Even though chats and emails have become popular means of corporate communication today, businesses still depend on calls to manage a larger number of customer queries and to identify prospects & leads. Calls help agents gain more insights since it gives a closer and more personal experience of customer engagement. So most companies manage a lot of calls daily.
These business interactions are mainly classified into inbound and outbound calling. Therefore, understanding the differences between inbound and outbound processes will be the key to your success!
In this detailed guide, we are discussing the differences between inbound and outbound calling. It will surely help you choose the right technology that suits your business.
Inbound and Outbound Calling
What is Inbound Calling?
As the name suggests, an inbound call is initiated by a customer to the call center. It typically happens when a customer has any doubts or complaints regarding the product or services offered by the company. Inbound calling is more customer-service based and mainly focuses on resolving customers’ issues.
Here the agent awaits the customers’ calls, and their sole purpose is to resolve customer issues quickly and offer improved customer experience. So, companies ensure exceptional customer service and meaningful interactions whenever they receive an incoming call from a customer to retain customer loyalty and satisfaction.
What is Outbound Calling?
In contrast to inbound calling, the agent makes calls to the customers in the outbound process. It may be regarding sales, offers, or discounts on the products or services provided by the company. Eventually, the outbound calling will be marketing & sales-focused, with the main aim of spending time with customers to promote their brand, products and services.
In the outbound calling process, the agents will be provided with customer data which they use to make calls and make sales. They contact customers, tell them about the company’s new products and services, and inspire them to buy or upgrade existing services.
Types Of Inbound and Outbound Calling
The following are different types of inbound and outbound processes.
Types of Inbound Calls
The most common type of inbound calling is for customer service. As mentioned earlier, this type of calling aims to provide professional services to customers in solving their issues. High-quality customer service inspires customers to buy your products again and retains them. Customer service calls are also related to returns, customer feedback, over-the-phone payments, inquiry about policies, and many more.
The technical support of a company provides a solution to all IT-related issues of the customer. For example, customers might contact technical support, telling them their mobile phones are not able to receive calls or their computer is shutting down automatically. So technical support executives should have patience and be capable of dealing with a variety of technical issues of customers. With the right agent, any issues can be approached and solved smoothly to restore brand loyalty!
Call service agents not only get calls from their current customers but also from new buyers who are looking for more information about the product or services. It is called inbound sales, and with the right agent, the company can utilize this opportunity to turn the lead into a customer. Most large enterprises have dedicated teams specifically devoted to inbound sales. These team members are expected to politely explain all the details about the product and be transparent to gain the buyer’s trust.
Interactive Voice Response(IVR)
The IVR system is an automatic system designed for companies to interact with their customers through voice and keypads. Today many businesses use call management software to manage incoming calls easily via mobile phones. The IVR system is very popular because it is automatic and doesn’t require any agent to solve customer cases. Here, the caller will hear a recorded voice along with clear instructions on what to do to fix their issues.
Types of Outbound Calls
Lead generation aims to attract customers to a product or service via cold and warm calls. If the call is the first interaction of a customer with a company, it is called a cold call; otherwise, it is known as a warm call. Through this call, the agent will be able to identify a customer’s interest in the company’s product or services. The agents will also collect all the information from the call to generate and qualify leads.
Customer surveys help companies understand how customers feel about their products and services. It also enables companies to identify the areas that need improvements, best advertising techniques, customer needs, etc. In this way, a company can improve its products and services to meet the desires of its potential and existing customers.
Companies use telemarketing services to promote their products and services to customers. It includes both agents and recorded calls, where the customers will get all the information about the company’s products and services. Calls initiated by the agents are more effective than recorded voices because they can quickly answer all customer doubts and generate interest. Instead of going house to house, companies have chosen this method which helps them reach a wide range of customers beyond the borders!
Appointment setting involves outbound agents scheduling a meeting with customers. They will choose the best time and date for customers to interact with the company agents. The agent should be efficient enough to keep the session engaging and motivate customers to buy the products or services.
Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Calling
The differences between inbound and outbound calling can be understood more easily when they are classified in the following way.
Differences in Purpose
Even though the main goal of any call center is to satisfy the customer, the purpose of the inbound and outbound processes is slightly different.
As mentioned earlier, customers are the one who initiates the call in the inbound process. Usually, they have questions, doubts, complaints, or suggestions regarding the products or services offered by the company. The objective of agents is to solve these issues and end the call. On the other hand, agents call the customers in an outbound call. It may be regarding sales, offers, renewals, etc
Differences in Technology
An inbound calling center uses technologies like an IVR system, a call tracking system, and automatic call distribution. As already mentioned, An IVR system allows companies and customers to interact via voice and keypad. Most businesses have already implemented IVR systems to manage incoming calls easily. A call tracking system allows companies to attribute inbound calling to marketing campaigns to generate leads. Finally, an automatic call distribution is a wireless technology that routes the incoming call to the right agent.
Automatic dialers and predictive dialers are the two main technologies used in outbound calls. An automatic dialer system automatically dials the numbers from a list and connects to a live agent. On the other hand, a predictive dialer works on statistical algorithms and machine learning. It dials multiple phone numbers and connects an agent to the first one that answers. Both these technologies help businesses save a lot of time and increase their productivity.
Differences in Agent Training and Attitude
Since the purpose of inbound and outbound calling are different, the attitude and training of agents will not be the same.
Agents of the inbound calling process should have all the data about the customer and their products at their fingertips as soon as they receive a call. Moreover, even if customers aggressively make complaints, the agent should have the patience and politeness to handle the issue smoothly.
Conversely, an outbound call agent will have the data about the customer in advance. These agents are trained to determine the mood and interest of the customer and convince them to buy the product accordingly.
Differences in Business Impact and Challenges
Needless to say, both inbound and outbound calls are necessary for sales. But the challenges and business impact are pretty different in inbound and outbound calling.
Inbound calling mainly aims to improve resolution speed and customer satisfaction. Since the agents have to wait for the customer’s call, inbound calls do not promote products or services directly. Moreover, customers will be satisfied when their opinions are valued, or their problems are solved quickly.
In the case of the outbound calling process, things are different. Agents are given the challenge of marketing the products and convincing the customers to buy them. These calls are evaluated in terms of conversion ratios rather than customer satisfaction.
Now it’s clear that there are many fundamental differences between inbound and outbound calling. Therefore, it is not easy to say which type of call is better than the other. They have different purposes. Both these types of calls are essential for businesses to keep going. However, outbound calling might be more effective in bringing profits to a company since they mainly focus on sales.
Managing inbound and outbound calls manually is highly challenging and time-consuming. Tringpartner, a sophisticated app-based phone system, will help you effectively manage business calls!
Talk to our experts today, if you need guidance or support with inbound and outbound calling.