There are three main types of call centres. These are:
Inbound call centres
This type of call centre handles calls from clients who wish to interact with an organisation. Calls may relate to accounts management, scheduling, technical support, complaints, queries about products or services, or purchase requests and more. Usually, calls are screened and then allocated to an agent who is able to deal with the customer’s query. This process can be automated over a interactive voice response (IVR) system or completed manually.
Outbound call centres
An outbound call centre makes phone calls to customers or prospective customers. Typical tasks for an outbound call centre include sales lead generation and collecting customer satisfaction data with customer surveys. The process of calling customers or prospects can be automated with an automatic dialler. These connect agents only when calls are answered, which saves time and increases the number of calls that can be made per hour.
Blended call centres
A blended call centre handles both inbound and outbound calls. Large companies that have a call centre will typically need to perform both inbound and outbound tasks. Often these are separated by department, for example with the sales team performing outbound tasks and the customer support team taking inbound calls.
There are also different types of call centres based on their location, ownership and technical set up. These include:
In-house call centres
Where a company operates its own call centre and employs its own call centre agents
Outsourced call centres
where an organisation hires a third party company to handle calls on its behalf. This can reduce costs as support staff do not require additional training and no extra hardware, software or support contracts are required
Offshore call centres
which is an outsourced call centre located in a different country to the organisation it is working for. Companies often use an offshore call centres located in low-wage countries to reduce their operating costs.
Virtual call centres
where agents use VoIP/cloud technology such as the NFON Cloud Telephone System to answer calls. Call centre agents can be located in different locations as they can all easily connect to the network over the internet.