If you think “inbound call center service” is a synonym for “answering service,” you need to think again. While an answering service answers your business lines when no one’s in the office, inbound call center services offer a greater depth and breadth of service when answering calls.

A “call center” is exactly what it sounds like — a center devoted to handling incoming calls. But not just a handful of them. Inbound call center services receive high volumes of calls that require more than simply taking a message.

Functioning as the customer service department for a business is just one of the inbound call center services provided. This type of call handling can range from gathering specific information for order processing to checking order status and/or answering any questions a customer might have about the products or services offered. But it’s not just traditional order-placing businesses that use inbound call center services.

There are a host of other businesses that rely on gathering specific and/or complex information from callers in order to sell their services. For example, before someone can declare bankruptcy, he must complete both pre-filing and post-filing bankruptcy counseling sessions and receive a confirmation certificate. The counseling is often offered by bankruptcy counseling businesses as an online course to complete. Companies that provide the counseling services have websites that people can access 24/7 to take these courses. Generally, the websites also list a phone number for questions. It’s those types of calls that can be covered by an inbound call center service provider. The agents who take the calls are prepared to answer any questions, and they use a customized form to collect the required information so the company can file the necessary certifications on behalf of its customers.

Another example of inbound call center services is an online business that offers membership benefits to people, such as apartment hunters. For a monthly fee, members receive availability information and other services related to apartment hunting. The company website allows people to pay online to become a member and usually lists a toll-free number to call with any questions, or to pay the fee via phone rather than online if they choose. When these types of calls come into an inbound call center service provider, the agents’ role goes beyond just providing customer service and leads to closing sales. Not only do the agents answer any questions the callers might have about the service, but they then follow specific instructions from the apartment hunting business to encourage callers to sign up for membership and to close the sale.

Inbound call center services also can function as the touch point for more emergency-related businesses. The food-service industry relies on equipment to keep running, and companies that provide restaurant services, such as appliance repair, need to respond to customer calls and coordinate those repairs quickly. Those types of calls often come into an inbound call center service provider, and the agents who answer those calls then follow specific instructions from the company to contact the appropriate repair contractors, arrange repair times, coordinate efforts with the customer, and generally manage the repair process through to completion.

Inbound call center services cover a wide variety of business needs in many different industries including an answering service for law offices, medicine, real estate and more. Each different service is customized to meet a company’s specific information and customer-service requirements, but the fundamentals remain the same. Inbound call center services are designed to handle a high volume of calls, and the centers are staffed with agents specifically trained to provide the necessary support and gather the requested information quickly and efficiently. While these inbound call center services are still technically providing an “answering service,” the depth and breadth of those services are far beyond the parameters of a traditional answering service.

If you are missing calls, stretching your staff thin, and not getting the right people answering your phones with the proper training, do not worry! Let Alert Communications handle all of these details so you can get back to focusing on helping your new clients. To get started, fill out our contact form or give us a call at 844-694-6825.