Call Centers: Definition & Types

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Colette Rominger

Colette has taught many business and management courses and has a Masters in Adult Education and Training as well as an MBA

This lesson will discuss the various types of call centers and how a company may use them to provide customer service. What makes a great call center customer service experience? Learn more here.

Introduction to Call Centers

One of the main factors that contribute to the success of a company is customer service. It's very important for a business to provide clients and customers and vendors with a support system. In this lesson we will discuss three main types of call centers and explain the job responsibilities assigned to each type of center.

The three major classifications of call centers are inbound, outbound, and automated. Businesses use these three types of call centers for various product or service needs that require an increased amount of customer service.

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  • 0:03 Introduction to Call Centers
  • 0:37 The Inbound Call Center
  • 1:30 The Outbound Call Center
  • 2:03 Automated Call Center Services
  • 2:44 Lesson Summary
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The Inbound Call Center

The first type of call center is the inbound call center. This type of center is used for customer service questions and transactions. Examples of the information and services provided can include:

  • Chat support
  • Email responses
  • Technology support
  • Loyalty programs

Other services are often provided as well, but these are the most common ones. The inbound call center can be located in the corporate office or another location that is run by the business itself, or it can be centrally located at a site where many agents from numerous companies work together in the same location. This arrangement is commonly referred to as 'outsourced.' The center can be located domestically (in the United States) or internationally (in another country). There are also an increasing number of representatives that do this type of work remotely from their own home.

The Outbound Call Center

The second type of call center is the outbound call center. This type of center is used mainly for sales, promotions, and market research. Examples of services provided can include:

  • Election polling
  • Warranty extensions
  • Appointment scheduling for cable television
  • Call backs for online price quotes
  • Following up on leads for product or service sales

As with an inbound center, the outbound call center can be located in-house, outsourced, or remote. This type of center is typically located in the originating country of the business, but can be international as well.

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