Call centres are an essential aspect of many businesses, and the type of centre you run depends on its purpose. This purpose can influence the number of agents you need, the skills they require, and how you measure performance, along with generating income. Typically, call centres handle either inbound or outbound calls.
An inbound call centre primarily handles customer-initiated calls, usually for the purpose of customer service. Such centres are ideal for those who are focused on helping people and are less concerned with connecting performance to income. These centres can manage technical support, customer queries and process orders, making it an all-purpose facility.
On the other hand, outbound call centres make calls to potential customers for telemarketing, sales, surveys, or fundraising. These calls can range from cold calls for unsolicited customers to warm calls for those who have previously shown interest in the product or service. If you are motivated by reaching commercial targets, an outbound call centre can be an ideal choice.
Outbound centres can also provide additional services, such as pay per lead telemarketing, and telemarketing appointment setting. The former generates potential leads for a client by placing calls to potential customers, while the latter arranges for product or service presentation to potential clients. Offering both inbound and outbound call services is advantageous as it caters to all customer stages, allowing for working with a more extensive range of clients.
Call centres can be in-person or virtual, with the latter using the internet and cloud-based software for making and receiving calls. In-person centres, on the other hand, use hardware for the same purpose. Depending on your requirements, one option may be more suitable than the other.
In-person centres offer a specific set of advantages, such as not relying on the internet, an easier and quicker way of relaying information and conducting staff training. Virtual centres offer lower operating costs and allow for hiring staff from around the world, working in different languages and time zones.
Call centres make money differently, depending on their type. For instance, sales-based centres make money off commission from successful sales, while centres handling customer service are usually paid by the minute, hour, or call. As an outsourced call centre, you will agree with the client on a custom solution before providing services.