How to Navigate Inbound vs Outbound Calls

Are you wondering how your business can optimize inbound and outbound calls? Read our guide on how to navigate inbound vs outbound calls to learn more!

Healthcare providers, law firms, hotels, and other high-volume businesses may wonder how to optimize inbound and outbound calls. Navigating these types of calls can be challenging when there’s a large influx of calls or a high demand for a service, like legal advice or medical care.

But part of effectively navigating these calls is understanding the differences between them. So, exactly what is an outbound call center in comparison to an inbound call center? Essentially, the difference between inbound and outbound call centers comes down to purpose. 

By establishing a clear purpose for both the inbound call and outbound call, your business can work more efficiently and provide satisfactory customer service. 

The Differences Between Inbound vs Outbound Calls

Since the foundational difference between inbound and outbound is the purpose, let’s consider the overall purposes for each type of call.

  • Inbound calls – The purpose of inbound calls is often to resolve an issue for an existing customer or client. These issues don’t necessarily have to mean problems. Sometimes, resolving an issue is as simple as answering a question a customer has. For instance, perhaps a customer wants to know which doctor at a clinic has availability on Tuesday mornings. In this context, the issue can be resolved by giving the client this information and hopefully scheduling an appointment.
  • Outbound calls – Outbound calling is done by your business to collect information, expand the outreach of the business, and organize appointments.

What are some other distinctions to consider?

  • Inbound calls come from a third party, such as a pre-existing client or a customer who wants to request more information about the business or is in need of customer support. 
  • Outbound calls are made to a third party. For an outbound call, a representative of the business has an objective for the phone call, such as giving a survey or rescheduling an appointment.

Both inbound and outbound calling can increase bookings and sales, improve the customer experience, and maximize company efficiency, especially when employed together. When learning how to start a call center and what it requires, you’ll want to make sure to include both inbound and outbound calling to the list of services offered.

Next, let’s zoom in on the specific types of inbound and outbound calls.

Types of Inbound Calls

Because your business won’t know what to expect from an inbound call, it’s important to practice being receptive to whatever the caller’s needs are. Anticipating some of the most common concerns and questions can help you prepare inbound call center solutions.

Here are some of the most common types of inbound calls:

  • Customer service – A customer service inbound call is one of the broadest categories of inbound calls. These calls involve accounts, billing, questions about products or services, and purchasing.
  • Technical support – A customer will often call if they’re having trouble with a company website or a technical issue with a product. 
  • Inbound sales – An inbound sales call is when a customer calls to complete a sale over the phone or book an appointment for a service. 
  • Upgrade and renewal inquiry calls – A satisfied customer could call to upgrade the service that you provide them or to renew their service. Depending on the methods that you have available, a call could be the easiest way to upgrade or renew a service. 

Types of Outbound Calls

To successfully navigate outbound calls, it’s best to prepare an outbound calling strategy that will help you achieve the goal of the call. The most common types of outbound calls include: 

  • Appointment setting – Setting appointments is one of the most important uses of outbound calls. Not only does appointment setting ensure that your company has bookings, but it also manages the flow of the company schedule.
  • Lead generation – Lead generation is an outbound marketing technique that promotes interest in a product or service. By highlighting features of the product, like its benefits, lead generation strives to turn an interested prospect into a customer.
  • Telemarketing – Telemarketing is a broader category under the “outbound call” umbrella. Any direct contact with a new or existing customer to generate interest in a service or product is considered telemarketing. The goal is to turn prospective customers into current ones. 
  • Telesales – This refers to a service that sells products and services to the potential customer by telephone. Unlike telemarketing, telesales is more focused on the act of making a sale rather than generating interest in the product.
  • Market research – Conducting surveys and collecting customer feedback can help your company understand what customers think about your products and services. This type of outgoing call can help you determine what about your business model is working and where improvements can be made.

Navigate Your Calls with Nexa

Successfully navigating both inbound and outbound calls can result in better customer service, increased sales, and more efficient operations. But as a business owner with various tasks to manage, it can be difficult to navigate these calls on your own. While you can train your employees, you may not be able to guarantee consistency and quality across the board. That’s where Nexa can help. 

At Nexa, our service and sales rep professionals are experts in navigating inbound and outbound calls. Through client platform integration and real-time analytics, our intake specialists will handle your calls smoothly and efficiently, helping to ensure customer satisfaction and business success (without adding extra responsibility to your plate). Take your business to the next level, with Nexa. 


  1. ZipRecruiter. What Is An Inbound Customer Service Representative?
  2. VSL. Telemarketing Or Telesales?
  3. U.S. Department of Labor. Call Centers Under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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