In telephony, the term inbound is used to specify the direction in the setting-up of calls in more detail. Inbound means incoming calls, the opposite of outgoing calls, which are known as outbound. In the context of call centres, the term inbound defines the type of operation of the call centre more specifically. 

Inbound and outbound call centres

An inbound call centre is almost exclusively dedicated to receiving incoming customer calls. These calls may be being made in order to purchase products or services, make complaints, report faults or request information. While the inbound call centre itself does not actively call customers, but rather takes incoming calls, an outbound call centre makes calls to customers or potential customers. The aim of the call is to deliver telemarketing to customers and motivate them to purchase products, for example. Other reasons are conducting surveys, research customer satisfaction and to identify pre-sales needs.

Feature-based inbound routing for incoming calls

To assign incoming calls to a particular phone connection, individual or group of persons, telephone systems operate with various inbound routing functions. Professional equipment in call centres uses powerful voice response systems for feature-based routing. These systems ask the caller for information about their concerns and direct the call to staff qualified to deal with that matter. By using their voice or by pressing keys the caller has the option to specify the reason for their call in more detail. The better the routing of incoming calls works, the more efficiently the call centre is able to work and the higher the satisfaction of the caller. Telephone systems can also use the phone number of the customer and the stored customer information to route the call.

Cloud telephone systems and inbound routing to virtual teams

With modern cloud telephone systems (PBXs) employees who are in different locations can be integrated into corporate communications in almost any way. This enables virtual call centres to operate with virtual teams. The employees can work from any location, such as their home office. The only technical requirements are a broadband Internet connection, a PC and a software or hardware-based phone. The cloud telephone system has the required inbound routing capabilities to assign incoming calls to the respective employees, regardless of their location.

Further information

Private Branch Exchange (PBX)

Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is another term for a telephone system or an interphone network. It refers to a system connecting a specific number of communication devices such as phones or fax…

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