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Reaching out to your Customers: Outbound Call Center

What is an outbound call center?

An outbound call center (contact center) is a service designed to make calls to clients or prospects on behalf of an organization. Outbound call agents can call for a variety of reasons including performing customer support, sales, fundraising, and survey research. In that way they are different from inbound call centers, which focus solely on receiving calls. Outbound call centers are typically enabled by cloud-based software and are designed to help companies actively engage with customers.

Zendesk has out-of-the-box integrations with leading industry solutions, so organizations can easily deliver proactive support or drive new business from sales from their call center. They can use the same platform they use to manage their other communication channels.

A different approach

It might seem counterintuitive for some companies to use an outbound call center. Traditionally, if a someone has an issue, they’ll take the inbound approach for the information they need. However, there are many reasons to consider calling via outbound, including:
  • Proactive support. Practice strong customer service through a call center by having agents reach out before there is a problem.
  • Research. Sometimes the best way to learn what a customer wants is to ask. Doing this via an outbound call center will allow them to speak with an actual person instead of responding to an email. This leads to a more thorough conversation and more information for both sides.
  • Renewals or expansion. When it comes time to renew, a phone call can be a great way to check in and have a genuine conversation. The same goes for an outbound effort to offer a current customer a new sales opportunity and expand on their previous purchase.
All of these solutions can be carried out by agents through channels like email, but some companies find that a phone call can be more successful as it is a real-time, human to human conversation. Plus, using outbound call center software allows agent to incorporate data about the caller and track their success.

Best practices

While there are many benefits to using an outbound call center, it’s very important to understand how and when to use it. Many people do not like receiving phone calls from companies. And when they do, they really don’t want to be on the phone one second longer than is necessary. Here are some best practices to help ensure the success of your call center:
  • Have a reason to get in touch. If an agent is providing proactive support, make sure it's a conversation that should be handled over the phone. If it's a question with a simple answer, that can be handle by email. A chat about sales or expansion better be worth a live conversation; otherwise, you risk irritating the person on the other side.
  • Implement call management. Make sure you're getting in touch with the right people at the right time. One way to do this is to use a predictive dialer or auto dialer, both of which lower costs and increase efficiency.
  • Track metrics. Keep a tally on the success of your efforts. Are you alienating more callers than you're helping? Are you generating income through your sales calls? Do certain customers prefer call over other channels? Track these metrics and use them to improve the efforts of your call center.
  • Use outbound call center software. Doing so will help you integrate all of your current workflows and systems into a single location, letting you easily track metrics and maximize every outbound call.

The right fit for your business

Without the benefit of proactive support strategies made possible by outbound call centers, companies must rely on manually reaching out for any kind of engagement, something that really only happens when there is already a problem. Any company that wants to engage before a problem arises, to learn more about how to better serve them or make them aware of expansion opportunities, should incorporate the technology of an outbound call center.

How Zendesk helps

Zendesk helps ensure that outbound call centers are making the most of every single customer call, be it for support or sales. With out-of-the-box integrations with leading telephone solutions, organizations can easily deliver proactive support or drive new business from the same platform they use to manage their other customer communication channels.

Get proactive today
Additional Resources

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There are many available resources to help you learn more about providing great service over the phone and the benefits of proactive support. Learn more.

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