Are you in the market to outsource your customer service needs? Then, you are looking for either an inbound or outbound call center. But how do you decide which one is suitable for you? That starts by understanding the difference between inbound and outbound calling and which is the one your company needs.
Inbound vs. Outbound Calling
Both inbound and outbound calling are customer service tactics used to generate sales through phone conversations. And so, they are usually conducted by customer service teams or call centers. Deciding which service your business needs is based on what type of calls you receive more. Does your business run on calls coming in from customers and prospects? Or, do you make your sales, like a telemarketing company, by calling customers, making a pitch, and selling a product? In other words, do you have a high volume of incoming or outgoing calls?
Inbound Calling: Basics
Inbound calling refers to incoming calls, that is, calls made to an enterprise by a customer. This is a key tactic of inbound call centers that exist simply to answer consumer calls. Customers will call a business for a variety of reasons, such as:
- To ask information about a product or service
- Make an appointment
- Resolve an issue
- Make a payment
- Register a complaint
- Get support or assistance
- Leave feedback and suggestions, and more.
Appointment setters, customer service, inbound call centers, and customer or tech support teams are the ones that usually take care of inbound calls. Agents answer the call and help customers through positive interactions. An inbound calling service, therefore, is a suitable option for a business with a high incoming call volume.
Outbound Calling: What is it?
Outbound calling refers to outgoing calls, that is, calls made by a business to potential and existing clients. Call centers focusing on outbound calling, like sales teams, call multiple prospects in a day to:
- Make sales pitches
- Provide company updates
- Raise funds or donations
- Follow-up on previous purchases or visits
- Leave reminders for renewals or appointments
- Collect feedback and surveys, and more.
This type of calling is generally more sales-focused. Sales teams and appointment setters use outbound calling due to their high outgoing call volume. They call clients on a list determined by metrics and market research to pitch a product or service, renew appointments, or collect data. And so, an enterprise that needs to make multiple sales calls will find an outbound calling service more useful. Basically, if more than 50% of your calls are outbound, then you can be considered an outbound call center.
Differences in Technology Used
Depending on whether your company makes more inbound or outbound calls, you will require different technology and software to ensure smooth running. Virtual phone service providers like Global Call Forwarding offer these tools and features along with your business number to enhance your customer relations.
Inbound calling benefits from:
- Call forwarding: to forward and direct calls to different office locations or during specific days and hours
- Metrics and call activity: making note of average handle times (AHT), queue times, average speed of answering (ASA), customer effort score (CES), etc.
- Call tracking: tracking when and where incoming calls are coming from
- Extensions: for different offices or departments
- Call transfer: the ability to transfer to different offices and departments
- Interactive voice response (IVR): to welcome and direct callers through a series of menus.
Outbound calling technology includes:
- Outbound calling with customizable caller ID: to call clients with a caller ID of a virtual number purchased for a specific location
- Dialers: predictive or automatic dialing technology
- Outbound IVR: proactively engage customers through voice calls, SMS or email, and by delivering personalized customer experience
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems: to record and note customer data and engagement.
Assisting and Empowering Call-Focused Businesses
Inbound and outbound calling can enhance the way your company interacts with returning and prospective customers. You can outsource your business communication needs to inbound or outbound call centers. Or, you can purchase or port your business number with Global Call Forwarding and get communication tools and features that support your calls. Call us today to learn more.