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What is the difference between inbound and outbound calling?

Published on January 5, 2022
Last modified on May 17, 2022
inbound and outbound calls

Companies frequently use telemarketing to introduce their products and services to potential customers or deal with call volume spikes. 

While inbound calls are typically about protecting your current business, outbound calls are about expanding that business. Knowing the difference between inbound and outbound calls is essential before deciding which is best for your business.


What is Outbound and Inbound calling?

When understanding the difference between inbound and outbound calls, the basic aspect of differentiation is the inbound and outbound calls meaning, which can be understood as the difference in who calls whom. And in both these aspects, call centers and call center agents play a crucial role.


1. Inbound calling

When prospects or customers call in for customer service, this is referred to as an inbound calling. It refers to incoming calls from people who have specific questions or concerns that you must address. Agents in the inbound call center are well-versed in the business and its products and services.

A phone call from a potential customer is a commitment of their time and attention. They’re interested in what you’ve got to offer. The top-tier inbound call center will use this as an opportunity to show the prospect or customer that they are being heard, that they are being helped, and that your company values their business.


Some key responsibilities of an inbound call center are:

  • Customer service: About half the calls that come in are about customer service, from simple questions to more complex issues. Customer satisfaction is your most important source of new business, so make sure they get it!


  • Direct response to advertising: A qualified inbound sales team is essential when a potential customer responds to one of your ads.


  • Inquiry-handling service: By directing incoming calls to the appropriate department, you not only improve the efficiency of your business but also spare your customers the aggravation of being placed on hold or transferred repeatedly.


  • Up-selling and lead qualification: People aren’t always sure what they want, even if they believe they do. With the assistance of well-trained inbound specialists, you can convert leads into sales and then these sales into even larger sales.


2. Outbound Calling

Outgoing calls made by call center agents to customers, potential leads, and business partners are called outbound calls. Outbound calling is a sales or marketing strategy that aims to contact potential customers. Outbound calls can be classified as warm and cold calls.

For outbound call-center representatives, cold calling is their primary responsibility. Using this method, the company can generate more revenue and improve its customer service simultaneously.

Outgoing calls from your company may be the first introduction of your brand to your customer. A top outbound call center will generate leads, convert leads into sales, and gather the information your business relies on from the very first contact with your customers.


Some of the key responsibilities of an outbound call center are:

  • Lead generation: An efficient outbound call campaign is an extension of your sales team executing a target number of calls per day to generate leads for the business. Complete daily and weekly reports with results are required to monitor the success of outbound calls.


  • Sales: Scripted outbound calls are a great way to connect with potential customers and clients. They can be a great way to convert leads into sales, cross-sell, upsell, and provide the requested information to customers/prospects.


  • Customer retention and satisfaction: It’s easy for meaningful conversation to get lost in interactions via social media, text messages, email, and chatbots in the digital age. Talking to a real-life representative can enhance the customer experience by making brands more relatable and relatable. Outbound calls also excel at addressing customer needs proactively and responsively. Satisfied customers are far more likely to return.


  • Market Research: Custom outbound surveys help you stay on top of the latest business trends while also allowing you to collect your exclusive data.

Related: Introduction to Outbound Calling For You


What is the difference between inbound and outbound calling?

Metric of Understanding Difference Inbound calling Outbound calling
Purpose Inbound calls pertain to technical support, customer support, and inbound sales. The primary goal of an inbound call is to resolve customer issues and concerns. As a result, customers feel more confident in the company and are more likely to stick around. Outbound calls are focused on obtaining sales, lead generation, customer retention, and market research. People’s interest in the company and its products and services is a primary goal of outbound calls.
Technology Inbound call centers use technology like call monitoring and call transfer to make the process more efficient. Outbound call center agents benefit from CRM integrations, which allow them to track metrics and have all of their data in one place, as well as from outbound IVR systems, which allow agents to send information proactively across multiple platforms (automated voice calls, social media, SMS or emails)
Agents training Because they deal with a wide range of moods and requests, inbound call agents require training that encourages them to be proactive, polite, calm, helpful, and patient. Inbound call centers provide more personalized communication. Outbound calling agents must be trained to maintain a more sales-oriented attitude and tenacity to keep a person engaged, as their primary goal is to convert leads into customers. This type of call center requires a more aggressive approach to persuasion.


Also Read: Complete guide on outbound calling


Pros and cons of inbound and outbound calling?

You must invest in an inbound and outbound call center if you own a business. Because if you want your business to grow, you must prioritize your customers. Inbound calls allow your customers to reach you directly, and outbound calls allow you to connect with prospects and customers in the same way. Attracting and retaining new customers are equally important in today’s business climate.

On the contrary, outbound calls, particularly cold calls, can be a source of irritation for the prospects and may not be a sustainable sales methodology. Also, if inbound and outbound call agents do not sound professional and knowledgeable and cannot assist customers, the company’s reputation may suffer.

Read: Inbound vs Outbound sales



By understanding the difference between inbound and outbound calls, you can keep your customers happy and help your sales team reach their full potential. 

So, now that you have the answer to the question, “what is the difference between inbound and outbound calling?” it is essential to note that you need to incorporate both inbound and outbound call strategies that will allow your company to provide a wider range of customer services and benefits in the long run. Call centers form a perfect circle for both incoming and outgoing calls and mutually benefit from one another.

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