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What are the 3 Types of Call Centers

Learn about call centers, the different types of call centers, and how to use them to help your company serve customers more efficiently.

What Call Centers Can Do for You

Customers are vital to a business. It could even be said that customers are the lifeblood of a business. For almost all businesses, the important question is how do you balance cost and deliver a great customer experience?

Many organizations find the answer to their problems in a call center. Call center services are being outsourced by more and more businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises as well as large corporations such Microsoft and Ford. Call centers can be used for a variety of purposes that will benefit both their business and customers. Find out how outsourcing call center services can benefit your company. Learn what are the 3 types of call centers? and the services they provide.

In this Article:

  • What is a call center?
  • What are the 3 Types of Call Centers? 
  • What are the other Types of Call Centers and their Call Center Services
  • What is the purpose of a call center?
  • What services are provided by call centers?
  • What are the Benefits of Using a Call Center?
  • Frequently Ask Questions

What are the 3 Types of Call Centers?

There are three main types of call centers: Inbound Call Center (Outbound Call Center), Blended Call Center (Blended Call Center).

What is Inbound Call Center?

These call centers typically handle large numbers of calls simultaneously, and screen, forward, and log them. Interactive voice response (IVR), which uses speech recognition technology to answer customer questions, can route calls to the right call center agents through an automated call distributor (ACD), or route calls to the recipients via an automated call distributor (ACD).

Inbound call center services may offer the following:

  • Processing orders

After receiving a call from a prospective client, a call center representative may carry out several tasks with the caller, including explaining their purchase options, recording order information and collecting payment information.

  • Providing dispatch services

A dispatch center may receive calls, transfer them as needed, and monitor the progress of any shipments and deliveries.

  • Offering help desk support

When customers experience problems, a call center representative in support may offer solutions when a customer knows what is wrong, help identify potential sources for the issue if they don’t, and call in a service request if needed.

  • Answering and transferring calls

A call center can act as an answering service, with representatives working as an answering service that may receive calls from customers, ask about the reason for their call, and then transfer the caller.

What is Outbound Call Center?

In these call centers, an agent makes calls on behalf of the organization or client for tasks, including lead generation, telemarketing, customer retention, fundraising, surveying, collecting debts or scheduling appointments. To maximize efficiency, an automated dialer can make the calls and then transfer them to an available agent using an IVR system after the caller connects. Outbound call centers must ensure compliance with the National Do Not Call Registry, a list to which citizens can add their phone numbers to avoid unwanted solicitation calls.

Common responsibilities for representatives at outbound calling centers include:

  • Selling to potential customers

Telesales professionals commonly work with a list of provided leads, often gathered through market research to identify demographics most likely to be interested in a company’s products, and make direct contact to pitch the company’s goods.

  • Expanding your sales reach

A call center representative in a telemarketing role may perform customer outreach, conduct surveys of existing customers or reach potential customers to determine if there is interest in a product or service.

What is Blended Call Center?

This call center can handle both outbound and inbound calls.

What are the other Types of Call Centers

There are additional classifications for call centers beyond outbound, inbound, and blended:

Automated call centers

Automated call centers allow companies to cut costs by having computer-based systems manage some of the caller’s responsibilities. Automated systems are often smaller than live-operator call centers because they require only staff to maintain and complete certain tasks that automation cannot handle. An automated call center can be used for the following purposes:

  • Managing voicemail

Automated voicemail systems are one of the most common call center services. An automated voicemail service for a company may reduce the need for staff to take messages.

  • Helping customers find locations

Many companies with multiple locations may use automated call centers to assist customers in need of finding a nearby store location.

  • Interactive voice responders

Interactive systems allow a caller to speak normally and use technology to understand their words and navigate the caller through a menu, sometimes transferring callers to an employee at a call center.

Multichannel call centers

Modern businesses still rely on phone calls for communication. However, there are other ways to interact with customers. Modern call centers offer a wide range of communication services to their clients, including the sending and receiving of faxes and emails as well as overseeing order fulfillment.

Virtual call centers

Many call centers now operate remotely, meaning staff can work from home or another remote location rather than being in the same place. Virtual call centers may also be able to handle outbound marketing calls. Virtual call centers don’t have to be based in one location. This can help reduce company operating costs. The company can increase its profits by lowering overhead costs and offer lower rates to customers.

Omnichannel call centers

An omnichannel call center may offer multichannel services and enhance coordination and customization. An omnichannel call center allows all departments to communicate with clients. This can enable staff to gain insight from phone calls, and vice versa. This allows call center representatives to customize their approach when dealing with clients, resulting in better results.

Cloud software is used by omnichannel call center, which are similar to virtual call centers. These centers are able to connect interactions across multiple channels:

  • Voice
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Live chat
  • SMS

They can also save caller information in the cloud. This can be helpful for reps to communicate with customers more effectively.

In-house call center

The company owns and manages its call center, and it employs its agents.

Outsourced call center. An organization employs a third party to handle its calls. This is done to reduce the cost of training and hiring call center agents, as well as to invest in and update call center technology.

Offshore call center

An organization may outsource its operations to another country to reduce costs and offer 24/7 services. An offshore call center can have some drawbacks, such as lower customer satisfaction and insufficient knowledge about the company, product or services due to language barriers.

What Services Are Provided By Call Centers?

Great call centers should be able to do more than answer inbound calls. Call centers are not only able to answer inbound calls but can also help customers resolve problems, provide information and create new sales opportunities. It is an essential component of your customer service strategy. It can make or break your company’s success.

What are Benefits of Using a Call Center?

Call centers do more than handle telephone calls, despite the name. Many call centers handle communication online through real-time chats, email and social media. For the following benefits, many businesses outsource their services to a call center:

Reduced operating costs

A virtual call center built with software is an affordable alternative to traditional call centers. Why? Virtual call centers eliminate all unnecessary costs such as rent, utilities, cleaning, maintenance and hardware. Virtual call centers have no costs, except for the monthly subscription to the software. This assumes that the agents are already computer-literate and have an internet connection.

Call center software also allows agents to help customers anywhere in the world. This reduces labor costs. Businesses can also hire agents wherever there is a workforce available.

Higher customer satisfaction

Virtual call centers allow businesses to hire agents around the globe. Agents can also be fluent in different languages. The business can provide customer support in many languages and time zones. This allows customers to have support in any language they prefer, while ensuring that your call center is available 24/7/365. This increases customer satisfaction.

Flexible working environment

Call center software allows for flexibility. Agents can answer calls anywhere they want, even from their home, if necessary.

An agent may need to be at home for personal reasons. Maybe they are renovating their bathroom. They would need to miss work if they worked in a traditional call center. They can now answer calls and also supervise workers using call center software.

Many call center software offers mobile apps that allow customers to access their service wherever they are. The mobile software allows customer service agents to answer their phones on the go, even if they need to leave the computer for a while.


BPO (business process outsourcing) refers to when your business outsources a portion of its operations to third-party service providers. A BPO call center processes outgoing and incoming service user calls for other companies..

Call center technology refers to any combination of hardware and software that call centers use to support their day-to-day calling activities.

Call center technology includes at least the basic features of a phone system, but also features that allow for a better customer experience than just answering the phone.

Call center technology empowers call centers to deliver better customer service by enabling them to use functionality such as call queuing and auto attendants.

Adaptability is crucial because call center agents work with customers who are at the end of each day human beings. Agents must be able to adapt to new ways to do business in order to meet customer needs. Contact centers use technology such as call monitoring to track progress.

Changes that require adaptability may mean additional training or mentoring to adapt to customer needs or the introduction of new technology to increase efficiency.

Two key pieces of technology are essential for call centers: headsets and computers. To make and receive calls, call center agents must have access to reliable headsets and computers so that their voices are clear and understandable by customers.

Remote agents in call centers may need to have reliable internet access in order to be able to access the call center software. Organizations may consider purchasing home networking equipment to support remote agents.

The following are other critical software and technology for call center calls:

  • Call management software, including ACD technology
  • Software for call monitoring
  • Speech analytics tools
  • Software for managing your workforce
  • Software for customer relationship management
  • IVR software
  • outbound dialers
  • Chatbot technology or virtual assistant technology

Call center agents must be patient with customers, even though they hate waiting. An agent should show the same patience when taking care of customers’ needs. An agent’s patience might be likened to waiting for the customer to tell their story, particularly if they are confused or upset.


Although some customers may not instantly recognize an agent’s patience, they will notice their impatience. This soft skill is crucial for customer loyalty and problem solving.

Many callers to a phone center have a problem that they wish to solve. Customers might feel upset, confused, or even angry. An agent’s empathy shows that they care about customers and can comfort them. Customer support is essential during difficult or confusing times.

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