Types Of Call Centers

By: soniaroody | Posted: 21st January 2011

Call centers are a key part of the contact relationship management strategy of any large business entity. A company usually opts to use such a service in order to cut costs and handle increased workload.

A dedicated department tasked with solely answering calls was thought to be advantageous for two main reasons. The theory was that as a department’s proficiency went up so would the ratio of calls received to the number of agents needed to handle them. This increases the work rate of the employees. Another idea was that it would lead to more competent agent responses from the familiarity of answering hundreds of calls a day.

There are several types of call centers that cater to customer inquiries. They are divided both by their function and the medium through which they communicate.

• A generic contact center is a department that makes itself available for all customer relations. These interactions can be through the traditional telephone but can also include other modern variations. Some companies have live 24-hour chat lines for customers who need instant responses to their questions. Others correspond through email and still others have whole online bulletin board style forums dedicated to the task.

• An inbound call center exclusively deals with customer initiated contact. They are the people who are usually on the other side of customer help lines. Common types of inbound call centers include tech support hotlines as well as people who take customer information for home TV shopping orders.

• An outbound call center never receives calls from the public. They are the ones who call up potential and existing customers in order to market new promos and products. What they do is akin to advertising or salesmanship. This is in contrast with inbound centers who act as customer service representatives.

• A blended call center combines the functions of an inbound and outbound service in one. They both receive customer questions, requests and complaints as well as initiate call to outside numbers in order to market their company’s products/services. There are reportedly more efficient than either of the two previous options because of the facility’s inherent flexibility. They can handle overflows or shortfalls of one type of call or the other by adjusting their focus accordingly.
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Tags: existing customers, customer relations, salesmanship, business entity, outbound call center, traditional telephone, contact center, customer service representatives, management strategy, inbound call center, home tv, relationship management, inbound call centers