You pick up your phone and shortly after a few seconds you are greeted with this voice greeting you, “Hello! Welcome To XYZ Incorporated, How may I help you?” This is the indication that you are now talking with a call center representative. These are the kind of interactions that we’ve done so many times and are probably used to by now. Now, whenever customers reach out to businesses, they end up on call centers for any kind of support they want. Also, when the business representatives of almost all the organizations need to reach out to potential clients or solve the problems of existing customers, they too are operating from call centers.
Although the very equation of their operations might be somewhat the same, not all of these call centers are created the same, as each of them have different kind of operations to fulfill. As we have interacted with all kind of businesses, and having significant knowledge about the field, the difference between an inbound and outbound call center has been asked many times. So today we will break down what is the difference between these two and what’s more promising.
It is very helpful and essential that you know the difference between the two as you would be making the best decisions for your business, and the kind of technology you yourself need to adapt with.
What Are Inbound Call Centers?
Inbound call centers can also be called the traditional ones that we are already used to. As the name already suggests, these are the call centers which receive incoming calls. In other words we can say that instead of actively reaching out to customers, they wait for the clients to reach out to them, so they can offer their assistance. Customers would contact them for any kind of support, may it be technical, something to do about the products or just as simple as placing an order. So the representatives of inbound call centers are trained to be very quick and effective with their responses, as the slightest delay in the service could create a negative experience.
Customer service and the brilliance they offer at this field are the main forte of inbound call centers. They always need to create a very delightful experience for their customers so their services can be availed over and over again. Inbound call centers rely on the best customer experiences and the overall productivity of their agents.
Before you are connected with an agent, customers go through the automated responses first which are called interactive voice responses. Think of them as the gateway before you can actually reach out to the representatives of call centers. Now sometimes this could be a very lengthy process as according to surveys done, more than 30% of the customers have to wait through these automated responses to talk with a “live” agent.
In order to tackle this problem, almost majority of the call centers are using specialized task routers which speed up this entire process.
Now, let us discuss that how famous are these call centers and what have been the statistics in the past couple of years. As we were compiling our research, we came to know that between 2015 and 2016 there were a total of 75 billion calls made by customers. They were to increase to almost 163 billion by the end of 2019.
Microsoft and Google presented this research that almost 61%-65% of searches made online end up on calls. So this suggests that customers are actively reaching out to call centers for all kind of queries they have.
What Are Outbound Call Centers?
Outbound call centers can for starters be called the total opposite of inbound call centers. While at inbound, you would be waiting for the customers to reach out to you, here you would be reaching out to them. So we can say that the majority of the agents in outbound call centers are doing sales, or building and maintaining upon the relationships with customers already developed.
These representatives at outbound call centers have completely different kind of training and goals, some can say that they are a bit bold. That is because their goals are totally different from the other kind of call centers. Where you would be waiting for the customers to reach out to you, so you can offer them your services. Here you would have to actively search and reach out to potential customers to make sales, as you would have to complete your monthly targets.
What Are The Key Differences Between The Both?
As we have previously discussed the differences between the two call centers, let us dive into more extensive details. Inbound call centers handle incoming calls whereas the outbound call centers make the calls to customers. Another difference here would be the way calls take place here.
This type of consideration takes place when you are planning to decide what kind of infrastructure you want. What kind of customers would you be catering to? Do you want to reach out to potential sales targets or create a really professional customer experience? Your choice here would decide the kind of call center you want.
An effective and professional inbound call center would need to install a task router, so that customers don’t have to wait long with the automated responses. With outbound call centers, you would be needing professional and bold sales reps.
Why Not Have Both Of Them?
Many of the businesses are now approaching the market with having the facilities of both inbound and outbound call centers. This way you can enter and explore completely new markets and grow respectively.
During our survey and research we came across one of UK’s most successful and largest car finance broker (Online). Car finance 24/7 showed us some of their bearings from all the departments. They said customers came for their services and agreed on the financial plans while simultaneously they helped out those very customers to choose the car. So with that example, they both acted on inbound and outbound fronts. These kind of businesses are very much successful who through specialization, offer everything they have.
This way you would also be catering to customer’s problems while doing some professional marketing. The experiences you would be making for your customers will motivate them into availing your services further and into more detail. So why not appeal to their needs one every end?
With our guide we have explained the key differences between inbound and outbound call centers. Although both of them cater to a wide and diverse type of audience, it is completely up to you to make the right decision. Or you could have the best of both worlds, choice is yours.