Call Centers: How to Tell the Good from the Bad


Call centers are not all created equally. These facilities are set up by different companies to field and make calls related to sales, support, and other issues. At one point or another, your business may realize that it needs more phone support than you can provide on your own. If this is the case, a call center could be an option. However, you’ll want to make sure that you find the best one for your needs. 

Good call centers focus on things like providing personalized answers and support to people who call, or making calls to people in a professional, courteous manner if they do outbound calls, too. There are several things that a call center can do for businesses. Some call centers are the product of a company directly, for major brands and enterprise corporations. 

Whether you’re looking to use a call center, running a contact center and want to make sure it’s on track, or have any other concerns, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn everything that you need to know about these businesses and what they can (or can’t) do for your business. 

What is a call center? Do I need one?

A call center is simply a department, building, or entire business dedicated to taking and/or making calls for the sake of sales, support, market research, or other needs. For companies that have grown beyond a single person answering the phone, this could be a valuable solution to consider. Of course, there are several different types of call centers out there today and you may be able to benefit from any number of them.

If you’re considering whether or not you even need a call center or some type of third-party customer service or sales support, consider that it’s a great way to build loyalty and increase confidence in your brand. When you have an entire department or resource dedicated to their satisfaction and meeting their needs, they’ll take note. 

Call centers also:

  • Increase sales and reduce missed opportunities
  • Give your business a competitive advantage
  • Offer a professional image
  • Save you money on in-house employees
  • Streamline communications

The list of perks could go on for days. Of course, these are only going to be found in the good call centers that are out there. Avoid the bad ones because they’ll often make your business image worse and create bigger problems than you had in the first place. Speaking of which, here's what you need to know about good and bad call centers and how to find the solutions your business needs. 

Good call centers…

Good call centers don’t train their employees to sound like robots, or worse yet, use AI and only hire employees to manage the technology. Consumers and business clients alike appreciate calling a person, not a faceless robot. There’s a time and a place for automation and AI, but it shouldn’t be all-consuming. 

A “good” call center answers the call promptly with a live person, directs calls accordingly or answers questions in a timely fashion, and so forth. These calls will be quick, have minimal hold times, and ensure that people get a proper resolution, no matter the reason for their call. Their entire focus will be on caller satisfaction, not call quotas, sales metrics, or anything else. 

Typically, some of the features that you see in high-quality call centers include:

  • Personalized, friendly service right from the greeting
  • A smile in every voice with plenty of live agents to field questions, concerns, etc. 
  • Empathic agents that are polite and positive
  • Fewer transfers and holds 
  • Active listening
  • High-quality communications equipment to ensure all calls are private and professional
  • Organized, efficient setup
  • Agents trained in communication and creative problem solving

These are just a few of the things you’ll see in the good call centers out there today. Look for those who are focused on service, not call metrics, and you’ll be well on your way to success. 

Bad call centers…

We’ve all taken a call or two from a bad call center. These are the ones that are overworked, built on call quotas, and essentially function like a robotic machine, except while trying to use humans to fill the role. They are call centers that let AI take the reins and remove the personal element completely or make it impossible to figure out how to reach an actual person. These call centers struggle to deliver a proper customer experience, having issues like:

  • Leaving callers on hold for too long
  • Using negative language or having a negative tone of voice
  • Excessive transfers and confusion in communications
  • No empathy from agents
  • Redirecting customers to a website or other self-serve resource 
  • Poor-quality equipment so callers can hear background noise, other agents, etc. 
  • Total automation with no human available to speak to

Ideally, a call center will answer a call immediately (with a live person) and then transfer or handle the call accordingly, with no effort on the part of the caller. Anything less than this will leave a bad taste in the mouths of modern consumers. 

Skip the call center altogether and let handle the calls 

Forget about call centers—even if you find a good one, they’re still a lot of work and require a lot of your time and energy. Why not choose a better solution? And by better, we mean more flexible, personalized, and tailored to the needs of your business. When you partner with the dedicated virtual receptionists at, that’s exactly what you get, and so much more. 

Our 24/7 agents can assist with all of your needs for inbound and outbound calling for sales and support, live website chat and after-hours answering, and so much more. Plus, we’ll help you create a strategy to manage every detail so that you can rest easy knowing your calls are taken care of. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss what the 24/7 virtual receptionists at can do for your inbound and outbound calling needs, and more. You will also find us at or (650) 727-6484. 

Business Education
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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