What is an Inbound Call Center?
Here’s a little riddle to get your internet research started. What is open 24/7/365; speaks multiple languages; handles millions of communication transactions annually; and never calls in sick? Nope, it’s not the Internet, and it’s not an actual telephone. It’s an inbound call center!
What is an inbound call center? Today’s article is devoted to teaching you about a vocation and service that has been around for more than 100 hundred years.
Inbound Call Center Defined
Webopedia describes the services of an inbound call center in one simple sentence, “A type of call center that is designed to receive a large volume of requests — or inbound calls — from customers by telephone.” Imagine a team of 50-100 professional receptionists sitting near telephones, just waiting for a call so they could help that consumer with their inquiry.
Below are 10 examples showing you the range of services that an inbound call center provides:
1. Telephone Answering and Message Taking
The most basic call center service would include forwarding your calls to a team of virtual receptionists to answer. Your callers are given 24-hour access to your business and are able to leave messages with your virtual receptionist on their timetable. The call center than forwards your telephone messages to you via text, email, fax or voice.
Competitive answering service rates can be as affordable as 45 cents per incoming call.
2. Customer Service Phone Representatives
Not only do virtual receptionists have the ability to answer your incoming calls, they can also perform basic customer service tasks. Fantastic call centers have in-house account specialists to train your new team of virtual receptionists on how to handle your business calls.
In order to assist callers with their FAQ’s and inquiries, it is important for a call center to provide custom and unique services for each client.
3. Professional Dispatch Unit
A dispatching unit handles both incoming and outgoing calls for a business. Depending on your company’s needs, dispatchers are able to answer incoming calls and patch callers or service orders directly to on-call personnel.
Many industries utilize dispatching services. Doctors, electricians, emergency services, dealerships, manufacturers and other professionals rely on 24-hour caller dispatching packages.
4. Telephone Order Taking and Payment Processing
Virtual receptionists that focus on order taking and payment processing have the ability to answer callers’ questions and finalize purchases over the phone. Successful eCommerce websites offer both on-line shopping carts and live customer service support to assist in transactions.
Some consumers prefer the privacy and security of giving their confidential information to a live-person rather than sharing on the Internet.
5. Virtual Scheduling Assistants
Technically advanced inbound call centers are able to synch up to your scheduling calendar to set and cancel appointments as they are made. A virtual scheduling assistant is responsible for answering your incoming calls and scheduling appropriate meetings in real-time on your agenda.
Virtual scheduling assistants can be trained on your specific preliminary questions for new and existing clients.
6. Subscription and Account Management
If you are business that provides subscription or on-going services, an inbound call center can help you manage your customers’ accounts. These virtual receptionists focus on accurate data entry and elite customer service techniques.
Simply supply your subscribers with a 1(800) number to call into with any questions, requests or additional information needed. Your new virtual receptionists will answer those calls and can log into your company database to update, change and place order requests.
7. Virtual Help Desk and Contact Center
What is an inbound call center that is dedicated to answering customer and employee questions? A virtual help desk, sometimes referred to as a contact center, can help answer and assist all types of calling inquiries. Their function is to provide help to your calling customers and support to your existing in-house employees.
If you’re part of a multi-office or franchised business, you could benefit greatly from making a virtual help desk your brand’s central communication hub.
8. Multilingual and Bilingual Telephone Agents
It’s no surprise that opening up to foreign language markets brings new opportunities to grow and expand your business. An inbound call center that has multilingual telephone agents on staff allows you to attract and communicate with a new pool of potential customers.
To learn more about multilingual and bilingual business answering services, take a look at a recent article posted, “Sí, hablo español! A Bilingual Answering Service.”
9. Outsourced Billing Department
Some businesses prefer to outsource their billing department entirely because of the small costs associated with virtual billing managers. Since professional incoming call centers can accept payment on your business’s behalf, they can also manage your customers’ billing accounts.
Make sure that any inbound call center you outsource your billing department to has a proven, reliable and successful track record.
10. Virtual Personal Assistant and Virtual Receptionist
Virtual personal assistants are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year to take your calls. Since virtual PAs are entrusted with your personal and after-hour tasks, their services are 100% customized according to your needs.
Whether you are in need of a virtual receptionist to handle your personal and networking appointments or just need a wakeup call each morning, these services are built according to your exact specifications.
30 Years of Inbound Call Center Experience
Answering your frequently asked questions is what we are used to here at A Courteous Communications. Frankly, after 30 years of providing outstanding customer service, it’s what we do best. What is an inbound call center? We hope after reading this article, you can answer that question now.
Want to discuss your company’s specific answering service needs? Start the conversation by giving us a call at 1-800-785-6161 to speak with an account specialist.