Call centre

What is a call centre?
A call centre is a specialist, centralised facility that handles phone calls between organisations and customers or prospective customers. Call centres can handle inbound calls, outbound calls, or both types of calls. They can be fulfil a number of business purposes including sales and marketing, lead generation, customer support, and more.

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What types of call centre are there?

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.

What are the advantages of a virtual call centre?

A virtual call centre uses VoIP technology, which routes calls securely over the internet. This means that your team can connect easily with customers and prospects from any internet-connected device, whichever country or time zone they are working in. Additionally, VoIP calling is much more cost-effective than traditional telephony, which significantly reduces operating costs. 

Virtual call centres are also much more scalable than traditional call centre setups, and can be expanded with a simple software installation. Anyone with a stable internet connection and a computer can connect to your network, making it easy to grow your virtual cost centre at low cost.

For more information about call centres and the benefits of using VoIP for both inbound and outbound contact centre activities, please refer to the following NFON FAQ articles:

 

Further information

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