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What is a call center?

Nearly 3 million customer service jobs exist in the US. And there are many components that go into making customer service work for businesses of all sizes. One of these components is the call center.

While “call center” is a common term, many people don’t know what a call center is or the type of work that’s performed there.
Read on to learn more about call centers and how they function in modern customer service.

Defining a call center

A call center is a department or organization that handles phone calls, usually relating to a company’s products or services. They typically handle a high volume of calls related to things like product features, order status and service availability.

Many of these calls can be handled by interactive voice response (IVR) systems that enable callers to serve themselves by quickly accessing certain information. Other callers require the assistance of a human agent to answer their questions or address their specific needs.

The purpose of a call center

A call center’s purpose is strongly tied to customer service. An agent who picks up a customer’s call strives to help that customer by understanding the reason for the call, and then providing the necessary information or helping solve the problem.

Call centers are sometimes used for technical assistance. For example, if a customer needs help setting up a new computer, a call center can guide them through the process.

And call centers can also be used for marketing and sales departments because of their ability to handle a high volume of incoming and outgoing calls.

Types of call centers

There are two main types of call centers that are used today: inbound call centers and outbound call centers.

Inbound call centers are usually made up of agents from a specific company or organization. They’re often associated with customer service and general inquiries about a certain business.

Outbound call centers usually involve groups of agents who make calls on behalf of an organization. This can range from telemarketing calls to collections calls.

Some call centers handle both inbound and outbound responsibilities.

How a call center works

Most call centers work by first receiving a call from a customer. These calls are usually made directly to a center or by connecting from another source.

If it’s a customer service issue or another inquiry, the assigned call center agent will talk to the caller and figure out their situation. The agent can either solve the issue or direct the caller to another department.

When certain issues can’t be cleared up in a single call, a call center agent might have to follow up at a later date. This means a call center will return a call to the customer in the future.

Using a call center

A call center is a great way to streamline your customer service. You can also reach customers and prospects with outbound sales calls.

Contact us today to learn more about how a call center can help you delight your customers with outstanding service — and grow your business.