What is a Call Center? Working, Software and Technologies

A call center consists of customer service experts and agents responsible for handling calls via phone systems. Discover everything about call centers in this comprehensive guide

October 20, 2023


15 minutes

Shara Zareen

Shara Zareen

What is a Call Center? Working, Software and Technologies


A call center, also known as a contact center, is equipped to handle a large volume of inbound and outbound telephone calls and other forms of communication such as email, chat, and sometimes even social media messages.

Organizations aiming for a customer-centric approach primarily focus on customers. It can often be challenging for a company to maintain top-notch customer service to its customers without getting distracted from core business activities. This is where call centers come in as saviors for companies struggling to keep up with their clients. It is a one-stop service known for managing a significant volume of telephonic conversations, both incoming and outgoing. It can either be within the organization or a third-party service provider.

"According to the most recent Global Call Center Network survey, which covered 2,500 centers across 17 countries, the majority of contact centers primarily offer customer service (49%), with 21% focusing exclusively on sales and 30% providing both sales and service".

What is a Call Center?

Call centers handle large volumes of telephone calls to provide customer service and promote an organization through lead generation. These centers can either be amidst the organization or deployed to another company providing such services. They hire agents or customer service representatives (CSRs) who are well-versed in customer interaction on inbound and outbound calls.

They are significant in ensuring customer satisfaction, maintaining positive customer relationships, and improving the organization's overall performance. It is the first and foremost contact point of a customer and the organization that helps create a brand image and customer loyalty. Artificial Intelligence (AI) significantly transforms call center operations, enhances efficiency, and improves customer experiences.

Call centers focus on effectively managing customer interactions by providing the necessary information, assistance, and support for the product or service. They aim to resolve queries and ensure customer satisfaction for each client because a satisfied customer is the best advertisement.

Also Check: Top Cross-Selling Strategies for Boosting Sales

Working of Call centers
Image: Working of Call centers - Operational Structure

Understanding the Working & Functions of Call Centres

Newly recruited personnel in  centers undergo initial training focusing on the specific scripts they will be working with. The primary function of these call centers is to initiate direct calls to existing or potential customers in customer operations and sales, handling inbound calls from customers for queries about products or services promoted by interactive voice response (IVR). Their responsibilities include:

  • Addressing concerns of existing customers.
  • Facilitating solutions for product or service-related issues.
  • Scheduling repairs.
  • Processing orders for replacements or reimbursement.

The work of a call centre begins when the customer makes a call, but it does not end with resolving the customer's issue, so let's check deeper into their various tasks.

Call from a Customer: Their work begins at the onset of receiving a call from the customer.

Call Routing: The call is then routed based on the customer's preferences (language, issue type, etc.).

Interaction of the Customer with the IVR: The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) then asks the customer to select a suitable option from the menu according to their needs.

Customer Acknowledgement: Once call routing and IVR are completed, the agent uses software to acknowledge the customers before talking to them in person.

Agent-Customer Interaction: Now that the agent has acknowledged the customer, they will have a conversation, and the agent will try to resolve the issues.

Follow-ups & Feedback: The customer is asked to give feedback once the issue has been resolved. In some cases, agents are supposed to make follow-up calls as and when required.

Classification of Call Center Types

By now, we know what call centers primarily are. So, let’s move forward and explore their different types, which depend on the company’s needs and expectations.

1. Inbound Contact Centers: Inbound contact centers are designed to handle a large number of incoming phone calls from customers and businesses looking for support. Technologies like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) systems are used to avoid obstruction.

2. Outbound Contact Centers: Unlike inbound, outbound contact centers efficiently provide services like telemarketing, sales campaigns, lead generation, market research, and customer retention. In outbound, calls are initiated from the agents to the external party.

3. Cloud Contact Centers: Leaving behind the traditional ways, these modern-day cloud contact centers have adapted to new and modified solutions where all the required tools and software are available on the cloud accessible through the internet. These centers are cost-effective, easily expandable, and provide flexibility in work.

4. Blended Contact Centers: Such centers handle both incoming and outgoing phone calls. It is best suited for businesses that need to make sales via phone calls and simultaneously want to provide customer support. The efficiency rate of such centers is higher, whereas the turnover rate is low.

5. Automated Contact Centers: It gets its name from its use of automated features like automatic SMS messages and email management within its process. A fully automated call center eliminates or considerably decreases the need for manual regulation, allowing agents to focus on tasks requiring human supervision.

Classification of Call Center Types
Image: Classification of Call Center Types

Call Center Software and Advanced Technologies

Call center software and advanced technologies provide the finest calling excellence to telecallers offering a perfect combination of human touch and technological prowess to drive business growth and success. A calling software offers a solution for businesses seeking fully managed telecalling services, covering everything from recruitment and training to managing telecallers.

SquadStack provides a full-stack solution that integrates human expertise with technology, achieving 100% productivity with uncompromising quality for calling agents. Check out Quality AI at SquadStack.

This software include operations like automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, and real-time analytics. The emergence of modern technologies has reconstructed the working model of call centers.

Chatbots for Basic Queries

Utilizing chatbots has become a common practice now a days.These automated systems are designed to handle fundamental questions and provide instant responses for customers.

AI and NLP to Eliminate Unnecessary Calls

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are employed to streamline customer interactions. Their use helps in understanding and responding to customer queries without the need for unnecessary phone calls.

Predictive Analytics for Customer Insights

Predictive analytics is employed to analyze data and predict future customer behaviour. This technology provides valuable insights into customer preferences and trends, enabling businesses to tailor their services.

VR and AR for Technical Support

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are integrated to enhance technical support services. These technologies provide immersive experiences, allowing users to receive guidance or troubleshoot issues in real-time.

Top-Notch Agent Interface

Telecallers often face challenges with unintuitive interfaces, impacting customer interactions and overall productivity. To address this, call center software should have developed an Agent Interface for web and mobile, offering insights into performance metrics, script clarity, and customer data.

Call Center Dialer

A specialized software or hardware system to automate the process of making outbound phone calls is known as call center dialers. These dialers have evolved with time to meet the demands of marketing, sales, and support teams. It is also valuable for broadcasting recorded messages through IVR (Interactive Voice Response), push notifications, and SMS. Its key features are real-time agent monitoring, automatic-call routing, callbacks, conversational IVR for self-service, and customer experience management. They have proved to be beneficial in reducing abandonment rates and significantly increasing the number of calls made in a single day. Depending on their features and capabilities, the dialers can be classified as mentioned below:

Preview Dialers: It is used by agents to review customer information, previous conversations, and context before placing calls.

Predictive Dialers: These dialers use algorithms and call pacing to automatically dial multiple phone numbers simultaneously.

Progressive Dialers: When the agent becomes available, it automatically dials the following phone number in the list.

Check: Next-Gen Lead Outreach: SquadStack's Intelligent Telecalling Partner App

Advantages of Outsourcing an Indian Call Center

Why Outsource from an Indian Call Center?

Indian call centers have become a preferred choice for businesses worldwide to outsource their customer service operations. Few of the factors that collectively contribute to making India a preferred destination are discussed below.

  • Technological Advancements: Call centers in India use the latest technology, such as AI-driven chatbots, CRM systems, and automation tools. These advanced technologies help them to improve efficiency, reduce response time, and achieve higher customer satisfaction.
“SquadStack makes the best use of technology and AI features for better connectivity, analytics, and compliance adherence. Unlike other BPO providers who depend on third-party tools and limited integrations, SquadStack offers integrated technology solutions for dialers, CRM, agent interfaces, analytics, etc., in an integrated full-stack system.”
  • Scalability: Depending on the demand, they can quickly scale up or down as they are designed to handle fluctuations in call volumes effectively. Scalability makes the business adaptive to unexpected growth, seasonal demands, or market fluctuations without significant infrastructure investments.
  • 24/7 Operations: Indian call centers provide round-the-clock support, ensuring prompt settlement of customer inquiries and issues, irrespective of time zones.
  • Skilled Workforce: The agents in India are skilled professionals with extensive training in customer service, language proficiency, and cultural awareness, providing a high level of service to customers around the globe.
Check out how SquadStack’s fully managed services, the team of on-demand sales experts, and A.I. driven outreach helped Upstox ramp their sales faster, connect with more customers, and increase their activations by 40%.”

Related Call Center Terms


What is a call center job?


A call center job typically involves handling incoming and/or outgoing customer calls for a company or organization. Call center agents, also known as customer service representatives, play a crucial role in managing customer inquiries, providing support, and resolving issues.

How to handle angry customer while calling?


Handling an angry customer in a call center can be challenging, but it's a crucial skill for customer service representatives. Maintain your composure and remain calm. Don't take the customer's anger personally. Allow the customer to express their concerns without interruption. Pay close attention to their words and tone. Show empathy by acknowledging the customer's frustration. Use phrases like "I understand why you're upset" to demonstrate that you are listening.

How to start a Call Center Business in India?


Starting a call center business in India involves several steps, from planning and legal considerations to infrastructure setup and hiring. Understand the demand for call center services in India, identify your target market, and analyze the competition. Develop a detailed business plan outlining your business goals, target clients, services offered, and financial projections.

What is the role of BPO?


They help an organization educate the customers about the products or services, answer phone calls, and provide support to customers.

What are the skills required to become a call center agent?


You must be an active listener and possess exceptional communication skills to respond appropriately to various customers' queries.

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