What is an inbound call center?
An inbound call center is a type of phone answering service that manages inbound calls to the company from customers, clients, and potential customers. The employees that work at a call center are customer service professionals who are highly trained in addressing customer issues, concerns, and questions. Additionally, call center companies use professional communication software such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) which gives them an advantage in addressing your customer’s issues efficiently.
Reasons to use an inbound call center
Companies all over the world utilize inbound call center services for many different reasons. No matter whether your business is small, medium, large, or enterprise-level, you may find a need at some point to partner with an inbound call center service. Review these common reasons why businesses may want to utilize an inbound call center service.
1. Leave customer service to professionals
Every company wants to build a great reputation with their customers and prospects. This starts with providing top-notch customer service. While customer service may seem simple to many, there is a ton of training that goes into providing professional customer service. Your on-site employees may or may not be trained or have extensive experience in providing customer service. Partnering with a quality inbound call center will ensure you are providing the best service possible to every customer.
2. Improve on-site workflow
Many companies have lots of customer service needs that they need to address via phone call. However, on-site employees have heavy workloads and other tasks to attend to daily. Hiring an inbound call center helps companies focus on internal tasks such as sales, marketing, technology, and much more while on-site. At the same time, they can rely on professionals to handle customer service needs off-site.
3. Manage high call volume efficiently
Customer or client-facing companies need to allocate a ton of time to answering phone calls and resolving issues. Responding to customer calls quickly and efficiently is crucial to retaining customers. When you use an inbound call center, it means that you have an entire staff of professionals who are ready to spend 40 hours a week making sure your customers are satisfied. Overall, it can help you improve customer retention rates, call abandon rates, and much more.
4. Reduce customer wait times
Additionally, it’s very important to make sure your customers do not have to wait long periods of time before their call is answered. When wait times are too long, you risk customer frustration, abandonment of calls, and even cancellation with your service. When you have a dedicated inbound call center staff, you ensure each call will be answered promptly so your customers remain happy with your company.
5. Utilize professional tech-support
Many companies require tech and IT support for their customers and clients. However, your internal staff may or may not be highly trained to manage and resolve technical issues. Keep in mind that customers today have shorter attention spans and expect issues to be resolved quickly. When using a professional tech support team, you can reduce resolution times and provide expert tech support at all times.
Related: What is a remote call center?
Types of inbound call support
1. Customer service
Call center professionals can handle customer service needs like:
- Questions, issues, and concerns
- Customer experience issues
- Policy questions
- And more
2. Tech support
Depending on the product/service they sell, many companies need to provide technical support to customers. A tech support team typically specializes in technology-related questions. This includes IT support and any other technical questions about how to use the product/service
3. Help desk support
Some of your customers will likely call in with basic, easy-to-answer questions. It’s a great idea to hire a call center to handle these quick questions, including:
- Password settings
- Account information changes
- Address changes
- Automated payment methods
- And more
4. Appointment setting
Current customers may call in to schedule an appointment with a member of your on-site team. Instead of answering every appointment-related phone call, you can have an inbound call center service schedule the appointment for you and send you a notification.
5. Inbound sales & order processing
Although many sales these days happen online, some customers may prefer to call your company to make a purchase. Instead of spending the time entering customer information and processing sales, your inbound call center agents can take care of this for you.
6. Lead qualification
Although inbound call center services speak to a lot of current customers and clients, sometimes they speak to prospects as well. Before passing a lead off to your inside sales team, you can have an inbound call center ask them pre-qualifying questions to make sure their needs are right for your business. This can save sales reps tons of time and effort in their roles!
7. Upgrades & Renewals
Current customers may want to call your company to inquire about upgrading their current product/service plan. They may also have questions about renewing a contract, if applicable. If you prefer, you can let your inbound call center service handle these questions and process upgrades and renewals.
Inbound call center services can be used for a wide variety of industries and businesses. Essentially any customer or client-facing business that experiences incoming calls regularly can benefit from an inbound call center. However, your inbound call center needs will likely be different depending on what industry you operate in.
- Healthcare: medical practices can benefit from medical office answering services, which are inbound call centers specializing in healthcare needs. Medical answering services are usually well-equipped with technology like practice management software and digital healthcare assets. They can help your practice with call overflow, appointment setting, after hours calls, and much more.
- Sales and marketing: Sales and marketing teams can benefit from using an inbound call center to help them with tasks like lead qualification, responding to inbound customer calls, processing orders, and more.
- E-Commerce: Many brands exist entirely online. Even if they have an on-site staff, they will likely need an inbound call center to handle customer calls, schedule appointments, process orders, help with account information, and more.
- Real estate: Real estate agents are constantly on-the-go. They don’t have the time or bandwidth to take customer calls at the office all day long! That’s why so many real estate companies hire inbound call centers to manage call overflow, appointment setting, live chat with prospective buyers, route calls to agents, and more.
- Tech companies: Even though most employees at tech companies are well-versed in technology, they are too busy throughout the day to act at an IT specialist. Partnering with an inbound call center who specializes in tech support can improve workflow while you focus on day-to-day needs.
Pricing for inbound call center services depends on the fee structure of the company. Most call center companies will charge by the minute or by the call. They may also charge a flat monthly fee for their services. The pricing structure that works best for your team will depend on your average monthly call volume and the average duration of your customer calls.
For more information about call center pricing, take a look at our guide to phone answering services.
Top Inbound Call Center Services
There are lots of professional inbound call center services today. Keep in mind that each may have different areas of expertise and may benefit your company in different ways. Before choosing an inbound call center service, discuss top priorities with your team to ensure you are finding the best fit. We have put together a list of top inbound call center services for your convenience, as well.
|Unity Communications|| - IT Help Desk|
- E-Commerce Support
- Email and Live Chat support
- Admin support
- Data entry
- 24/7 Live Answering
- Virtual Assistant
| - Healthcare|
- Sales & Business Development
|Not available. Custom quote request necessary for accurate pricing.|
|AnswerConnect|| - 24/7 Live Answering|
- After hours support
- Customer support
- Call routing
- Appointment setting
- Web chat services
| - Healthcare|
- Real Estate
|Between $0.87-$1.49 per minute|
Request a custom price quote for more accurate pricing.
|HelpWare|| - Tech support|
- Multi-lingual support
- Live chat
- Video chat support
- Data entry
- Order processing
- Account set up
- Virtual receptionist
|TechnologyMarketing and mediaE-CommerceTransportationAccounting||$1,800 per month for virtual assistance only|
$2,200 per month for robust customer support
Request a custom quote for more accurate pricing
Be sure to also take a look at our list of the top 5 call center service providers in the U.S., which can give you additional companies to compare.
If you are considering an inbound call center service for your business, make sure to consider factors that make up the best phone answering service as well as our comprehensive inbound call center buyer’s guide.
Do you want to receive custom quotes for your business’s particular needs and match with top suppliers? Make sure to use our free comparative tool! Simply tell us a thing or two about your company’s needs and preferences. Then, we pair you with top inbound call center services that fit your needs. You get to compare and save up to 30%!