Inbound vs. Outbound Call Centres: What’s the Difference?

Are you stuck between hiring an inbound or an outbound call centre? It’s a choice that should not be made lightly. 

Any business that is trying to grow their customer base might want to consider utilising a contact centre. Many small businesses start out by making calls to customers themselves, but as they expand, it makes sense to hire a professional team to carry out this task.

There are two main kinds of contact centres: inbound and outbound. Inbound centres take calls from customers who have questions or complaints about the business, while outbound centres make calls to people who may be interested in the company’s services. Both models have their advantages and disadvantages and each will be better suited for different businesses.

In this blog, we will identify key differences between the two and highlight just how beneficial they can be for your business. 

What are inbound call centres, and what purpose do they serve?

A prime example – if you’ve ever had to call your bank, chances are that you’ve been sent through to an inbound call centre. These call centres are made up of people who handle enquiries and any problems a customer may be encountering. They are trained to keep customers happy and resolve any potential hiccups that may have occurred.

But what exactly is an inbound call centre? Well, put simply, it’s a group of people who take calls and deal with whatever the customer needs. It can be anything from answering a simple question about products or services to navigating a particularly tricky complaint. 

The type of calls that an inbound team tends to deal with fall into the following categories:

  • Technical support: Providing in-depth problem solving to software or product issues. This could cover anything from helping a customer access their account on your business’s software to ordering replacement parts following a manufacturing issue with a product. 
  • Customer service: Dealing with various complaints and enquiries to provide the appropriate solution. This aspect of taking inbound calls focuses more on customer satisfaction.
  • Inbound sales: Utilising the skills of a dedicated sales team to take phone calls from potential customers. These phone calls will deal directly with new opportunities and leads. 

When you think about it, a dedicated team of call handlers is crucial to any business that offers additional support over the phone – which is pretty much every business. Without this team, there’d be no support lines, no one to help customers when things go wrong, and no one to make sure everything is running smoothly on the other end of the line.

In other words: the customer service side of your business is pretty important! 

What are the pros and cons of an inbound call centre?

Pro: Inbound call centres are usually easier to set up since they don’t require a sophisticated dialling system or technology. 

Pro: Establishing an inbound call centre is also less costly than establishing an outbound call centre. There is no need to purchase or lease a large telemarketing system that enables agents to make hundreds of outgoing calls at the same time.

Pro: Brand value and loyalty can be built up massively through professional customer service. Having experienced agents on your side can really improve reviews and perceptions. 

Con: It can be difficult to follow-up and contact people back. 

What are outbound call centres, and what are they for?

Outbound agents exist to make calls to existing clients or potential new customers for a wide range of reasons. Sometimes, a company may wish to boost their sales by reaching out to prospective customers. Or perhaps a company may wish to deliver proactive customer service (for example, informing a customer of a delay or delivery arrangement in advance). Whatever the reason might be, outbound agents are tasked with making calls to people who may or may not be expecting them.

Depending on the company and the type of call centre being run, these agents could be collecting information, persuading someone to buy something, or helping someone solve a problem with their existing service or product.

There are a few main reasons why a company may choose to employ an outbound call centre:

  • Market research: Conducting thorough market research to find out how to best cater to a target audience. This method of outbound calling is used by businesses to refine and improve their services or products.
  • Lead generation: Attracting people to a business through various modes – phone calling is a popular method of generating leads for a business.
  • Cold calling: Interacting with new prospects that have not previously shown any interest in a brand. Though this method may be considered somewhat old-fashioned, it is still widely used as a way of encouraging people to interact with a business.

What are the pros and cons of an outbound call centre?

Pro: The service can be delivered from anywhere in the world, and the customer service agents will be trained to carry out all your instructions. 

Pro: You can expand your client base and target audience. Making outbound calls is a great way of spreading awareness and, ultimately, increasing that all important revenue!

Con: Many potential customers find cold calling intrusive. It is difficult to engage with customers that are not already interested in your business.

How can hiring alldayPA’s expert team to handle your inbound calls benefit your business?

Here at alldayPA, we’re experts in the field of telephone answering and delivering top-class customer service. It is because of our expertise, coupled with our unrivalled experience and passion for serving customers, that we help businesses succeed. If you’re looking for a helping hand (or multiple hands – we have over 600 agents available to help!), we are here to work with you. 

What will employing alldayPA’s experts do for you?

  • Answer all incoming calls at record speed. It is our duty to ensure no call is missed. We make it our mission to know the ins and outs of your company, allowing us to provide your clients and customers with the correct information. 
  • Direct calls to the appropriate person, depending on their availability. Should you or your partners be unavailable to take a call, we will obtain a message for them. 
  • Assist with scheduling and managing your diary to ensure nothing is ever double booked. Part of our job is to make yours as efficient as possible. 
  • We alleviate your stress. Having us by your side means that you spend less time dealing with calls and more time growing your business – it’s a win-win situation! 
  • We’ll provide the virtual PA services you need whenever you need us. Our out of hours telephone answering service can operate 24/7 – we’ll collaborate with you to make sure our service picks up when your business switches off for the day. 
  • You’ll get complete control and flexibility of your outbound call services. Whether you need a huge team on stand-by to answer a high volume of calls or a small team to pick up the odd call throughout the day, no request is too big or too small! 

Are you ready to delegate your incoming calls to our proficient team?

If you’ve come to the conclusion that call handling services could help you save time, money and stress, let’s talk. Our friendly team are always ready to discuss your goals and find a solution that works best for your business. 

We’re just one call away from helping you manage your calls – talk to us today.