Outbound calls are a huge part of marketing, customer service, sales, research, fundraising, and so many other business operations. But what is an outbound call center, what role does it play in a business strategy, and how can these call centers be most effective?
So, what is an outbound call center?
An outbound call center specializes in making calls on behalf of businesses. Most often, these call centers are selling a business's products or services directly to potential customers for lead generation, sales, etc. Sometimes, outbound call centers exist to notify existing customers of important information or alerts.
What does an outbound call center cover?
An outbound call center is primarily used for sales and lead generation but can take on a wide variety of initiatives. Companies use outbound call centers for some of these efforts:
- Telemarketing sales
- Customer services calls
- Financial services
- Gathering marketing research
- Post-appointment follow-ups
- Updating contact information or lists
- Conducting surveys
- Customer notifications
Outbound call center vs. inbound call center
An outbound B2B call center makes outgoing calls, meaning they proactively reach out to clients and other businesses. By reaching out first, outbound calls require a different approach to communication strategies.
On the other hand, an inbound call center is a call center that specializes in taking calls from customers who are already interested in a client’s business, have questions, or need assistance in one form or another. Inbound call centers have less control over what the calls will bring daily and therefore must take a reactionary approach.
Both types of call centers have different priorities, advantages, and disadvantages, but they can also be combined to make a hybrid call center that provides both inbound and outbound services. Hybrid call centers are especially useful for very small businesses that don’t have call capacity but still want to generate leads through phone calls.
Tips for outbound call centers
Here are four ways call centers can be more competitive and meet the needs of their customers.
Use technology to your advantage
Call centers can implement better tools and techniques by leveraging the latest technology. Predictive and auto-dialers save time for agents by only keeping them on the phone when someone is speaking, which is going to make agents far more productive.
There is also software, like Hiya Connect, that can brand your outbound calls with your company name and logo. Research shows that when recipients see it’s you calling, they’re more likely to pick up.
Use flexible, personable call scripts
Answer rates are notoriously low for outbound calls since there is a high number of scams and spam calls that frustrate potential customers. Use call scripts that introduce agents and why they’re calling quickly that also leave room for personal touches will better resonate with those on the receiving end. Your call center agents need to be flexible and informed enough to handle unique situations appropriately, which comes with well-written scripts and proper training.
Depending on the business, call center agents are sometimes required to make calls that are far from enjoyable. Understand that getting rejected a lot can be taxing on agents, so your place of business should do all it can to create a positive work environment. You can also utilize a hybrid system to give agents a break between inbound and outbound calls, create flexible work schedules, and ensure that employees have adequate training and support.
Use Hiya’s Branded Call
Not every call center has the same capabilities or resources, which is why solid data-driven information is essential. With Hiya Connect, outbound call centers can monitor metrics to accurately measure efficiency and efficacy. Hiya’s Branded Call can increase answer rates by displaying your company’s name, logo, and reason for calling on each device. This way, call center agents can build customer trust and make a connection before customers even pick up the phone.
Ultimately, an outbound call center effectively connects with customers, gathers important information, engages leads, and drives sales for your company. Looking for more ways to optimize your outbound contact center? Download the Call Center Metrics eBook to better understand the most important KPIs for your call center.