What's the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Call Centers?

There's two types of call centers: inbound call centers, and outbound call centers. So what's the difference between them? Learn about similarities and differences between inbound and outbound call centers in this article!

In-House vs Outsourcing BPO Call Center

When it comes to virtual call center software, there is a big difference between outbound and inbound contact centers. For those new to the call centers, you probably have a variety of questions. We’ve interacted with customers all around the world that run call centers so we want to put our knowledge to the test in order to make your business venture easier. One question we get pretty frequently is, “what is the difference between inbound and outbound call centers?” The difference between them can sometimes be confusing, so we’ve written this article to help define their function and purpose in the world of contact centers.


What Is An Inbound Call Center?

An inbound call center deals with a majority of incoming calls. That means that customers or potential customers are phoning you rather than the other way around.

Because of this, most inbound call centers are customer service-focused. Customers will call these types of call centers when they need assistance with the product or service they specialize in.

Related: Inbound Call Center Software


What Is An Outbound Call Center?

An outbound call center is the exact opposite of an inbound call center. Rather than having a majority of your calls come into your call center, agents in outbound call centers are, for the most part, making outgoing calls.

This definition means that most outbound call centers are sales-focused. When agents are making phone calls out of the call center, they’re focused on a list of customers or potential customers that they’d like to get in touch with. Most of the time, this means that they’re targeting them for a sale.


Differences Between Inbound vs Outbound Call Centers

The main difference between an inbound and outbound call center is how a majority of the calls in the call center take place. If more than 50% of your calls are outbound, you’re probably considered an outbound call center. The same goes for an inbound call center.

Understanding the type of call center you are or want to be is important for planning and implementing systems and protocols in your call center. For instance, if you’re primarily an inbound call center, you won’t require some technology like a dialer. On the other hand, if you’re an outbound call center, this definition will help you decide which calling features to utilize such as Call Monitoring, for listening in on live, outgoing, sales calls.


2023 Global Cloud Communications Outlook

The emerging trends shaping customer experience and business growth across industries.