what are the types of call center?
Call centers can offer a broad range of services, and different call centers work better for different responsibilities. There are six primary categories of call centers, and it’s important to understand the strengths of each to pick the best call center option for your company:
1. Inbound call centers
An inbound call center receives calls coming into the company. Most often this is a service provided to existing customers of your product or service or new customers looking to make a purchase, however, it can include providing service to staff from your company. Services provided at inbound call centers may include:
Processing orders: After receiving a call from a prospective client, a call center representative may carry out several tasks with the caller, including explaining their purchase options, recording order information and collecting payment information.
Providing dispatch services: A dispatch center may receive calls, transfer them as needed, and monitor the progress of any shipments and deliveries.
Offering help desk support: When customers experience problems, a call center representative in support may offer solutions when a customer knows what is wrong, help identify potential sources for the issue if they don’t, and call in a service request if needed.
Answering and transferring calls: A call center can act as an answering service, with representatives working as an answering service that may receive calls from customers, ask about the reason for their call, and then transfer the caller.
2. Outbound call centers
An outbound call center specializes in contacting customers on your behalf and can be a way to expand the reach of your company at a minimal cost. Common responsibilities for representatives at outbound calling centers include:
Selling to potential customers: Tele sales professionals commonly work with a list of provided leads, often gathered through market research to identify demographics most likely to be interested in a company’s products, and make direct contact to pitch the company’s goods.
Expanding your sales reach: A call center representative in a telemarketing role may perform customer outreach, conduct surveys of existing customers or reach potential customers to determine if there is interest in a product or service.
Related: Call Center Scripting: Definition, Tips and Examples
3. Automated call centers
An automated call center allows a company to reduce the cost of its call management by having computer-based systems handle some caller responsibilities. Automated systems often allow for a significantly smaller staff than live-operator call centers, as they only require staff to maintain the systems and handle select responsibilities the automation cannot complete. Common uses for an automated call center may include:
Managing voicemail: Automated voicemail systems are one of the most common call center services. An automated voicemail service for a company may reduce the need for staff to take messages.
Helping customers find locations: Many companies with multiple locations may use automated call centers to assist customers in need of finding a nearby store location.
Interactive voice responders: Interactive systems allow a caller to speak normally and uses technology to understand their words and navigate the caller through a menu, sometimes transferring callers to an employee at a call center.
4. Multichannel call centers
Although phone calls are still an important part of modern businesses, there are many other forms of communication and interaction with customers. Many modern call centers expand their offerings to clients to include other communication tasks, including sending and receiving faxes and emails and overseeing order fulfillment.
5. Omnichannel call centers
A call center offering an omnichannel service may build upon multichannel offerings and add enhanced coordination and customization. With an omnichannel call center, all departments assigned to a client are in communication, which can allow staff to learn from information gathered through phone calls and vice versa. This approach allows for enhanced customization of the approach call center representatives take when interacting with clients in order to generate better results.
6. Virtual call centers
Some call centers are now virtual, with staff working from their homes or other remote locations instead of all being together at the same facility. A virtual call center may also specialize in outbound marketing calls. Because a virtual call center does not have a single, physical facility it operates out of, it can reduce a company’s operating costs. Lower overhead costs can help the company increase its profits and allow it to offer lower rates to its customers.