13. May 2019 Blog

Types of Call Centers

Whether you are considering operating your own call center or looking to contract an outsourcing service, you should start by considering the types of services available.

Today, managers are very well aware of the fact that customer service and customer support are an essential part of business success. Call centers are one of the tools that companies use to provide clients with a support system. In this post, we will look at the main types of call centers and explain job responsibilities of each of these call centers: inbound, outbound and virtual.

Cultural differences

1. Inbound call center

An inbound call center employs agents who receive calls from customers. These call centers tend to focus on assistance for customers who need to solve their problems or need instructions. For example, if your internet connection stops working or if it’s too slow, you can call your internet provider’s customer service center to report the issue and get it fixed. Apart from on-call support, inbound contact center agents often provide email response or chat support. 

The main goal of an inbound call center is to resolve as many customer issues as possible. The number of calls handled by agents largely depends on the number of people contacting the call center. On some days, the call center may be very busy, on other days, the inflow of calls may be much lower. 

2. Outbound call center

In an outbound call center, agents call potential or existing customers rather than receiving calls from them. This type of call center is mainly used for sales, promotions and customer surveys, but it’s not always the case. Some businesses choose to welcome their new clients with the so-called welcome call, during which agents provide further information on the company’s products or policies.

3. Virtual call center

Many businesses have opted for virtual or cloud-based call centers that combine the services of inbound and outbound call centers with various advanced features. Cloud-based call centers can be operated from anywhere, the set-up is very easy and quick and you don’t need any special programming skills or equipment. Users only need a computer or a phone with internet connection to access the service. A huge advantage of virtual call centers is the possibility to integrate them with your existing tools, such as CRM or sales support systems.

These three types of call centers can be further divided into domestic and international call centers. Domestic call centers make and receive calls from people within the same country. So if your call center operates in France, your agents will be in touch with customers living in France only. On the other hand, international call centers receive and make calls to people from all over the world. International call centers often use several local phone numbers or toll-free numbers to minimize fees for their customers. 

Call centers can be also classified based on the owner:

  • In-house call centers are owned and operated by the company itself. This means that the company’s team takes care of the installation, configuration and maintenance with in-house software and hardware.
  • Outsourced call centers are the cheaper option used by companies that can’t or don’t want to hire agents and spend money on training, offices and technologies. Businesses that are worried about costs and time related to set-up should consider using the services of a cloud-based call center which does not require any programming or special IT infrastructure. 

Now that we’ve covered the basic types of call centers, the choice is yours. If you wish to try the services of a cloud-based call center with all the advanced features, you can sign up to CloudTalk and get a free demo.