OI Blog


Peter Iansek

CEO & Co-Founder

Peter Iansek


Oct 2023
OI Blog
Oct 2023

What is an Inbound Call Center? [2023]

What is an Inbound Call Center? [2023]
Peter Iansek


Peter Iansek

CEO & Co-Founder

Table of Contents:

  • What is an Inbound Call or Contact Center? == What is an Inbound Call or Contact Center?
  • Inbound Call Center Tools == Inbound Call Center Tools
  • Inbound Call Center Software == Inbound Call Center Software
  • Improve Your Inbound Call Center Processes == Improve Your Inbound Call Center Processes

What is an Inbound Call or Contact Center?

Inbound call centers are likely what you think of when you think of customer service: they handle incoming calls or contacts from customers that need support. Organizations that need support with their customer service efforts may outsource the work to inbound call centers that can specialize in their product or service. 

Inbound agents must be patient, empathetic, and efficient listeners who can quickly identify a customer's problem and provide a solution. They’re prepared to assist customers with various matters, such as technical support, billing, and general inquiries.

Inbound Call Center vs Outbound Call Center vs BPOs

While an inbound call center deals with incoming calls from customers who need help, outbound call centers specialize in making outgoing calls to customers or clients. These inquiries can include sales calls, lead generation efforts, market research,  and more. 

Outbound agents are often persuasive communicators who can build rapport with potential customers or current customers to help close deals, support onboarding,  and encourage product or service usage. 

Business process outsourcing, or BPO, involves hiring an outside provider to manage specific business tasks such as payroll, accounting, customer service, or technical support. This allows companies to focus on their main activities while taking advantage of the expertise and technology of their outsourcing partner. 

While inbound or outbound call centers can be a form of BPO, BPO vendors also offer support for finance, accounting, data processing, and IT services that may require a larger team of experts. 

Inbound Call Center Tools

Using the proper tools to optimize the performance of inbound call centers is critical. These tools can facilitate customer service and guarantee that customer requests will be handled quickly and effectively.

1. Phone Systems

phone systems

The right call center phone systems and software can help agents improve performance, make call centers more efficient, and ultimately provide customers with a better experience.

Common phone systems features include: 

  • Call routing: Call routing systems send incoming calls to the most appropriate agent or department. This is done by assigning agents with special skills, guiding calls based on what the caller selects in an automated voice response menu, and distributing calls among staff members equally.
  • Call recording: Call recording allows businesses to record and save conversations between agents and customers. Supervisors can listen to calls to ensure agents deliver quality customer service and follow company policies. 
  • Call analytics: Call center analytics can provide detailed information on several metrics, such as call lengths, first contact resolution rates, customer satisfaction scores, and more.
  • Call reporting: Call center reporting tools provide in-depth reports on this call center activity, allowing contact center managers to make decisions based on data to increase productivity and customer service.
  • Speech and text analytics: Speech analytics tools can record and analyze calls to determine customer sentiment, frequent issues or grievances, and agent performance. Similarly, text analytics can review chat logs, emails, and other written correspondence to understand customer conduct and inclinations.

2. Analytics & Reporting Dashboards

Operative Intelligence provides insights into all inquiry types

Reporting and analytics dashboards visually display call center metrics and key performance indicators. A helpful dashboard provides insights into the number of calls received, the average time customers wait, how many calls were abandoned, customer satisfaction ratings, how well the call center agents perform, and much more. 

Dashboards give managers the power to monitor the call center's performance, determine which aspects need improvement, and make decisions based on the data. Furthermore, they can see how different campaigns are faring and where resources should be allocated.

The Operative Intelligence analytics platform provides inbound call centers with engaging, real-time dashboards that make it simple to identify areas for improvement based on customer needs, including: 

  • The underlying reasons why customers contact support
  • Volume, cost, sentiment, satisfaction, and resolution of all inquiry drivers 
  • Underlying causes of consumer complaints and their financial costs to the business
  • Best opportunities for contact center automation
  • Expected ROI for each automation opportunity
  • Causes of  increased handle time and how to fix it 
  • Factors driving negative customer sentiment and satisfaction
  • Agent effectiveness by analyzing resolution and satisfaction rates for all queries. 

The system accurately captures the sentiment, intent, and emotion behind each customer interaction and puts them into clear reporting dashboards. It provides contact centers with a wealth of actionable insights into customer needs, preferences, and pain points.  

Plus, contact center leaders can see the performance variability at both team and agent levels, enabling leadership to guide with accuracy and result in tangible growth.

3. Workforce Management

Workforce management optimizes and manages an organization's employees for the best results, which includes planning, scheduling, forecasting, and evaluating the performance of the workforce. 

The primary purpose of workforce management is to make sure that the right amount of employees with the right qualifications and experience are available when needed to meet business requirements while keeping costs down and improving productivity.

Call and contact center WFM is a process that involves planning, scheduling, adherence management, and performance tracking. It’s an organized and data-based approach that makes the most of a contact center's workforce in terms of efficiency and efficacy.

4. Customer Relationship Management

customer PR

Customer Relationship Management platforms, or CRMs, store customer information that can be used to track how customers interact with a business. This information helps companies stay connected with their customers or potential customers for various reasons, from sales management to marketing to customer service. 

A customer's purchase history and contact information helps call centers to understand their needs, preferences, and attitude. This allows call centers to give customers the best service possible by connecting them to the appropriate agent, sending them relevant information, and addressing issues with the right attitude.

5. Quality Management & Assurance Tools

Quality management and assurance software assess customer interactions and monitor agent performance. They also provide tools for giving agents personalized feedback or training sessions, as well as analytics that offer insight into team and agent performance. These products are sometimes connected to other sales or customer service tools, like CRM or help desk software. 

Inbound Call Center Software 

Call center software allows businesses to manage customer calls and conversations. Here are some of the best call center software out right now. 

1. Operative Intelligence

OI logo

Operative Intelligence is a next-gen analytics and intelligence platform for enterprise inbound and outbound contact centers and BPOs. While not solely an inbound call center software, Operative Intelligence provides inbound call and contact centers with targeted, actionable customer service insights so they can focus on the highest-impact opportunities to improve customer service daily.

Operative Intelligence is a unique customer demand intelligence software that provides a context for the true drivers of customer contact. Unlike other platforms that rely on keywords, the software analyzes 100% of inbound interactions and uses direct phrases from customer speech to provide clear context, meaning, and specific actions to contact center leaders. 

It also shares the volume, cost, and sentiment of every query, allowing businesses to determine the changes that will drive the highest impact improvements in their customer experience and operational performance.

OI reports root causes, volume, costs, average handle time, and more for every customer query.

Learn more about Operative Intelligence.

2. Genesys

Genesys is a cloud-based contact center solution that allows organizations to have personalized, one-on-one conversations with customers to boost engagement. It helps manage and assess omnichannel interactions that occur during the customer journey. 

Employees can utilize a single tool to handle all forms of communication, including voice, chat, email, text, and more.

3. RingCentral

RingCentral is a comprehensive platform designed to provide customers with various means of communication, such as phone, chat, social media, text, email, and other options. This includes IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and self-service capabilities connected to routing functions. 

Additionally, the platform has tools to help with staff scheduling, optimizing contact centers, surveying customers, and more.

4. Talkdesk

talkdesk logo

Talkdesk is a cloud-based call center solution that uses interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD), and skills-based routing to match callers with the most suitable agent based on custom data.

During conversations, the system displays up-to-date customer information, such as name, image, contact information, purchase history, and contact history, to ensure personalized interactions. 

Moreover, Talkdesk is compatible with several programs, including InfusionSoft, Salesforce, Zendesk, and Shopify.

5. 8x8

8x8 logo

8x8 is revolutionizing how businesses communicate. As a cloud-based software communication platform created to assist businesses in developing, organizing, and keeping track of digital customer communications. It provides solutions like VoIP-based telephone systems, virtual meetings, contact centers, chatbots, and unified communications.

8x8 also offers enterprise-level secure data storage solutions and is compatible with some of the most popular customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

Improve Your Inbound Call Center Processes

Inbound call centers are a great opportunity for businesses to completely outsource or augment their customer service needs. 

If you’re looking for an efficient, effective way to improve your call center operations–or are an organization employing an inbound call center–Operative Intelligence is the right solution.

Operative Intelligence supports the inbound call or contact center by: 

  • Providing scalability for various clients
  • Offering a proactive approach to delivering intelligence
  • Reducing the need for manual analysis and reporting
  • Enhancing collaboration and problem solving capabilities
  • Improving the effectiveness of agents and teams

For the client using inbound call or contact center services, Operative Intelligence provides:

  • Enhanced visibility into agent performance
  • Real-time, actionable data
  • Improved collaboration with their call or contact center partner
  • Deeper insight into the factors influencing customer contacts
  • Greater possibilities for product and service improvements across the organization

It’s time to unlock the realities of your customers’ needs at scale. 

Get started with Operative Intelligence

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