What are Inbound and Outbound Calls?
Today, call centers have become an integral part of any business to manage customer issues and meet the company’s goals efficiently. Most companies have to manage a large volume of Inbound and Outbound Calls to satisfy existing customers or attract new ones. For that reason, call centers are considered the backbone of good customer service but inbound call centers are different from outbound call centers. For instance, inbound call centers deal with incoming customer calls for service inquiries, technical assistance or upgradation of services. Conversely, outbound agents initiate calls to customers for telemarketing, market surveys, lead generation and more. You should choose wisely which one is better for your business to achieve your business needs effectively. Keep reading to explore the difference between inbound and outbound call centers and the most suitable option for your business.
Why are Inbound Call Centers Important?
As the name suggests, inbound call centers manage mainly inbound calls that tend to be customer service-based and focus on answering customers’ concerns and complaints. It is necessary for the agents working in these call centers to be helpful, polite and well-familiar with the company regulations. This type of call center tends to fall into four types:
1. Customer Service
In the first category, existing customers call a business having some concerns and questions in their minds. For instance, they may want to inquire about payments, returns, customer feedback, updates of email addresses, queries regarding your company policies and more.
2. Technical Support
This is when a company’s service may not function properly and customers place calls to resolve their issues. To manage technical support issues, call centers need staff that has a high level of patience to deal with customers’ demands and complaints. The right team with a cool temperament restores brand loyalty.
3. Inbound Sales
Sometimes, inbound call center agents also receive calls from prospective buyers looking for information about your brand. This inbound sales call is a great opportunity for your staff to maximize productivity. This is because a polite and welcoming face can convert leads into customers.
4. Upgrade & Renewal
In this form of inbound communication, your agents have to deal with existing customers who want to upgrade or renew their service plan. It also means that customers want to continue their journey with your services. Inbound agents should have deep knowledge of a business product line and the advantages of upgrading or renewal services.
What Outbound Call Centers Offers?
Outbound call centers tend to initiate calls to customers rather than receive incoming calls. Outbound calls aim to reach out to leads and prospects, market the company’s product, and earn sales. When it comes to inbound and outbound calls, the first type of call centers focuses on improving customer retention, offering excellent customer service experience and building customer loyalty. In contrast, outbound call centers work to deepen your leads’ interest to move them forward in the sales funnel. Cold Calls and warm calls are two categories of outbound calls. Agents place cold calls to those potential customers who are not expecting the calls. Meanwhile, warm calls are the outcomes of previous interactions with prospects and leads. Here are other types of outbound calls.
1. Appointment & Market Research
It is when your agents schedule appointments after confirming the most suitable time and date for the meeting. Moreover, sometimes some companies also hire outbound call center services for market research to learn about the trends and preferences of the target audience. This data allows businesses to adjust their marketing strategies according to customer needs.
2. Lead Generation
Outbound agents also collect leads and prospect information through warm and cold calls. In this way, they determine the likelihood of a lead into loyal customers and a lead’s interest in a company’s product and services. Your agents can convince leads interested in your products and can help them turn into loyal customers. This, in turn, will drive more revenue for your business.
3. Telemarketing & Telesales
In this outbound calling method, your sales agents market their products over the calls based on the provided target list. They create an individual’s interest in the services or products by telling leads how their product best suits their needs. Conversely, telesales have a different end goal in mind which is closing sales.
Where Does the Difference Lies?
1. In Purpose
The main purpose of any call center is happy and satisfied customers but the way of achieving this feat is different. For instance, inbound agents deal with customers who have some doubts, complaints, questions or suggestions. Contrary to this, outbound call center agents contact the customers for sales, appointment reminders, promotions or market surveys.
2. In Technology
Inbound call center needs call monitoring, call control features like transfer, mute or hold, and ticketing integration. On the other hand, outbound call centers need CRM integration, auto-dialers and IVR. The use of these technologies makes both types of call centers different.
3. In Terms of Business Challenges
Both inbound and outbound calls have different impacts on a business. For instance, the performance of the outbound call centers measures on high conversion rate of leads. Contrary to this, customer satisfaction and resolution speed are factors that determine inbound call center efficiency.
4. In Agent Training
In inbound call centers, inbound agents should have company and service information at their fingertips to offer the best customer service experience. Inbound agents must show polite behaviour and have problem-solving and listening skills. Outbound agents should have the ability to identify the moods of prospects and have persuasive skills to convince customers.
Conclusion – What’s Right for You?
Managing both inbound and outbound calls is crucial to keep your customer satisfied, happy and loyal. If you have to deal with customer service and technical support calls regularly, then you should take help from inbound call centers. Conversely, if your team is struggling with leads to convert them into loyal customers then investing in an outbound call center is the best option. Contact Cherry Berry UCM experts to find the right call center for your business.