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A call center environment is made by inbound and outbound activities together. It is necessary to give importance to either of the activities and deploy technical and human efforts in a well-planned way. To give equal weightage to both the activities, call centers have taken few steps ahead with new technologies like cloud.
The virtual format of the call centers is equipped with such tools that help in dealing with all the call volume and daily pressure of the customer support environment. And these tools decide how well the inbound and outbound activities are going to show results for the call center business.
In a call center environment, inbound and outbound activities complement each other well. And together they make a complete and efficient call center environment. Let’s take a look at both the activities.
Inbound Call Centers
An inbound call center is one where customer initiates the calls. A call arriving to the agents come with higher responsibility as the agents have to be prepared for any query. Every incoming call comes with a possibility of finding a potential customer for your business.
These call centers route the incoming call to the right agent without any delay. In this way, the inbound call centers just make sure that every customer in need should find a right agent.
Outbound Call Centers
To make a steady customer base for your business, it is necessary to do an effective and efficient outreach. So, the call made by the agents to the customers with some service offering or a product pitch is considered to be an activity related to outbound call centers.
Your business may not find the right set of customers unless they are made aware about it, about all the benefits it carries that can fulfill the individual customer needs. These type of call centers comprise of various tools such as dialer that make an efficient customer outreach.
In traditional times, the inbound and outbound call were managed manually but as the cloud technology merged with the call centers, the virtual call centers came into existence. This has made the call management more result-oriented.
A call center software is a well-designed tool with features of managing and monitoring inbound and outbound activities in a call center. Depending on the type of call center, separate features are required to make the call center process more result-oriented.
Inbound vs Outbound Call Center
First of all, both of them make an individual part of virtual call centers. As the name suggests, the inbound and outbound activities deal with the incoming and outgoing calls. Now, the virtual format of the call centers has many such tools in their offerings that take care of the specific customer-centric goals.
Inbound: How a Customer is Received
In an inbound call center, the agent waits for a call to arrive and once the call arrives, it has to be routed to the right agent without making any delay. Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) is one such feature that routes every incoming call to the available agent.
This saves a lot of time of the customers as they look only for a customer support in the least time invested.
Hosted IVR (Interactive Voice Response) is another feature that helps a calling customer by giving them options to choose from. It also works as a self-help tool for the customer to troubleshoot or find a solution on their own.
The idea behind designing such inbound tools is to keep the agents as busy as possible and reduce the idle time at the call center. Effective call routing also ensures a lesser number of call drops.
Outbound: How a Customer is Outreached
Outbound activities comprise the calls made by the agents to the customers. There are two ways with which it is done, one is manual and another way is automatic. To complete the processes of outbound call centers, there are are various dialers available that automatically dial a bulk of customer numbers and connect them to the agents.
With the superimposition of cloud technology and dialers, the idea of using the customer data has become much easier and effective. Predictive dialer software has come up as the completely new chapter in the scheme of dialers.
With the involvement of predictive analytics, the customer outreach has become much more result-oriented than before because the predictive dialers take care of the data related to the customers such as demographics and time zones of the customers located in different continents.
In this way, the predictive dialer chooses a perfect time to call the customers that makes it highly likely for the customers to take the call. As the call is connected it connects the call to the next available agent.
There is no ‘versus’ for the inbound and outbound call centers because they fulfill different needs of the customers and they work together to take the overall call center productivity to a completely new level.