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A call center back office is the portion of a call center that is devoted to various types of administrative, support, and clerical activities that are essential to the function of the business. Like any back office environment, this area of a call center operation will address issues such as the maintenance of company records, the management of accounts payables and receivables associated with the operation, and even the management of basic clerical tasks that help to promote communication between the departments and with customers. When the call center operation involves taking orders from customers, the call center back office will usually also handle the tasks associated with order fulfillment.
Most of the functions associated with a call center back office are the same as with any other type of business operation. A good example of these functions has to do with the accounting process. This part of an office will include an accounting department that is charged with managing the payables and receivables of the operation, including the creation and issuing of invoices to customers and the receipt of payments to those customers. Depending on the type of call center involved, the accounting effort may focus on preparing and sending invoices to other companies who outsource certain functions to the call center, or work with the accounting department for the firm that owns and operates the call center for its own internal purposes.
It is not unusual for a call center back office that is operated solely for the benefit of a specific company to also be involved in the order fulfillment process. Here, the call center receives an order and forwards it to the fulfillment center. From there, the products are prepared for delivery to the client, including the packing of the items and the scheduling of the shipment with a courier service or other type of shipping entity. The details are then forwarded to the accounting department, which can bill for the order plus the shipping in a timely manner.
The exact range of functions handled by a call center back office will depend on the nature of the business involved as well as how that company is structured. For the most part, any type of administrative and support activity conducted by the center will be considered a back office function. When any of those functions are disrupted for any reason, the effect on the middle and front office operations of the call center can be significantly affected, causing a great deal of difficulty for the operation as a whole.