There are different types of call centres
Inbound call centres: made up of teams in charge of a company’s customer service call reception or general assistance by phone.
Outbound call centres: made up of teams of agents who mainly make calls (prospection, sales contact, telemarketing).
In practise, for SMEs most call centres are a mix, handling about as many inbound calls as outbound calls. Customer service agents answer and return client calls, while sales reps must manage calls to and from leads.
The distinction between inbound and outbound calls is important when selecting an adapted technical solution.
For inbound calls, it is preferable to opt for a solution with efficient call routing; in other words, one that ensures that callers reach the agent best equipped to deal with their question or problem as quickly as possible. An optimal solution should offer an improved IVR, personalised call queues, and refined call distribution.
On the other hand, making outbound calls requires above all else tools that improve agent efficiency and allow them to make more calls, such as call automation.
A specific vocabulary
As with any organisation having a technical aspect, call centres have little by little developed their own jargon. Here are a few examples:
Agent: a person taking calls.
Position: location from which an agent processes calls.
Call blending: alternating inbound and outbound calls according to call volume to increase agent productivity.
Supervisor: the person who oversees and coaches agents with the help of real-time call monitoring or detailed statistics on individual performance.