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What is an inbound call?

Inbound Calling with VirtualPBX Contact Center

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What is an inbound call?

Anytime a customer contacts your business, that communication is inbound—it’s coming in—whether that’s through calls, texts, chats, emails, or social streams. And while it’s a reactive communication interaction (versus proactive outbound communication), it is vital to company success. New orders, appointment requests, product support, questions, and concerns are all examples of inbound opportunities. As you might imagine from this short list, inbound communication is an essential component to customer service and a business communication model. The right mix of outbound and inbound calling can set the stage for dynamic, loyal, and brand-centric customer relationships.

Managing calls coming in to your business successfully effectively bolsters brand reputation and maintains or even improves customer relationships. Your inbound call teams must be knowledgeable, level-headed, and patient when navigating both callers and call volume.

Outbound calling versus inbound calling comparison chart

3 Essentials for Effective Inbound Calls

Simple contact center routing example from inbound call through resolution

Customer Service

Often easier said than executed, inbound calls set the stage for excellent customer experiences. A recent Forbes study identified that over half of customers will pay more for better customer service. Knowledgeable agents, appropriate routing, and call continuity, as well as respectful menus and automation, and of course, first call resolution can unlock brand power that can only be achieved through the customer experience.

Personalization and Relationship Building

Inbound calls give businesses the opportunity to speak with customers one-on-one on their terms. Inbound marketing typically attracts high-quality leads who are genuinely interested in your products or services, making loyalty and retention rates higher than that of outbound calling. Using customer profile databases, employees receiving calls can instantly retrieve customer history, including purchase and support records, for a continuous, informed, and valued customer conversation in every interaction. 

woman speak with call center customer service agent while referencing her screen


Thinking about inbound calling is thinking about the big picture for your company. Managing call volume and hold times not only improves the customer experience, but employee experience and resolutions as well. Improving customer satisfaction makes every other task smoother, easier, and more efficient. Not only can a successful inbound call platform improve time management, it can be cost effective as well by streamlining communication efforts and quickly resolving issues, reducing costly crisis response measures and ongoing staffing drag.

Inbound Calling Best Practices

call center customer experience

Make your Customer Experience Flawless

Craft a customer-first strategy for your company. From initial greetings to escalating issues, ensure your team has the tools to process customer needs smoothly. This likely means a thoughtful balance of automation and real human interaction. 

contact center agent engagement

Engage, Reward, and Boost your Agents

The likelihood of happy customers skyrockets when you have happy employees. Engaged agents feel part of the team and are invested in company success. Additionally, happy employees mean lower stress levels, higher resolution rates, greater customer satisfaction, higher agent retention, and a healthy employee demographic. This means engaged management, authentic recognition, and even reward structures are a must.

call center management

Invest in Your Skilled Management

Don’t skimp on training your management teams. Research clearly shows that investing in your leadership reflects in your ROI, talent retention, and overall performance. Supervisors must be compassionate, creative, and knowledgeable cheerleaders. Agent attrition will sooner spike costs than laying a thoughtful foundation. 

contact center automation

Automate The Simple Stuff

When should you automate? Automate the routine steps, the repetitive tasks, and the backend work without compromising your human interactions with customers. Screen calls, schedule callbacks, initiate simple call surveys, and more to simplify basic interactions so that you can maximize your human capital in favor of customer interaction. 

contact center analytics and metrics

Let the Metrics Be Your Guide

From live dashboards and scheduled reports to detailed call reporting, the analytics are at your fingertips. However, it’s up to you to focus on the data that counts. Customize your dashboard with metrics like hold times, first call resolutions, and abandon rates for a constant pulse on experience.

omnichannel contact and call center solution

Embrace The Channels You can Effectively Maintain

Increasingly, younger demographics are seeking digital channels and self-service options for support. It is vital that your company offer multiple inbound channels to offer a direct pipeline to customers in need of support. Omnichannel contact center solutions can help your team seamlessly navigate a multi-channel environment with intelligent continuity.

Lean On The Inbound Call Experts

As always, if you have a question about inbound calling, managing call volume, routing efficiency, and more, lean on your partners. As your business grows, it can be overwhelming. Trusted service providers can offer insight, expertise, step-by-step guidance, and knowledgable solutions. Here at VirtualPBX, our (human) customer experience team does exactly that. Problem solving is our forte and creative solutions fuel our passion for this industry. Your customer experience team is at your disposal to jump in with ideas and help when you need it.

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