultimately preserve, and build your customer’s loyalty. RDI provides in house resources to leverage your inbound and outbound call demands. We take pride in our strong company culture and call center expertise that ultimately contributes to our ability to boost your customer retention rates.
Get in touch with us today!