Customer service has always been a vital component that can define the success or failure of a business. Good customer service leads to repeat business, customer satisfaction, low complaints, and high profits. Bad customer service can be equated in the opposite direction. With customers, a business grows, becomes profitable, and attracts investment, customers, employees, and innovation. Without customers, a business simply ceases to exist. Do you want your business to be a success, or to be forgotten in months?
Customer service is expensive, and profit is hard to quantify directly to good customer service. Sales teams drive sales, and the targets and figures generated by the sales team can be directly quantified to profit. Sales teams drive customers to websites, products, and help the business directly. A Customer service team supports the sales and marketing initiatives and keeps customers coming back to the business. One reason that customer service departments are often outsourced to the call centre types of services that specialize in offering great service. One of the call centre types that offers exceptional customer service is the Philippine outsourced call centre.
There are other call centre types, offering different services and specialties, and some don’t offer any customer service!
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There are several call centre types, so your understanding the difference could mean that your outsourcing project is a success or a failure. Whilst we focus on customer service, and in the eyes of call centre types, your business becomes the customer of the outsourced call center provider.
Call centres are the first point of contact for customer service, and for customers to call when they have a concern or a complaint, or if they simply have a question before they make a purchase. When customers need assistance, they turn to call centre types of experts in the product and service.
When businesses need their brand protected, when they are expanding, when they are looking to build customer loyalty, or when they are looking to reduce costs in customer service or back-office support, they turn to different call centre types who specialize in the service that they are looking for.
There are several different call centre types, and knowing them all, and how they might impact on your business will help you to make the right choice, first time.
What is a Call Center?
Before looking at the different call centre types, we first need to review and understand what a call center is, and how it works. There are different call centre types such as in-bound facilities, out-bound operations, non-voice, recruitment, IT Development, multi-channel support, and more. All these services have the same thing in common. They are operational centers offering outsourced support to businesses around the world. A call center is a business that handles calls for businesses usually from customers, and for specific purposes.
Call centers handle calls. Contact centers handle contacts, and those contacts could be from any source.
A call center is the first contact point for customers, it is the place that customers reach out to when they have concerns, and it is a cost-effective operational center that supports business operations through the medium of phone calls. There are several call centre types like customer service, sales, marketing, technical support, compliance monitoring, brand protection, collections, and many more. The call centre types all use the phone to communicate with customers, analyse data, and report back to head offices globally, with up-to-date information on the value of the company data, and the cleanliness of the call information.
Services like lead generation, answering complaints, resolving concerns, supporting customers, solving problems, and ensuring the customer has the best possible experience are all call centre types of services that are improved by using specialist services.
There are around 8 different call centre types.
The Different Call Centre Types
The following list of call centers all focus on a different service, which can be linked to different products and services for your business. The different call centre types also support different business types, so making sure you understand the differing call centre types will help you to support the elements of your business that require additional servicing.
The In-Bound Call Centre
As the name suggests, this service answers the phone when it rings. It could be for overseas calling, local calls, international calls, or for specific calls to specific departments. If the call is an in-bound call, it can be easily routed to your in-bound call center.
Incoming calls from customers can be complaint calls, technical support, customer service, collections, processing orders, taking bookings, discussing loyalty programmes, and dispatching orders or cars and services to customers. Inbound calls are both for B2C and B2B clients. Whan a client calls your in-bound number, they have high expectations of knowledgeable and supportive staff answering the phone.
Inbound calls are essential for your business and if the inbound process is too hard or confusing for customers, they will drop off, and go to one of your competitors for the products. There is research to suggest that price is secondary to bad customer service and confusing inbound communication. Customers will go to competitors who charge a little more if they are experiencing bad customer service and a confusing inbound process.
To make the inbound process easier and more professional for customers there are services like call routing, IVR Programs, Automatic call distribution, waterfall call cascading, skill-based levelling and routing, and many more inbound services that conXhub can offer to make sure that your customers get to the right person quickly.
Automatic call distribution makes sure that the person calling your business is routed to the right person, and to the person who has been off the phone for the longest. The call centre types that focus on inbound calls have the best customer support agents who know your product intimately.
Skill based routing is offered by call centre types of inbound services to ensure that the most skilled person deals with complaints and compliance related issues. Customers want the best service, and fresh customers want the best service, so they stay with you. These customers, through skill-based routing, can go to the most appropriate agents.
The IVR (interactive Voice Response) services that call centre types offer means that customers press a button or perform an action to be routed to the best person. This is an important way of offering VIP Service first to your top VIP Customers.
If you have a lot of in0bound calls, this call could be taking up valuable time for your agents in your head office, so using an offshore call centre types of service could reduce costs and keep your customers happy.
Outbound Call Center Types
Outbound call centre types offer outbound calling to your customers and your prospective customers. These call centre types take the initiative of calling the customers and targeting when and how to speak to them. The call could be to a customer on your website currently looking for your services, it could be for customer onboarding, and vital services linked to sales support.
People also make outbound calls for telemarketing, sales, phone surveys, collections, market research, and to follow up or to give a consented call back. When making outbound calls the call centre types must have excellent training and support for their agents, since customers are sometimes unhappy to receive a call, so the agents must be always polite and respectful.
Outbound calling for sales and marketing campaigns are often offering customers a call back when they express their interest in the services. This can be supported by SMS2Email, and Email sends to generate interest and to ensure that people call back at the best time.
There should be integration with dialers, and CRM solutions to ensure that the call is logged, recorded, and other people are notified of the call action. The last thing that you want to do is to annoy or harass customers, so good integration is essential.
Hybrid Call Centre Types
Some call centre types are inbound, others are outbound, and some are mixed, offering teams of both types of calls.
Some businesses want to keep control of their inbound, so they only want to use a call center for outbound communication. Others are the opposite. Some businesses do not offer outbound calling. Before looking at the Hybrid option, businesses must understand their call volume and call channels to see if it is worthwhile to have a dedicated team for one specific channel of communication.
Virtual Call Centre Types
Since the pandemic of 2019 to 2022, businesses have been looking at virtual assistance, and virtual call centers more. During the ‘Work from home” boom, it was demonstrated that people do not need to be in an office environment to do some work. Virtual call centre types focus on virtual, working from home operations. There could be compliance concerns with this type of business, but with solid controls in place, businesses can reduce overheads and keep employees happy. Who likes a long commute?
These call centre types offer work from home, or work from anywhere solutions to customers, therefore charging lower rates, and being able to attract the best employees looking for flexible working.
If the agents have good internet at home, and there are controls in place around data protection and data privacy, these virtual call centre types are good for businesses, and even more cost effective.
With further cost savings comes longer hours and more efficiency. These Virtual call centers are becoming more popular in the 2020s due to the understanding that was forced on people during the pandemic. These days, people love flexibility in their work and these call centre types offer exactly what agents are looking for, as well as a cheaper solution for businesses around the world.
Automated Call Centre Types
These call centre types offer more automation than the standard and traditional approach of other call centre types. They can automate communication through non-voice channels, they can be integrated with excellent technology in SMS, Email, phone calls, and channel that communication into their CRM solutions. These call centre types focus on new technology, including Artificial Intelligence integrations that can support customer communication.
These call centre types offer cheaper solutions, and often package them for bespoke services for businesses. There will be a lot of planning and support that goes into setting up these services, but when they are running, they take fewer staff, they can answer customers faster, and they can support other communication channels.
A lot of other call centre types use automated services to support their operations. The types of services that can be automated include SMS and email communication, booking appointments, reminders, scheduling call backs, sending marketing material, technical support documentation, and can be integrated into GPS tracking for salespeople on the road.
Through tools like ChatBots, IVR routing, pre-recorded messages, educational videos, self-help guides and more, automated services are reducing the need for human interaction and resolving many customer concerns faster.
A fast customer is a happy customer, even if they are talking to a robot.
Omnichannel Call Centre Types
These call centre types are for businesses that are moving away from telephony and offering different channels for their customers. If you are communicating with your customers through Facebook, social media, SMS, email, videos, telephone, and self-help routes, choosing the omnichannel call centre types could benefit your business. If you have a centralized CRM solution, and you are using multiple channels of communication for your customers, this is a great channel to research.
Inhouse Call Centre Types and Outsourced Call Centre Types
Some businesses want to keep operations inhouse and have an internal call centre. Other businesses are happy to consider outsourcing solutions and to work with outsourced providers who specialize in these services.
Keeping operations in-house is more expensive, but you have detailed controls in place, and you can closely monitor performance and operations. For a starting company it is often best to have the processes set up internally first, before considering outsourcing, however the cost difference is worthwhile considering.
The choice often comes down to control and cost. Which is the most important for you?
Offshore Call Centre Types
If you are happy with call center outsourcing support for your customer service, and you are focusing on cost savings, then looking at offshore providers will save more money. There are several near-shore providers which are a little cheaper and easier to get to. Working with near-shore call centre types gives you the ability to go to their office quickly, and monitor recruitment and performance.
Working with offshore providers could mean that you are working with a company on the other side of the world, making it cheaper, but harder to remain in control and in communication. The cost savings of offshore outsourcing are clear. You can get 3 or 4 staff for the price of one onshore, which has obvious efficiency and productivity benefits.
There are other concerns to consider, such as telephony, technology, language and cultural barriers, and product knowledge. Training is a key consideration when looking at offshore call centre types.
Which call Centre Types are Right for you?
You know your business and your customers, and now you know the different call centre types. When you have chosen the type that is best for you, and then you have conXhub as the best mobile technology telephony solution for your business to continue your expansion and communication improvements.