The domestic or traditional call center involves an outsourcer who has call center locations around native country for redundancy. For cost effectiveness, the call center professionals usually take calls for two or three clients whose data is ported to the desktop via a secure connection from the client's database into the outsourcer's server. Clients are sometimes given the option of co-locating some in-house customer service agents at the call center to work in conjunction with outsourcer agents.
The advantages of domestic call centers include relative physical proximity between outsourcer and client, the ability to co-locate and on-site troubleshooting. The domestic call centers on the other hand, involve higher cost and usually a non-dedicated staff. These call centers specialize in providing both inbound and outbound services. A call centre or call center (see spelling differences) is a centralized office used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone.
A call centre is operated by a company to administer incoming product support or information inquiries from consumers. Outgoing calls for telemarketing, clientele, product services, and debt collection are also made. In addition to a call centre, collective handling of letters, faxes, live chat, and e-mails at one location is known as a contact centre. A call centre is often operated through an extensive open workspace for call centre agents, with work stations that include a computer for each agent, a telephone set/headset connected to a telecom switch, and one or more supervisor stations.
It can be independently operated or networked with additional centres, often linked to a corporate computer network, including mainframes, microcomputers and LANs. Increasingly, the voice and data pathways into the centre are linked through a set of new technologies called computer telephony integration (CTI). Types of calls are often divided into outbound and inbound. Inbound calls are calls that are made by the consumer to obtain information, report a malfunction, or ask for help.
These calls are substantially different from outbound calls, where agents place calls to potential customers mostly with intentions of selling or service to the individual. (See telemarketing). It is possible to combine inbound and outbound campaigns, but it is not a common practice. Call centre staff are often organised into a multi-tier support system for a more efficient handling of calls. The first tier in such a model consists of operators, who direct inquiries to the appropriate department and provide general directory information.
If a caller requires more assistance, the call is forwarded to the second tier, where most issues can be resolved. In some cases, there may be three or more tiers of support staff. If a caller requires more assistance, the caller is forwarded to the third tier of support; typically the third tier of support is formed by product engineers/developers or highly skilled technical support staff of the product.
The net-net of these concerns is that call centres as a business process exhibit stratospheric levels of variability. The experience a customer gets and the results a company achieves on a given call are almost totally dependent on the quality of the agent answering that call. Call centers are beginning to address this by using agent-assisted voice solutions to standardize the process all agents use.
Anton and Phelps have provided a detailed how to conduct the performance evaluation of the business, whereas others are using various scientific technologies to do the jobs. Unions in North America have made some effort to gain members from this sector, including the Communications Workers of America. In Australia, the Call Centre Workers Union represents unionised workers, their activities form part of the Australian labor movement. In Europe, Uni Global Union of Switzerland is involved in assisting unionization in this realm.