What’s the Difference Between a Call Center and a Contact Center?

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With business competition at an all-time high, it is more important than ever for companies to provide a top-notch customer experience. From product support and customer service requests to sales, representatives must juggle several tasks when handling customers. As a result, many businesses debate on their needs for a call center or contact center. While these two terms are often used interchangeably, there are a few differences between these two business tools.

Understanding the differences between a call center and a contact center and how they help with business efficiency is crucial to providing a customized customer experience. The right setup could help improve customer satisfaction and build operational efficiency. While call centers and contact centers function within the same general customer support and outreach field, the two can provide different business solutions. Call centers focus primarily on telephone-based communications, while contact centers harness new technologies to provide broader communication and analytics solutions.

Whether your business is looking to create a virtual customer experience with contact center software or develop a more traditional call center, there are a few things to consider. Let’s look at the differentiation between call centers and contact centers and how business operations can be impacted.

Call Centers

As discussed, the primary function of a call center is focused on telephone-based communication. They provided the first iteration of dedicated customer support teams handling inbound and outbound calls. Typically, massive call centers are located on-site and provide a service team that handles customer inquiries, telemarketing, debt collection, billing, and other customer-centered services. The main focus is to handle customer interactions. Modern call centers incorporate new technology such as interactive voice response systems alongside standard telephones. Although these communication centers provide simple solutions, the majority of customers still prefer phone-based support and interactions.

Contact Centers

Like a call center, a contact center is the main hub for managing all customer contacts and interactions. The main difference in a contact center is expanded communication capabilities. From social media and live chats to email and SMS, a contact center can improve workflow by giving agents and customers multiple means of communication. While also handling telephone calls, contact center solutions are designed around multiple contact points to create more immediate responses that customers expect. Although both centers provide similar functions, a contact center opens up multiple communication channels and employs advanced features for more personalized and efficient customer service capabilities.

Contact Center Benefits

In many industries today, businesses are shedding traditional communication centers in favor of more efficient virtual contact centers. Contact center software allows businesses to hire agents with the ability to work remotely from almost anywhere. Contact center agents can handle inbound calls, answer emails, respond to social media inquiries, and send SMS messages from the same platform. Operational flexibility is critical for businesses to adapt and grow today. Contact center software allows for seamless integration of multiple communication channels to allow companies to expand or contract as business requires.

Aside from flexibility and convenience, a contact center platform allows better call-routing technology to ensure that each inquiry is handled by the right agent with the best available customer data. When a customer contacts a business, they expect assistance with a product, service, or account. In traditional call centers, agents usually have to switch between multiple screens and reports to piece together customer data.

With contact center software, the system collects initial information and provides agents with complete customer information before interaction even happens. Additionally, agents can work remotely from a variety of locations to improve your availability and business reliability.

Integration of contact center solutions helps companies with workforce optimization, improved business hours, and customer relationships. Based on cutting-edge technology, contact center software can allow businesses to expand customer service beyond the telephone to provide a consistent customer experience.

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