Inbound vs. outbound contact centre: The right CX destination

Contact centres are built around conversations, and like any good discussion there must be a purpose. Customers expect their experiences with a contact centre to be easy and effective, brands need to deliver on these expectations with the right people and technology.

Let’s explore how two common types of contact centres, inbound and outbound, require the right mix of empathy and innovation to increase satisfaction and loyalty.

What is an inbound contact centre?

An inbound contact centre is where the customer begins the conversation. Associates at inbound contact centres handle incoming requests from individuals who need assistance with products and services. While a traditional inbound contact centre that provides support services focuses on call resolution, today’s associates must be versatile across multiple channels such as messaging, chat, email, and social media.

Inbound contact centres need to anticipate and effectively serve customers on multiple channels at once. Customers expect to seamlessly move from one channel to the next without having to remind you who they are, what they bought, and when they plan to pick it up. It is one journey. It should be fluid and connected across every channel.

What is an outbound contact centre?

An outbound contact centre is where the associate initiates the conversation. Contact centre associates are typically performing sales and marketing activities like cold calling, B2B lead generation, and B2B appointment setting to acquire new customers, stay in touch with existing customers, and speak to former customers to increase share of wallet, improve brand loyalty, and advance sales opportunities.

Typically, outbound contact centre services and other contact centre solutions use live associates to act as an extension of a brand’s sales team to sell products and services on behalf of brands.

How to supercharge inbound and outbound services

An effortless experience across channels is a must for either type of contact centre. Effectively serving customers with channel optimization and intelligent automation increases satisfaction, opens opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell, and creates memorable experiences:

  • Conversational messaging: Customers want to communicate with a brand the same way they would quickly contact friends and family over a messaging platform. Messaging is direct, immediate, and reaches people with context in the moment.
  • AI assistance: Use automation and artificial intelligence (AI) behind the scenes to help associate connect with the information in the systems of record more quickly and effectively. They can interpret information and data accessed in real time and scale to focus on empathising with customers and resolving issues.
  • Dynamic knowledgebases: Build FAQs for both associates and customers with a dynamic search function and interactive reviews and ratings to bring the best answers to the top.
  • Intelligent automation: AI-powered automated analysis can identify a contact driver (e.g., a delay during the holiday season) and find effective resolutions that match customers with the best response.
  • AI-Powered Training: Enhance employee engagement through real-time feedback and coaching and use dashboards to promote healthy competition between learners. You can also drive real-world behavior change using gamification techniques like points, badges, rewards, and status upgrades

Together, these digital capabilities provide a strong back bone for customer interactions that require the best of empathy and technology.

Create effortless experiences for every interaction

Inbound and outbound contact centre begin the conversation in different ways, but they both rely on the ability to provide simple and relevant services. Customer and employee experience is only as good as the experiences it provides. If both parties can use technology to make their day easier, then the people and tools have done their job.

Learn more

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Omnichannel CX: Brands must understand the entire customer journey and enable effortless interactions across any channel customers choose. This guide walks through 4 key strategies to hit the right notes for effortless omnichannel CX throughout the customer journey

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