Inbound or Outbound? What Is the Difference Between the Types of Call Centers?

There are advantages to both inbound and outbound call centers. Each serves a specific purpose. Each center serves to support a business in marketing and sales. Both inbound and outbound centers are essential to the functioning of an organization. There are clearly defined differences between both types of phone centers. This is a description of the essential functions of each.



Inbound centers handle incoming calls from clients. Because these services handle the majority of incoming business phone calls, they are very customer service oriented. Clients call an inbound center when they have questions, need a solution to a problem, or are interested in conducting further business with a particular company.


(What’s the difference between Contact Center vs Call Center?)


  • Tech Support: One of the major functions of an inbound call is tech support. When consumers or businesses have problems with technical issues, they will call a support number for a solution. The tech support agents will run diagnostics as appropriate, and expertly guide clients through the process of resolving technical problems.
  • Customer Support: Clients will telephone an with questions pertaining to a particular service. Inbound calls are essential for providing excellent service and superior customer experiences. Customer support is provided to customers in a friendly and professional manner. Customers call up for a variety of reasons for which they expect agents to be versed in a resolution and possess the ability to provide options.
  • Response to Advertising: This is another customer advantage to this type of service. Clients call to inquire about a posted advertisement. Often this inquiry will generate a sale. The inbound agents are specially trained in the company for whom they are servicing. They familiarize themselves with the products and services the company offers so they are equipped to discuss the products with current and potential clients.


Customers invest a lot of time and trust into inbound phone centers to provide them with the services they are seeking. In order to be provided with excellent service there needs to be mutual respect and understanding between agents and clients.




An outbound phone center tends to handle a whole set of different services. Rather than a client telephoning an agent, the opposite occurs with an outbound call center. Outbound centers can be focused on generating and following up with leads and driving sales, or outbound Customer Service tasks. Outbound services are associated with several specific functions.


  • Customer Service: Because customer service is critical for most successful businesses, there are some tasks that can be handled by outbound agents. If a company needs to schedule times with their customers, then appointment setting would be a useful solution. Appointment reminders are also a valuable use of an outbound service to minimize lost time due to missed appointments.
  • Market Research: Often they are responsible for conducting market research. This can include telephoning customers and conducting surveys relating to customer service and experience. Surveys serve a variety of purposes and can help companies make improvements in areas where they may be lacking. Market research is essentially the process of gathering information from consumers regarding their preferences and needs.
  • Lead generation: This is a very important function of an outbound agent. One of the essential steps in lead generation is for outbound agents to identify a company’s target market. This is where lead generation is vital. Leads need to be generated for the specific target market. The target market are consumers who are the most likely to purchase or use the product or service. Two main types of lead generation are B2B and B2C. Both serve to drive sales. Companies rely heavily on outbound call center agents to properly generate leads to build a client base and drive sales.
  • Sales: One main duty for many outbound phone agents is to make sales. With the generated leads, agents telephone potential clients to make sales. The main way the agents make significant company sales is through up-selling and cross-selling. Up-selling is the process of attracting customers to a more expensive product than the one they intended to purchase. Cross-selling is the process of persuading clients to purchase additional products to go with the product they originally intended.


Outbound call agents are well trained in sales techniques and company specific products so they have the proper tools to make sales. Often the outbound service is the main sales force for a company.


Advantages to Outsourcing


Both types of call centers are commonly outsourced, which provides a lot of benefits to a company. The functions of both types of call centers are both costly and time consuming. Many companies experience a lot of advantage in outsourcing their call centers.


  • Cost effectiveness: Outsourcing phone centers provide their own employees and training structure which saves companies a lot of money by not having to employ and train their own.
  • Increased Productivity:A huge advantage to outsourcing is the ability of established centers to focus on core functions such as sales, customer service, and lead generation. Agents are trained specifically for these functions which helps companies reduce the work load of their in-house employees.
  • Brand Representation: Agents are specially trained on the products and services of each company. They become well versed with the ins and outs of each company so they can effectively attract the target market and make and close sales
  • Analysis and Collection of Data: An outsourced center has the ability to train employees in data collection and analysis. This specialized area trains them to understand company trends, collect data based on client spending habits and experiences, and analyze this data to ultimately drive sales.


When companies use inbound and outbound call centers, they are entrusting their customers and clients will experience an excellent level service. The differences between the two cell centers are very specific and each serve a crucial function to a company. Both are customer based, but with very different specific goals. Whenever customers interact with a representative on the phone, they deserve quality service by competent agents, and that is exactly what the receive. At KPI Connect we have extensive experience offering both types of service, and we would love to discuss solutions we can offer your business.

infographic discussing difference between outbound and inbound call centers

What’s the difference? Call Center vs Contact Center.


Traditionally many companies, especially telecommunications companies and service organizations, have used call center agent companies. As the name implies, call centers handle calls. You may also have heard about contact centers, but what are they? Which one is best? Let’s look at call center vs contact center and see what the difference is between them.

Difference Between Call vs Contact


The main difference between a call center and a contact center is that they offer different services.

These services have been used for many years and only deal with phone calls. The calls are both inbound and outbound as they are known in the trade, or incoming and outgoing to you and I. When you phone up your bank or your phone provider, you are almost certainly speaking to an employee in a call center. The call center could be owned and operated by the company, or an external organization. The emphasis within a call center is on the calls, and their success is monitored through their call statistics like how quickly are calls answered or how many calls are dealt with per hour.

In customer service terms, a ‘contact’ is somebody who has contacted the organization through any means. Therefore a contact center deals with communication in all types whether it be the phone, email, coupon or social media. If you enter a competition to win a box of chocolates, your entry whether on a torn out coupon from a magazine, email, or website, the entry goes to the contact center. They pass the details to the chocolate company and you are now a contact so you will receive information or marketing from that company. Contact centers monitor their success on statistics around the number of contacts and the channels used i.e. phone, coupon, web etc.

Although the terms are used interchangeably, you can clearly see that there are differences between the two. So which one should you use?


 Offer the Following Services:


  • Telephone Customer service for incoming calls.
  • Telephone Customer service through outgoing calls.
  • Handle heavy volumes of telephone contact.
  • Telephone technical support i.e. a helpdesk.
  • Telephone support for order placement and status.
  • Telephone surveys of customers and potential customers to provide better service.
  • Can be on-site, off-site, or virtual.
  • Agents often adhere to a specific customized script.

 Benefits of Using a Phone Center.

Very large companies often have a phone center service as part of their business. If you are a company dealing with a large number of incoming and outgoing phone calls, then a call center is vital. Call centers are particularly beneficial to businesses, as it means they can concentrate on their business while the time intensive phone queries and interactions are handled by someone else.


  • Handle large numbers of incoming calls.
  • Deal with large numbers of outgoing calls.
  • Tend to be experts at what they do as they concentrate on one thing.

Contact Centers Offer These Services:

 Incoming customer service for all contacts in multiple formats; mail, email, social media, phone, web queries, live chats.

  • Outgoing customer contact through multiple formats; mail, email, social media, phone, live chats.
  • Contact centers are normally operated by an external company like KPI Connect specializing in being a contact center, not a specific business.

 Benefits of Using a Contact Center.

Contact centers handle large numbers of queries through all types of media. Contact center agents require good people skills due to the social media transactions they carry out. A thoughtless comment on social media can easily go viral.

  • Handle queries on different communication channels.
  • Deal with heavy volumes of mixed media contact.
  • Generally available 24/7.
  • Works well for businesses in different countries and time zones.
  • Other forms of media usually are more cost effective than phone calls.
  • Live chat is growing in use and customer satisfaction as it becomes more successful.

 Contact Center, or Call Center, or Both?

Both call centers and contact centers provide customer service, but as you can see, both perform different functions and there are benefits to both. Depending on your business needs, you might require specific services from one or the other, or possibly even both.