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Inbound vs Outbound: Which One Do You Need?

Are you testing the market for inbound and outbound call center services? Instead of handling calls yourself, inbound and outbound services can help you save money and make money.

But what exactly is an inbound and outbound call center? And which one do you need?

What is an Inbound Call Center?

If an outbound call center handles outbound calls, then an inbound call center handles incoming calls. Because they receive incoming calls, much of their work involves a great deal of customer service.

Inbound call centers often take inquiries and resolve common customer concerns. Depending on the project, they may also handle complaints and address them according to the client company’s standards.

Good inbound call centers act as an extension of your brand, considering they are the main point of contact for your customers.

Inbound Call Center Services

When you sign on with an inbound call center, you have many trained agents at the ready to answer your phone calls and treat them depending on the service provided. Inbound services include:

Telephone Answering Service

The most basic service an inbound call center provides is a telephone answering service. While often straightforward in scope, they can scale to the needs of any business, whether it’s large, small, or a brand new start-up.

Order Processing

Many businesses that supply buyers with products often require an order processing service. Outsourcing to a contact center ensures that you can take and manage orders 24 hours a day, seven days a week without hiring additional staff.

Order processing includes any number of services from web and e-commerce order processing to order management and fulfillment. A good order processing service provider has the potential to be your one-stop shop.

Dispatch

Towing and other emergency service providers require the help of a dispatch service. A good dispatch service doesn’t just take calls either. They can receive, page, respond, and act on calls that come in. This level of action gives agents the opportunity to act on urgent matters – the most important factor for many looking for a dispatch service.

Dispatch service providers are able to provide you with a local or toll-free number that can be answered any time by an agent.

Help Desk

If your customers require one-on-one personal attention on technical issues, then you may need the assistance of help desk services. Highly trained specialists remain available at all hours to take and triage calls. When a call comes in, the specialist takes note of the problem the caller describes and opens a ticket.

Some providers offer multiple levels of support, and they’re usually classified as Tier 1, 2, and 3. The lower the tier, the more basic the help desk service. For example, a Tier 1 team may address basic self service solutions such as password resets while Tier 2 and 3 specialists respond to more technical queries requiring advanced technicians.

Overflow / After-hours Support

No matter your business type, there may be a time in which you either get an influx of calls during work hours, or experience a high volume of calls after-hours. Instead of hiring additional staff to cover these areas, consider an overflow and after-hours service.

These services can either be permanent or remain in effect long enough to cover seasonal volume.

What is an Outbound Call Center?

As the name suggests, an outbound call center handles outbound calls. They consist of agents trained to making outgoing calls to prospective customers on another business’s behalf.

Within these calls, they may touch base with current customers, make sales, or simply advertise the company to new prospects.

Agents or representatives of the call center often use contact lists provided by the client company.

Outbound Call Center Services

Since an outbound call center makes calls, the services provided are often designed to increase sales revenue through outbound campaigns. Some of the many outbound services include:

Appointment Setting

When it comes to outbound call center services, appointment setting is one of the most common that businesses look for. And this isn’t necessarily about doctor appointments. This is about filling your appointment setting pipeline so that your sales team can focus on closing deals.

Agents work on your behalf, reaching out to prospects and setting up warm leads for your sales team. In that way, your sales leaders can focus less time on finding leads and more time on closing sales and increasing revenue.

Market Research

If you want to stay up-to-date on your audience, a market research campaign may be your best bet. Trained professionals reach out on your behalf to collect critical consumer data that you can use to measure customer satisfaction, loyalty, and even evaluate purchasing patterns.

This type of service also extends to political polling and surveys, measuring the effectiveness of leaders’ messages to their constituents.

Seminar & Event Registration

Are you hosting a special event? A conference? A tradeshow? With the help of a contact center, you can register and manage attendees.

Through professional customer service that exemplifies your brand, callers will be met with friendly voices that answer their questions and guide them through the registration process.

Are You Looking for an Inbound or Outbound Call Center?

Inbound and outbound call center services can be a great boon for businesses. They come highly customizable and can save you both time and money.

If you’re interested in pursuing either of these avenues, try AnswerNet. We’re a leading provider of inbound, outbound, automated, and BPO contact center services. Our helpful agents are always standing by whenever you’re ready to learn more about what an inbound or outbound service can do for your business.

For more information, contact us today.