In telephony, the term “outbound” is used to specify the direction in the setting-up of calls in more detail. While outbound calls denote outgoing connections, inbound denotes incoming calls.

Also, the type of operation undertaken by call centres can be defined more precisely by using the terms inbound and outbound. Inbound call centres mainly receive calls and do not usually actively make calls themselves. The kind of calls they take can be, for example, complaints, breakdowns, orders or other typical service requests. 

Employees in an outbound call centre actively call customers, potential customers or selected groups of people, according to certain criteria. The purpose of the calls could be to conduct various types of surveys or to offer products and services. The telephone systems in call centres support the agents using special inbound and outbound functions, depending on their current activity. 

Outbound functions of telephone systems

While call handling is mainly important for inbound routing, in the outbound area a so-called predictive dialler is increasingly being used. This automatic dialler selects individual numbers from a database of contacts, dials the number and, as soon as the call is answered, connects the participant with a call centre agent. The dialler is able to reject engaged lines, fax machines, answering machines or calls that go unanswered. This massively increases the efficiency of the call centre agents, as no time is lost making telephone calls that will not be answered. You need a certain minimum quantity of both numbers to call and available agents for the predictive dialler to function efficiently.

Least Cost Routing for outbound calls

Another useful outbound function of a telephone system is Least Cost Routing. This feature makes it possible to automatically select the most favourable telephone company through which to make each call. To do this, the telephone system uses the Call-by-Call method, selecting an individual provider via a prefix dialling code. The telephone system has a stored table listing the different charges of the various phone call providers, enabling it to determine the most favourable. Manually comparing fee tables becomes unnecessary and the cost of phone calls can be significantly reduced. A prerequisite is that the user's own telephone provider supports the Call-by-Call method.