Call centers nowadays are about much more than this mildly obsolete phrase. They are more complex, but most importantly – still absolutely relevant.
How may I connect your call?
Let us start with a simple definition of a call center - a centralized department that handles inbound and outbound calls. It is well-prepared for handling large volumes of telephone calls during the day. The people that are taking care of all the calls are call center agents. What they usually work with is customer support (inbound) and telemarketing (outbound), but this hugely depends on the type of the company. Nowadays, a lot of supporting tools and software help call centers with segmentation of customers and more effective problem solving.
Three ways how a call center can operate:
- A typical call center is located directly in an office. A lot of companies still have it this way – all the hardware, software and the whole agent team is located directly at the office premises. It might help you to be "absolutely in control" if you decide to handle all the calls in-house.
- Another option is to outsource call center services. There are many specialized call centers with all the relevant technology and well-trained personnel. It is usually large companies who prefer this option.
- Another level of outsourcing is a cloud-based call center. This type of call center can be accessed via a computer or a smartphone and works thanks to software based in a cloud.
The most common type of calls (inbound or outbound) depends on the specialization of the business. However, if only one type prevails, we can distinguish between these two types of call centers:
- Inbound call center – focuses on customer support. Call center agents solve problems, provide information and answer questions about the product.
- Outbound call center – focuses on telemarketing and research. Call center agents call a specific group of people to present a product or to gather crucial research info.
Something what is often compared (and sometimes mistakenly) to a call center is a contact center. The main difference is that a call center specializes in telephone calls only, while a contact center handles a wide range of channels (telephone, email, social media, live chat, etc.). Which one (call center or contact center) is ideal for your company is something you have to decide on your own when you look at your company as a whole.
It is more than necessary for a company to have a call center.
Although technology is moving forward, the telephone keeps proving itself as a timeless device.