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Inbound vs. Outbound Calls: What's the Difference?

Posted by Ahmed Macklai on Feb 28, 2018, 7:30:00 AM

inbound vs outbound calls

There are very distinct differences when you compare inbound vs. outbound calls that call centers conduct. If you’re considering using a call center then it’s necessary to be aware of the different services they can provide.

Inbound vs. Outbound Calls

Some call centers provide both but it’s important to know the details of inbound vs. outbound calls and the processes behind each. Since both offer distinctive services, below you will find a guideline to help you determine which one contains the call center features you need most for your business. 

Inbound Call Center

The best way to describe an inbound call center is it is a place of business employing call center agents to handle incoming calls from current and potential customers. They don’t actively reach out to customers via phone but instead take care of incoming customer service or sales-related calls.

Many inbound call centers are open 24/7 and staff is usually scheduled depending on the call volume the call center expects to receive. It can be quite challenging for a call center to find individuals to fill third shift slots but it’s critical if the call center is open 24/7.

The majority of calls inbound call center agents receive are from current customers. Less than 50 percent can be outbound and it’s still referred to as an “inbound” center. To deliver excellent service, inbound call center agents need to have high-quality customer service, problem-solving capabilities, along with effective communication and organizational skills.

Outbound Call Center

The main difference between inbound vs. outbound calls is outbound call centers don’t wait for customers to call them. Outbound representatives typically do not place calls past a certain time each day because it is often not received well by people sitting down for dinner at night.

Another difference is the outbound call center agents reaching out to potential clients often haven’t had any previous interaction with the client. This is also known as cold calling. If the agent is calling in response to information left by someone or they’re working from a list of current customers, then it is known as a warm lead.

Since the tasks of an outbound call center agent are very different from that of an inbound call center, the position requires a different set of skills. These include being comfortable with potentially being rejected when attempting to convince an individual to purchase a product.

Being friendly, quick thinking, calm, and unafraid to push for a sale are important traits to possess especially since many outbound agents receive a base salary as well as a commission, making it a competitive and stressful environment.

Call Center Features

While both are important and necessary to the success of a business, they tend to operate directly opposite of one another. Once your company understands the differences between inbound vs. outbound calls, it becomes easier to determine the proper action plan suited to your needs. Small businesses and large corporations can greatly benefit from the features of call center software to aid them in the efficiency and productivity of their inbound or outbound calling objectives.

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