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

Posted in Call Center.