Call Center: what it is, how it works, main types and challenges

Although it may seem like a simple topic Best Outsourcing For SMEs, knowing what a call center is and how it works is essential to understand the nature of its main challenges.

The service offer and the business model of a call center Outsourcing For SMEs make it define itself as a company with intensive human capital, which depends almost exclusively on the productivity and efficiency of the people who work in the company. In this way, operational management becomes one of the aspects that need more attention.

In this article, we go back to some basics to understand their influence on some of the industry challenges. We invite you to read it!

What is a call center and how does it work

A call center is a work center where calls are made Outsourcing For SMEs or received, as well as data and contact management. Today, call centers and contact centers can offer a wide variety of services, such as live support, interaction with social networks, email, messaging, and others.

Although there are companies whose Outsourcing For SMEs operation and size allow having their own call center, you can also find companies dedicated exclusively to managing these contacts: that is, outsourcing companies that offer their services to other companies, who choose to outsource these services. In fact, with consumers becoming aware of their rights, the demand for calls only increased, which is why more and more companies have chosen to hire this type of service.

Regardless of whether the call center is in-house or outsourced, its purpose will always be to improve the relationship with customers Outsourcing For SMEs in order to enhance the profitability of the company. For this, the call center can function both as a telephone sales sector and as a customer service sector, always based on the use of telephone calls or digital channels to achieve its objectives.

What are the types of call centers?

Call centers are differentiated according to their type of operation, which can be:


This type of call center is defined by incoming calls Outsourcing For SMEs, that is, receiving calls from customers. They generally relate to customer service.

See more about inbound operations.


On the other hand, outbound call centers are dedicated to making calls and actively contacting customers. It is related to remote sales and collections services Outsourcing For SMEs.

See more about outbound operations


Call centers that work both with the issuance of calls and with the reception. They mix inbound and outbound operations and offer a greater variety of services.

Call Centers x Contact Centers: what is the difference?

Although call centers and contact centers are similar companies, there is a fundamental difference: a call center is managed by telephone, that is, its operation is based on the issuance and reception of telephone calls.

On the other hand, a Contact Center presents a much broader concept and is committed to Omnichannel. This type of company manages multiple Outsourcing For SMEs channels (telephone, chat, email, social networks, instant messaging, etc.) in order to deliver the best experience according to the needs and preferences of customers. Both can have inbound, outbound, or blended operations.

Regardless of whether the company is a Call Center or a Contact Center, its challenges will be similar in terms of its operational management. This is what we are going to comment on next.

What are the main challenges of a call center?

Inbound and Outbound call centers and contact centers share the same challenge: their operating model. Their service offering depends directly and almost exclusively on human labor, which is why we define call centers as industries with intensive human capital Outsourcing For SMEs.

By looking at the number of people needed to keep a call center up and running, we can highlight challenges like staff management and maintaining productivity. In addition, ensuring quality care is also essential.

These aspects mean that, in these companies, the incidence of direct costs is up to 5 times higher than indirect costs, representing approximately 78% of total costs Outsourcing For SMEs. Therefore, it is essential to act in order to optimize these costs and implement specific management models for this type of industry, such as Workforce Management (in Spanish, Workforce Management).

On the other hand, operational management is not the only point of attention. Although it is important to maintain thorough planning, it is also necessary to worry about the efficiency of the agents and their motivation, which will allow the service to reach high levels of quality.

What is a call center? How does it work? What are the main types? These are questions whose answers, although simple, have a direct impact on some of the main challenges in this sector. By relying almost entirely on human labor, this type of company needs to implement comprehensive operational management, thus guaranteeing its profitability and the scope of its results.

To learn more about the challenges of call centers and learn ways to optimize their management, we invite you to read our ebook Best Practices for Call Center and Contact Center Management.

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