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What are the Different Types of Call Centers?

The call center industry is experiencing unprecedented growth and continues to evolve over the years.

It comes as no surprise considering 44% of people surveyed in the US alone still prefer the phone as their primary customer service channel.

Its current overall marketplace value revenue is at USD 200 billion. And it is expected to reach USD401.1 billion by 2022. 

Call Center and the Different Types

A call center, by description, is a centralized office used for receiving or transmitting a large volume of inquiries by phone. Its four different types are:

Inbound Call Center

Incoming calls are received in an inbound call center. Customer service calls are a classic example. A consumer rings a toll-free number, and they speak to an agent who will take care of their queries or issues.

Outbound Call Center

The exact opposite happens in an outbound call center. In this setting, calls are made to consumers. Telemarketing and sales are usually associated with outbound call centers, although this is not always the case. 

With customer servicing moving to a more intuitive and engaging experience, most companies now make it a point to reach out to the consumers proactively. A good example is follow-up calls after resolving a complaint, or in a case of a travel booking platform, a warm “welcome home” call.

Domestic Call Center

Call centers in its earliest forms were most probably local. With calls coming in from consumers in the same region or country. In the US, it could mean requests received in a center located in Dallas, TX, from the other 50 states. Or if in Europe, it could be a call center in London, receiving calls from the rest of the EU regions.  

International Call Center

International call centers handle clients that are international or global. Airline companies are an excellent example, especially since they need to run round-the-clock operations. A Singapore-based call center could very well be receiving calls from passengers or consumers living in other parts of the globe.

Call Centers Classified

After breaking down call centers into different types, they can be further classified according to their kind, and size and scope of operations.

The two types of call centers are:

In-house call centers

These call centers are run and operated within and by the company. It is created to service existing customers and at the same time to acquire new customers.

This would be the ideal call center setting as it brings more ease and convenience. It also builds instant and better relationships because it is within close physical proximity. Issues are resolved quickly and efficiently.

Outsourced call centers  

Since running in-house call centers quickly burn through company resources, outsourced call centers came about. They provide the best value for money since it saves companies from spending on training and paying employee benefits as well as office space and equipment.

Outsourced call centers provide the same level of professional service at a lower cost.

Virtual Vs. Actual Call Centers

Call centers may also be further classified according to the size and scope of operations.

There’s your formal office setting kind of call center and the virtual call center.   

The formal setting call center comes in different sizes. Small ones, can consist of about 5 to 10 agents and, medium-sized ones with approximately 30 to 50. Call center companies with more than 50 agents belong to the large category.

Depending on the size, call centers can cater to several clients, work on various processes at a time, and handle both domestic and international calls.

Virtual call centers, on the other hand, can be literally anywhere. It is typically a single person setting, working from home, receiving, or making calls. 

Calls that are coming in are usually service-related. And call outs are mostly for telemarketing, with the intent of selling products and services.


All in all, though technology innovation may introduce new ways to communicate, Philippine business process outsourcing call centers will continue to evolve and adapt. 

One thing remains unchanged, and that is people’s genuine desire to connect with another human being. This will sustain and guarantee the existence and growth of call centers well into the future.

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