What is an Outbound Call Center?

Elizabeth Lockwood

There are different types of call centers in the business world today, offering businesses the opportunity to handle both inbound and outbound marketing, customer service, and other needs. Thanks to remote services and cloud computing, a lot of companies even outsource their needs to a third-party call center service that can handle all the admin details. Not only does it save them time and effort, but it allows the company to instantly present a professional image, even if they have never used a call center in their operations before. 

To determine how best to use call centers and whether they can benefit your business, you need to better understand what services they offer, how they function, and what you can use them for. 

Let us lead by example… 

At Smith.ai, we offer an array of both inbound and outbound “call center” services. 

So, while our virtual receptionists do not operate a dedicated outbound call center, we do offer outbound services for companies who need them. And being able to combine everything into a single strategy that’s managed by one team is often a big benefit cited by many businesses. More about how we can help you later—let’s get back to defining and understanding the outbound call center as its own entity. 

What does an outbound call center do?

Agents at an outbound call center will be primarily responsible for making outbound calls to clients or prospects on the behalf of the company that they are working for. Some companies are large enough to have their own call centers (like Progressive Insurance) while others prefer to outsource the work. 

Historically, outbound call centers focused on telemarketing and cold calling, but there’s been a lot of changes in legislation and the way consumers react to phone calls, so that’s been changing. Now, more outbound calls are being made as a proactive approach to giving existing customers the best support and service possible. 

Outbound call centers can make calls for several different needs, including:

  • Sales calls and lead generation
  • Upselling or cross-selling to existing customers
  • Managing renewals/retention
  • Scheduled callbacks
  • Appointment setting
  • Proactive customer service
  • Market research
  • Customer satisfaction/feedback
  • Debt collection

Today, outbound call centers function, in part, through cloud-based software that’s designed specifically to help these businesses succeed at meeting their metrics and more importantly, delivering the perfect interaction with the customer, regardless of their point in the buying journey. 

How do I know outbound calls are working?

As with any marketing effort, you need to track your call center metrics. Whether it’s an in-house team or a third-party call center, it’s important to have a dashboard with access to robust analytics and metrics that will help you discern which efforts are successful and which need some work. There are several metrics to keep tabs on, but the experts recommend first looking at:

  • First call close
  • Calls per agent/account
  • Conversion rates
  • Hit rates
  • Hold time
  • Average call length
  • Call abandonment ratio
  • Call quality/etiquette
  • List closure rate
  • Revenue per successful conversation

Even if you have someone else managing your outbound calling, you still need to know how things are going. That means monitoring these and other metrics to make sure that campaigns are effective and that customers and prospects are getting the attention that they deserve. 

The benefits of outsourcing to a call center

While you could take the time to assemble your own team and create an in-house call center to handle outbound calls, not all organizations have the need or the capability for this. Instead, they are left with the option to outsource to a third-party provider that can deliver all the solutions that they need. For those who choose to outsource call center work, there are several potential benefits to be had. 

Improved costs

When you choose to outsource your call center needs, you’re reducing in-house costs that include things like setting up the call center department, staffing it, dealing with the overhead and additional equipment costs, choosing software, and so forth. An outbound call center will take care of all of this and offer you a connected solution in the cloud to reduce your internal overhead and help you get more for your money. 

Instant professionalism

Forget trying to train people on scripts and professional phone etiquette. When you choose to work with a third party, you’re getting instant access to a team of experienced, dedicated, professional call center agents that know how to handle all kinds of outbound calling needs with the best etiquette and professional care. 

Scalability and agility

Since you’re not hosting the call center in-house, you’ll be able to upgrade or downgrade the services that you have over time. Perhaps you know you’re going to need a bigger team to manage your new customer service campaign, so you can add more agents with a third-party service in just minutes. Hiring more people would take a lot more time, money, and effort. 

Dedicated industry knowledge

Last but not least, third-party call centers know their industry. They know how to talk to people, how to get the message across, and how to get the sale if that’s their ultimate goal. Today’s customers, however, are much more interested in how much someone knows about the business and its industry. Choosing a dedicated third party to handle your outbound calls will give you access to all that knowledge and more. 

For a comprehensive solution for call center services and more, contact the team at Smith.ai

As mentioned earlier, the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can offer solutions for 24/7 phone answering and live website chat support, along with assistance for appointment scheduling, outbound sales and support, and even outreach campaigns. Plus, it all comes with a custom strategy to handle all the details, ensuring we never miss a beat, and neither do you. 

Learn more when you schedule a consultation or reach out to our team at hello@smith.ai to discuss what we can do for your outbound marketing and more. 

Elizabeth Lockwood

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at Smith.ai. She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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