The call center is a workplace where hundreds of calls are answered each day. It is a fast-paced workplace where agents are deployed to handle a large number of phone calls. It can be an inbound call center or an outbound one. Every company does have a call center to have contact with clients and customers. The call center is the first point of interaction between a company and its client/customer base. The call center can be a place located inside the organization or can be contracted out to other companies as well.
What is the difference between a call center and a contact center?
A call center is a place where a large number of calls are answered by agents every day. It can be an inbound or outbound call center. The main technology used in a call center is the telephone. Most of the operations are done on the phone call. The call center exists before the digitalization process.
The contact center is a fast-paced workplace where customer support is provided to customer with the help of different channels that includes email, phone calls, web collaboration, web chat, and social media. The main difference between a call center and a contact center is the use of technology. The contact center is not limited to telephone calls only as it use a wide range of interaction channels.
Different types of call centers
Different types of call centers that are operational across the globe. Let’s discuss them one by one.
- Inbound call centers
- Outbound call centers
- Blended call centers
- Virtual call centers
- Multichannel call centers
- Offshore call centers
- Nearshore call centers
Inbound call center
The inbound call center is a call center that is specially designed to handle the incoming calls of the customer. It may be a query, complaint, or problem faced by the customer. The main aim of this type of call center is to provide existing customer quality customer service.
Outbound call center
The outbound call center is a call center where a large number of calls are made to existing or potential new customers. The main objective of this type of call center is to increase sales by making calls. It can be used for marketing new products, offering discounts, and informing the existing customer of new features about company products/services.
Blended call center
The blended call center is a mixture of both inbound and outbound call centers. In this type of call center, both incoming and outgoing calls are handled by customer support agents. However, it is important to know that the same set of agents has to perform both duties in this type of call center.
Virtual call centers
The virtual call center is a call center that can be inbound or outbound call center. This call center is not physically located as it is an online call center. The agents in this type of call center are virtually located anywhere in the world performing the same duties as per direction by the supervisors.
Multichannel call centers
The multichannel call center is a type of call center that allows the agents to connect to a call center software that uses different channels like text, voice, and social media to outreach customers. You can say, it allows call center agents to connect to the customer via different channels.
Offshore call centers
The offshore call center is a type of call center that is not located in the same country as the parent company. Mostly these are the call center that provides customer support to customer in multiple languages. The main objective of offshore call center is to save costs as they are considered less expensive. Mostly these call centers are located in South Asia.
Nearshore call centers
The near shore call centers are the type of call centers that are not located in a similar country as of parent company. But they are not far away in a country like in offshore call centers. They are located in nearby countries of the parent company.
Technology used in the call center
Here we will get to know about the technology used in the call center. Let’s learn about the technology.
Interactive voice response (IVR) systems
Interactive voice response is also known as IVR is a programmed technology that allows the incoming calls to have access to the prerecorded information without the interference of an agent. They could also use menu options via speech recognition or touch-tone keypad selection to have their calls directed to particular sections or experts.
Automatic call distribution (ACD) systems
Automatic call distribution is known as ACD, it is a systemic programmed technology that enables the system to receive incoming calls automatically and route them to the next available agent. The main purpose of this system is to manage the huge volume of calls in call centers and to avoid overburdening the agents.
Computer telephony integration (CTI)
CTI stands for computer telephony integration, in this system business applications are connected to the telephone system. It means the call center agents don’t need to have a phone to attend or make, and transfer a call. They can perform all their telephonic task using this system as everything is connected to their computer system. They can have control over everything via CTI.
Call routing software
Talking about call routing software, it tracks and captures call data. Moreover, it instinctively gathers all the suitable call recipients. The filter and custom queue that this software has decided the route of the correct recipient. Call routing regulates the correct recipient call tracking doesn’t have that feature.
Call recording software
In all the call centers, to ensure privacy and security, all the inbound and outbound calls are recorded via call recording software. This practice is observed all over the world to ensure that all the agents perform their duties in a highly professional manner. Moreover, the organization should have a proper record of all the calls.
Workforce management software
Workforce management software is a software that is used by call center management as it provides a solution for creating, tracking, and scheduling the attendance and time of the employees. The advanced versions of this workforce management software can have add-on features like robust analytics, forecasting, and decision-making on set benchmarks.
Predictive dialer systems
This is advanced software that is designed with the latest algorithms to forecast the percentage of people who will attend the phone call. It initiates the operation of outbound calls and allows to connect all the call center agents to connect to the active caller list with the expected pickup rate.
Chatbot or virtual assistant technology
The chatbot or you can say VA (virtual assistant) is an advance designed program that will perform the duties of a live agent in a specific environment. They are designed to answer specific questions and answers asked by the customers and they can also make recommendations.
Call center teams and structure
Now here will be shed some light of the call center team and structure of the team. Let’s learn more.
Call center agents
Call center agents are considered the first line of interaction with the customers and clients. They receive and make calls to customers. They handle a large number of calls each day and their main job is to always remain on the call to satisfy the needs and requirements of the customers.
Team leaders are the leaders of the telesales team. They motivate their sales team to get more out of them. They design and implement action plans to achieve the targets set by the organization. In short, they control the overall telesales team. Furthermore, they are responsible to train the new agents.
Call center directors
The call center director’s main task is to oversee the overall operations of a call center. In short, you can say that they are the main management of the call center. They are responsible for hiring new team members and doing all administrative work.
Quality assurance team
The quality assurance team in a call center ensures that the customer receives quality customer service from the call center agents. They ensure that the call quality and performance of the agents during calls remain up-to-date and customer gets satisfied.
The IT personnel in a call center is responsible to design, install and manage all the software, hardware, and networking. They ensure that all the systems and accessories including the internet remain active and there shall be no distortion in operations. They are skillful enough to handle the complex task.
Examples of call centers in different industries
The call center exists in every industry, let’s talk about some of the top industries where call center services are the basic requirement to operate a business.
The telecommunication industry doesn’t get success without having a proper call center. The need of the call center is great in this industry as customer calls telecommunication companies regarding their complaints, issues, and problems. Moreover, the customer wants to know more about the products so inbound and outbound call center services are of great importance in the telecommunication industry.
The health sector is another industry in which call center services need to be on the mark. In the healthcare sector, the call centers are responsible for data entry, paperwork, setting appointments, maintaining referrals, and making correspondence. Moreover, they have the patient record, and whenever a patient calls them they book an appointment for the specific illness.
Different insurance companies have their call centers. The main aim is to sell a different kind of insurance to customers. The main objective of these companies is to make maximum sales with the help of a telesales team. The insurance may include home insurance, auto insurance, final expense insurance, health insurance, Medicare insurance, and many more.
What is a call center in BPO?
The business-process outsourcing is a type of call center that is outsourced by the company to a third party to do the inbound and outbound operations. These outsource BPOs are responsible to make and attend the calls of clients and customers on behalf of a company.
What are call center skills?
The skills that are required to succeed in a call center are communication skills. Communication and listening skills count a lot if you want to pursue your career in a call center.
What do you do at a call center?
The main job in a call center is to answer the queries and problem solutions of the customer. The call center agents attend or make hundreds of calls each day. To satisfy the customer via any means of communication is done at the call center.
What is a call center representative?
The call center representative is responsible to handle a large number of calls each day. They are the first point of interaction between an organization and the customer. They answer questions, solve problems and provide customer support to the customers.
In this article you know the complete details of a call center, it includes technologies used in a call center, the team and structure of a call center, and most importantly different types of call centers available across the globe.