A web callback is a service offered by some websites that allows customers or potential clients to request a phone call from a company or organization. Users can enter their phone numbers through a website form and are contacted by customer service or sales representatives that can solve technical problems, close a sale, or provide information about a product or service. Some web callback services allow users to schedule the call at a specific time. Companies and website owners interested in the technology can choose from a wide variety of service providers and levels of complexity.
Callback features of this nature have become commonplace on websites of many large corporations, but is also used by smaller businesses and organizations. These types of calls generally begin with a form or button on a web page or in an e-mail. Users can submit their phone number via the web to request a call from the company or organization, which will then call the user at the phone number provided. The purpose of the call can vary from completing an order to receiving technical support or simply to get more information about a product or service.
This service can have advantages over other means of communication such as a toll-free number or e-mail, although in practice most sites use callback features to supplement rather than replace more traditional channels. Since the users receive a call instead of placing one, they may save money on their phone bill, especially for international calls or customers with cell phone plans that may count toll-free numbers against the monthly allowance of minutes. Hold times can also be reduced or eliminated because the call can be delayed until a call center agent is available to speak with the person requesting a call. In some cases, users can schedule the call to take place at a specific time that is most convenient for them.
The technology that powers a web callback service can vary depending on the size of the website and how the technology is implemented. The most complex systems automatically connect a call center agent to a user, while simpler implementations might notify a website owner of the web callback request via e-mail or Short Message Service (SMS) text message. Some sites use a third-party service provider to enable callback functionality, while others may build their own systems that link web and in-house phone systems together. The calls can either be routed over the Internet or through traditional telephone lines.