North American Customer Service Management Association

Support for Contact Center Professionals

Phase 1 Strategy - Step 3 Types of Call Traffic

Four Types of Calls:

What types of calls will your new contact center manage?

What is the business function the contact center is expected to accomplish? The business function will dictate what the best type of service or services the contact center will provide. Many contact centers provide a “blended” environment utilizing more than one type of service. Call traffic falls into four types.
Inbound Call Traffic:

Contact centers TAKE incoming calls; inbound services take incoming phone calls to your business. This includes:
Telephone answering service
- Cell phone
- Medical calls
- Overflow/after hours
Appointment Management
Building Maintenance
Customer Service
Direct Response
Disaster Response
Emergency Call Center Services (911)
Help Desk
Live Chat
Loyalty Programs
Order Processing
Product Recalls
Virtual Receptionist
Outbound Call Traffic:

Contact centers MAKE outgoing calls; outbound services make outgoing calls for your organization. Examples are:
Appointment Setting
Collection Reminders
Lead Generation
Insurance Sales
Market Research
Mystery Shopping
Payment Protection
Event Registration
Warranty Programs
Fraud Prevention
Automatic Contact Center Services:

Automatic contact center services is the term used to describe solutions that automate business processes for your organization. This includes interactive voice response (IVR), Voicemail, and Dialers just to name a few. IVR’s are used for caller self-service like paying a credit card bill over the phone. Leaving a voicemail to be removed from a mailing list is an example of voicemail. Phone numbers are loaded into a dialer for doctor confirmation calls. The caller presses “1” to confirm etc. Here are other examples of automatic services/IVR:
Appointment Reminders
Dealer/Retail Locator
Email Management
Follow Me
Holiday Greeting
Online Scheduling
SMS Text
Business Process Outsourcer (BPO)
Where you DELEGATE the business process to a third party contact center. The BPO may provide one or all types of call services; inbound, outbound and automatic call services.
Overflow calls
Short-term campaigns
TTY IP Relay
Language Line


1. Today’s advanced multi-level Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems can automate simple job functions, freeing up your staff for higher-level tasks.
2. Align all business units and choose one cloud based contact center phone system with the capability to manage all types of call traffic; inbound, outbound, and blended.

Take the Next Step!

In developing the contact center strategy, understanding your client’s expectations will guide you to developing an effective customer service strategy. A blended strategy utilizes inbound/outbound/automatic call services and at one time or another you may find that the services of a BPO can be an effective tool. Today’s contact centers are typically blended since many contact centers perform more than one business function. Being crystal clear on the business function(s) and customer expectations will make the call types and technology decisions easier.

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The North American Customer Service Management Association (NACSMA) assists Service Center professionals with improving the delivery of Customer Care to their clients by providing a collaborative networking approach to operational issues.