In today’s technology-driven world of chatbots and emails, you may think customers don’t call businesses to resolve queries. However, the opposite is true. According to research, people still prefer talking to humans to address their problems, with 60% reporting that they prefer humans to chatbots. This is true for both millennials as well as Gen-Z.

This is why you can see companies that use live chat are often at the top when it comes to customer service.

People embrace the personal touch
People embrace the personal touch (Source: Treasure Data)

The continued importance of human interaction in solving queries makes it essential for businesses to hire people for this or outsource to a call center. Considering the time, effort, and money spent on training employees, outsourcing is wiser as outsourcing cost is lower too. But do you really know the difference between inbound and outbound call center?

In other words, companies can increase their capacity for handling calls by outsourcing to inbound outbound call centers.

Are you confused by this industry jargon? Well, we’re here to help. Let’s do an in-depth analysis of inbound and outbound call centers, what inbound call center means? and determine which one you should choose.

Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Call Centers

Inbound call centers receive incoming calls from existing customers. Support teams  manage these to solve issues or answer questions from existing customers (in most cases). Inbound, meaning in a call center, is a type of call that customers initiate. 

To understand the difference between inbound and outbound call centers, let’s consider an example- you are an ecommerce seller of electronic gadgets and have outsourced calling requirements to an inbound call center. The team would receive and answer calls from customers who have questions about your products and their usage or complaints about the same, all this comes under call source outsourcing and how to do that correctly. 

On the other hand, outbound call centers make outgoing calls to potential shoppers. Like AM2PM Support’s exceptional sales team, equipped with excellent persuasion skills, takes charge of outbound call centers, making impactful cold calls to potential customers and conducting surveys with shoppers. 

This proactive approach allows them to generate leads, nurture relationships, and gather valuable insights. 
For example, you are a seller of electronic gadgets. To boost sales, you can outsource to an outbound call center which will make calls and persuade people to buy your products just like a sales support outsourcing partner can do on your behalf.

To sum it up, inbound, meaning call centers and outbound call centers, are opposites. The first receives incoming calls and is more customer-service-based. The second makes outgoing calls to potential customers and is more sales or marketing based.

Types of Inbound Calls

There are four major categories of inbound calls, namely-

Customer service

Customer service calls are made when customers have questions or queries. These handle things such as returns, customer feedback, over-the-phone payments, questions about policies, the functioning of the product, and more. For instance- a person wishes to return or exchange a dress due to size issues, customer service becomes utmost important. For that a complete guide to deliver 24×7 customer service is necessary for smooth functioning of businesses.

Technical support

These calls are made for technical assistance in matters related to password changes or issues with the working of a product. Technical support calls must be handled in a calm and evenly-tempered way, as most callers are disgruntled customers. For instance- you receive a call regarding a faulty battery car and how to fix it, such calls fall in this category.

According to 32% of marketers, outbound marketing works well in increasing lead generation. Comparable to inbound marketing is this. 

  Connect more leads through outbound calls
  Connect more leads through outbound calls (Source: InstaPage)

Inbound sales

Sometimes inbound call centers receive calls from existing customers and potential ones seeking more information. A call asking about the price of your product, estimated delivery time, benefits, etc., is an example of inbound sales. Inbound sales calls are a great opportunity to tap into potential customers and boost revenue.

Inquiry calls

Calls regarding renewal or updates of subscription plans fall in this category. Let’s assume Netflix allows customers to buy, change or upgrade plans over calls. Then any call made regarding Netflix would fall into this category. Agents handling such calls know the product line and the pros and cons of each subscription plan and help customers choose the best one for themselves.

Types of Outbound Calls

To understand inbound and outbound call center, learn that the two main types of outbound calls are-

Cold calls

With just a few exceptions, outbound calls mainly focus on sales. Cold calls are made to customers who expect no interaction with your business and to build that interaction every company needs to know tips to improve customer service management. This is the first step of communication with a potential customer and significantly impacts conversion rates. Depending on who answers the call, a sale could be made or harsh words heard; nonetheless, the employee must learn to tough it out. With this expertise, AM2PM Support maximizes customer engagement and drives sales growth.

Warm calls

Small calls, big results!
Small calls, big results! (Source: Novocall)

On the other hand, warm calls are made to customers expecting some communication due to a previous meeting, conversation, phone call, etc. These calls are better received as the lead is already expecting them. Warm calls have a higher chance of a successful sale.

Inbound vs. Outbound Call center: Which to Choose?

We have understood the inbound call center meaning and the difference between inbound and outbound call centers. Now the question arises whether a business should outsource to an inbound call center or an outbound one. The answer lies in the type of work the business does and its requirements. 

   The difference is simple, consistency is the key
   The difference is simple, consistency is the key ( Source: Smith)
  • Check with your team about what they are unable to handle. Are customer service calls too much to handle? Or are they not getting time to make a decent number of cold calls? Depending on your team’s struggle, you can choose an inbound or outbound call center.
  • Conversely, if you do not have a team for handling calls, you can choose a call center based on your needs. For example- an ecommerce seller may need to outsource to an inbound call center to handle customer queries about the product. But he may not need an outbound call center as most of his sales are online.
  • Let’s take another example; you are a publishing company that prints magazines and wishes to expand your customer base. In this scenario, an outbound call center can be more beneficial in tapping into new clientele.

Inbound centers master support, outbound centers pioneer sales.

The art of communication is a multifaceted endeavor, and inbound and outbound call centers each have their own unique purpose. Inbound centers are the masters of handling customer inquiries and delivering top-notch support, while outbound centers are the proactive pioneers of sales and lead generation. Companies like AM2PM Support can go for either or both services based on their work industry, requirements, and team difficulties. Choose the approach that resonates with your goals to craft a better customer service operation.

  • Shweta Maheshwari

    Shweta Maheshwari is an SEO Content Marketer with a passion for turning words into useful content for brands.