A Call Center is a physical place where customer and other telephone calls are handled by an organization, usually with some amount of computer automation. Typically, a call center has the ability to handle a considerable volume of calls at the same time, to screen calls and forward them to someone qualified to handle them, and to log calls. Call centers are used by mail-order catalog organizations, telemarketing companies, computer product help desks, and any large organization that uses the telephone to sell or service products and services. Two related terms are virtual call center and contact center.
A call center is a centralized office -- or facility -- that is equipped to handle large amounts of customer telephone requests for an organization. A call center handles all telephone communications with new and existing customers. A call center facility provides ample workspace for a large number of employees, typically referred to as "call agents," to administer telephone-based communications with customers.
Call centers may also use a call center suite, which includes tools for telephone switch functionality, intelligent routing, automatic call distribution, interactive voice response (IVR), outbound dialing, voice mail and other components. Large organizations may choose to outsource its call center services, as a call center will be able to provide the systems and trained workforce to provide quality service to customers. Telephone service facility set up to handle a large number of (usually) both inbound and outbound calls. Some firms, however, specialize only in calls that are inbound (for assistance, help, or ordering) or outbound (for sales promotion or other messages). Most telephone orders are handled by call centers and not by the manufacturers or suppliers of goods or services.
The most robust call center services will help you expand your customer base while retaining your current customers through marketing, data gathering, and multi-lingual support. They also can add a layer of professionalism to your company. Call center services can vary widely. While some businesses might only need a basic answering service, others might want the most sophisticated outreach options. This guide will help you understand the variety of call center services available and determine which one is right for your business.