What is an inbound contact center?

An inbound contact center is a customer support setup where agents respond to incoming customer queries. The queries can originate from diverse communication channels like phone, social media, website live chat, chatbot, email, or phone. 

An inbound contact center restricts its operations only to inbound queries. It is usually equipped with a cloud-based contact center software that agents use for receiving queries. Agents are assigned to individual customer queries based on their availability, specialized skills, or based on call flows and routing rules set up by the admin. 

What distinguishes an inbound contact center from an outbound contact center is that an inbound contact center focuses exclusively on inbound queries. It doesn’t initiate outbound conversations unless it is a part of the query that the customer has already raised.

Outbound contact center Outbound contact center


What services can an inbound contact center offer to businesses?

The primary duty of an inbound contact center is to offer support to incoming customer queries. These queries can be of diverse nature. To address these diverse queries, an inbound contact center offers several choices. Here are some of them. 

Technical support

Provide technical support to new or existing users over the phone, email, chat, or social media messengers. Inbound contact centers can also be entrusted with the task of offering onboarding support to new users. 

Help desk services

An inbound contact center can act as the hub for help desk services. Customers can reach out to the inbound contact center to report defective products, raise complaints, or order replacements. The contact center will compile all conversations and provide resolution in a single thread. 

Order processing

An inbound contact center can also act as an inbound call center that takes customer calls and processes orders for products and services. This is typically useful in service industries where time-sensitive orders or appointments are to be made based on specific personal requests. 

Product upgrades and renewals

Customers who find their current plan to be inadequate and want to upgrade to a higher plan can get in touch with a contact center. Calls of this nature are typically routed through an inbound contact center. 


4 ways how an inbound contact center can deliver a delightful customer experience

In any organization, an inbound contact center has an apex role to play in delivering a delightful customer experience. It enables customer support agents to have access to the right customer information, for customers to find solutions to their queries without having to go from pillar to post. Here are some ways how an inbound contact center can make your business a customer-centric one. 

Assign the right agent for the call

A contact center also doubles up as a call center. It receives a regular flow of inbound calls that agents must attend to without any delay. However, connecting the customer to the right agent who is available, possesses the right skills to attend to the query is quite a challenge. An intelligent contact center will use call routing to ensure that the right agent is assigned to the call. It does by following call flows or rules set up by the admin in the inbound contact center software. 

Empower agents for quick actions

Ask any customer what frustrates them the most, and the most common response would be having to repeat their problems to several agents. From a customer support perspective, agents are forced to ask for more information each time if they are not provided the context of previous conversations. 

Provide instant resolutions

One of the primary responsibilities of an inbound contact center is to offer quick and accurate responses/resolutions to customers. This does not require agent intervention at all times. Most often self-service options like IVR, FAQs, voice bots, chatbots, etc. can take care of repetitive and basic customer queries. Also, most millennial customers prefer self-support since it is easier and saves a lot of time. 

Omnichannel customer support

Millennial customers want the businesses they interact with to be accessible in all communication channels that they frequently use. They might start a conversation on social and follow it up through email, chat, or even with a phone call. However, the conversation must flow and should not require the customer to repeat input what they have already provided. An inbound contact center can facilitate omnichannel customer support which delivers a delightful customer experience. 

key features

What to look for while choosing an inbound contact center software?

Phone number management

Phone numbers form the backbone of contact center operations. From buying new phone numbers to porting existing ones to sharing phone numbers with multiple agents, the inbound contact center should make phone number management effortless. 

Software integrations

An inbound contact center must integrate seamlessly with other applications so that agent productivity can be multiplied. Integrations with helpdesk software, CRM, and other sales tools are necessary to help agents serve customers with delightful experiences. 

Call routing

Call routing is what ensures that the right agent is made available to attend to a customer’s query. Intelligent call routing takes into account holidays, agent skills, time zone, business hours, type of call, and much more. 

Agent management

Every contact center will have a team of agents who are based on shifts, skills, regions, or even functions. It is necessary that the choice of your inbound contact center can facilitate smooth agent management.

Call management

An ideal inbound contact should software should make it easy for the admins and supervisor to handle a high volume of calls. It requires call queues, call flows, voicemail, call conferencing, and similar features. 

Ratings and reviews

Last, but not least, it is essential to pick up an inbound call center software that is highly rated and reviewed by customers. It is proof that the choice of your contact center is a good one.

Inbound contact center software

Introducing, Freshdesk Contact Center (formerly Freshcaller)

The outbound contact center you can count on for delivering delightful customer experiences

Freshdesk Contact Center is a cloud-based contact center software that will enable you to set up an inbound contact center that will help your business deliver delightful customer experiences. From setting up all flows to creating self-service options like IVR, it makes life easy for admins and agents in several ways. 

If you already have a call center and want to port operations to Fredeshdesk Contact Center it is possible as well. You can transfer all your phone numbers, call flows, and several other options without missing anything from your previous operations. 

Freshdesk contact center dashboard Freshdesk contact center dashboard

         F.A.Q on Freshdesk Outbound Contact Center

What size and type of businesses can use an inbound contact center?

Every business that wants to give omnichannel customer service will need an inbound contact center. Be it a startup or an enterprise, all businesses can use an inbound contact center. The size, scale, or industry of the business does not make a difference to using inbound contact center. 

Can I keep my old phone number?

Yes. Freshdesk Contact Center lets you port in or carry forward your existing phone numbers from your legacy phone system, another cloud telephony service, or any other telephony service. Learn more about number porting.

How much does it cost to setup an outbound contact center?

Freshdesk Contact Center’s pricing works in three ways. First, you will have to buy agent licenses. Depending on the plan you choose, the agent license fees will vary. Second, you have to buy phone numbers. You may also port-in phone numbers from your existing system. Third, you have to buy phone credits to be able to make calls. Inbound and outbound call charges will be debited to your phone credits. 

Please visit our agent licensing pricing page and call rates pricing page to get a complete picture of agent license cost and call rates.

What equipment do I need to use inbound contact center services?

The laptop, mobile, tablet, or personal computer that you are already using would suffice. What you need is a device that can connect to the internet will suffice as equipment to use an inbound contact center. You do not need any extra telephony equipment. However, if you already own deskphones with VoIP or SIP functionality, you still can continue using them.

What is the quality of the call like?

By default, the use of VoIP for call transmission ensures that the call quality is superior to analog-based PSTN connections. Ensure that you use a broadband internet connection that doesn’t have speed issues. You do NOT need a dedicated internet connection for high-quality calls.

Are inbound contact centers secure?

Yes. Most inbound contact centers use state-of-the-art security measures. Freshdesk Contact Center, in specific, is a GDPR compliant VoIP phone system. Specific features like call recording require you as a business to seek consent from the caller before initiating recording. You can find our Freshworks GDPR policy here.