A call center is an office where a company's inbound calls are received or outbound calls are made. Call centers are increasingly popular in today's society, where many companies have centralized customer service and support functions. Call centers employ many staff in customer service, sales, and support functions.
Call centers are often large offices staffed with representatives who either make or receive phone calls. Depending on the size of the call center, a single office could have anywhere from a few dozen to hundreds of telephone staff. Additionally, call centers may also employ remote workers, who handle all customer related calls from the comfort of their own homes. Depending on the needs of the company, call centers can make either incoming or outgoing calls.
Some call centers focus on answering inbound calls, such as a bank that gives out a toll-free number for customers needing assistance. In this example, callcenter representatives can give account balances and take loan applications over the phone. Other call centers focus on outbound calls, such as a survey company, where representatives make outbound calls to ask people to answer survey questions over the phone.
Call centers can provide a number of advantages to companies. By centralizing telephone-based service and support in one location, companies can easily adjust staffing to match call volume. They also centralize the technology needs of companies, allowing major telecommunication setups to be installed in a small handful of call centers instead of a number of smaller offices, making upgrades and training easier.
Many call centers use a number of different technologies to help improve performance and customer experience. Inbound call centers often use automatic call distribution, in which incoming calls are assigned to representatives in the order in which they are received. Other call centers utilize call monitoring, in which customer calls are randomly monitored by quality assurance staff to ensure that phone representatives meet customer needs. Callcenter technology evolves constantly, helping callcenter staff assist customers more efficiently and effectively.