A call center is a centralized bureau that receives and
dispatches big amount of telephone requests. Such center is controlled by some company which manages incoming product support and clients’ information inquiries. The call center makes calls by itself too. These are usually the calls to customers, calls for telemarketing and debt collection. Contact center is a sort of call center that handles faxes, letters and e-mails at one location.
People that operate in a call center are called call center agents. All the agents have special equipment that includes telephone, computer, headset that is linked to a telecom switch. Call center agents work in mutual extensive open workspace with workstations for each of them and in addition there is at least one supervisor station.
Call center can be operated independently or be a part of a network together with other call centers which are often connected to a corporate computer network that may include microcomputers, mainframes and local area networks. Voice and data pathways into the center are linked through a mechanism called computer telephony integration that allows interactions on a telephone and a computer to be integrated or co-ordinated.
Call centers are mostly used and created by large companies in order to interact with their customers. Frequently these companies are mail order catalogue firms, utility companies, hardware and software producing companies. Sometimes the call centers even perform the internal function, for instance, help desks and sales support.