We are living in the age of social media and instant chats. Despite that, the dependence of businesses on call centers is still high. Why? Because even today, customers love to talk to a human agent and get a solution to their problem. It’s the closest experience to interacting face-to-face with the service expert.
Call centers handle huge volumes of calls on a daily basis. It includes both inbound and outbound. Interestingly, there are special types of call centers to handle inbound and outbound calls. And no prizes for guessing; they are called inbound and outbound call centers. In this post, we are going to uncover 10 really popular questions asked by people across the world about these two types of call centers. Here are they –
Faqs On Inbound And Outbound Call Center
- What are inbound call centers?
As the name suggests, inbound call centers are responsible for handling incoming customer calls. In this type of call center, the agents wait for the customers to call them instead of dialing the numbers themselves. An inbound call center is primarily used to offer technical support, answer sales questions, and handle any booking requests. The primary goal of this call center is to provide exceptional customer service to all callers.
- What are outbound call centers?
Outbound call centers are responsible for handling outgoing calls to different audiences, such as customers, prospects, and other businesses. Outbound call centers are mainly used for lead generation, appointment reminders, collection management, and market research. The primary goal of an outbound call center is to collect and share information.
Further Reading: What Is Cloud Telephony And How It Works | The Ultimate Guide
- What is quality assurance in an inbound and outbound call center?
Quality assurance is a key element involved in the running of a successful call center.
Quality assurance specialists in a call center thoroughly monitor operations and ensure that every caller receives a consistent and positive experience. A poor experience can chase your customers away and impact sales. More importantly, quality assurance has a goal to keep the overall costs low by managing agent efficiency.
- How can I improve customer service for my e-commerce business?
Once you set up an eCommerce store, the next big step is to market your brand and products/services. Competition is rampant, and unless you promote your business well, you need to differentiate yourself by offering a stellar customer experience. And the best way to do that is by adopting an inbound call center. It is extremely effective in moving your customers to the bottom of the funnel. This is especially true when you have a considerable number of orders and you get hundreds of queries and concerns every day. A call center can be your one-stop solution to handle all those issues.
- What are the best practices for handling outbound calls?
Here are 5 best practices you can follow during an outbound call –
- Grab their attention right away – You must remember that you have only a few seconds before they cut the call. So use this precious time to make a great first impression. Call them by their first name, and do not sell your product in those few seconds.
- Watch the time – Understand that everyone is busy, including the person who has just picked up your call. Ask them how much time they have for the interaction. Alternatively, convey how much time you will take to convey the message. More importantly, stick to the time you have agreed upon.
- Automate – Adopt a cloud telephony platform like FreJun to automate most of your outbound calling tasks. This will help agents to focus on more mission-critical tasks rather than indulge in manual tasks like dialing numbers or taking notes.
- Know the person – A one-size fits all message will not work in an outbound call. You cannot memorize a script and blurt it out to everyone you talk to. Personalize every call by understanding the background and pain points of the person you are dialing to. If you are using a platform like FreJun, you will get all the prospect information at your fingertips, as FreJun is integrated with most of the popular CRMs like Pipedrive and HubSpot.
- Ensure that you have a local number – People receive hundreds of spam calls on a daily basis. The last thing they are going to do is pick up an unknown call from an international number or a call from another region. So get a virtual number or a local number to make outbound calls.
- What are the best practices for handling inbound calls?
Here are 5 best practices you can follow during an inbound call –
- Train your team to be calm – Your agents will receive hundreds of calls every day, some of them from frantic callers who want an urgent solution to their pressing problems. Under no circumstances should your agents be frustrated or irritated with the questions and concerns of the callers. So train them to be composed throughout the call.
- Adopt an IVR solution – This is quite important if you receive a lot of inbound calls from customers. Adopting an IVR solution that can address most of the simple concerns of the agents will help your agents from being too much overworked on a daily basis.
- Have a single phone number – Avoid having multiple phone numbers for your business, especially for different departments. It will confuse the customers to no bounds. Most inbound call center software comes with features like smart routing that can route the calls to the different agents based on user inputs.
- Track your calls – Your job doesn’t end by successfully addressing customer concerns. You must carefully track all the calls and analyze different metrics like call volumes, call outcomes, average call duration, etc. This will help in offering a better experience to the customers next time.
- Have a positive tone – As soon as you pick up the call, try answering with a positive and enthusiastic tone. Do not answer in a bored, negative, and mundane voice. That will go a long way in building a good relationship with the customer throughout the call and even after the call ends.
- What do call center agents do?
A call center agent handles incoming or outgoing calls for a business. There are some call center agents who handle both incoming and outgoing calls. They are called blended agents. Apart from handling these two types of calls, here are some other key responsibilities of a call center agent –
- Up-sell products and services whenever possible
- Establish a sustainable relationship between the brand and the customer
- Identify customer pain points and needs and offer an appropriate solution
- Collect key information about the customer and their needs
- Convey key information about the company and products/services.
- What are the 3 most difficult things about working in a call center?
Here are three main challenges that most call center agents struggle with –
- Manual tasks – Despite living in the digital era, most call centers still employ archaic practices that are replete with manual tasks. This drains the time and energy of most agents, who are left with very little time to talk to the customers.
- Too many tools – Some businesses go to the other extreme by asking the agents to work with a variety of tools in an attempt to improve their efficiency. Unfortunately, this can cause more harm than good as the agents tend to get confused with too many operations in too many tools. All that they need is a cloud telephony platform and a CRM to handle most of the calls.
- Retaining information – If you are working in a complex industry or a product with too many features, information retention becomes a huge challenge. You cannot predict what issue or challenge might come up during a call. But as an agent, you are responsible for solving that problem with the right solution.
- How can I outsource my customer service?
There are only 4 steps to outsourcing your customer service. Here are they –
- Start by establishing your outsourcing goals. In other words, find out why you want to outsource your customer service in the first place.
- Find a reliable call center service that can meet your goals. The service provider you choose must offer flexibility and scalability.
- Create your brand voice and tone guidelines. Ensure that all the call center agents are trained to speak in that voice, adhering to all the guidelines.
- Measure all the key call center metrics such as Net Promoter Score, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Effort Score, etc.
- How to start an inbound call center business?
It’s very easy to start an inbound call center business in 2022. Here are the steps to do it –
- Determine the goals of your call center. In other words, find out why you need a call center in the first place.
- Determine the budget of your call center. It will determine a variety of factors, such as the number of agents, tools used, and size of the call center.
- Identify your call center type. Find out whether you want an inbound call center, an outbound call center, or a blended one.
- Pick the right tools for your agents. It could include an inbound call center solution, a cloud telephony solution, and a CRM.
- Hire agents based on your budget and needs. It’s very important to find someone who understands your industry well and has the capability to understand your product quickly.