Call Center vs Contact Center: The Main Differences

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Contact center vs call center — what’s the difference?
This article will answer this very question so that you can decide which option is a better fit for your business. Both are important customer service tools that help companies deal with customer queries, provide technical support to clients, and place sales. But one might be more suited to your firm than the other.

What Is a Call Center?

Call centers came onto the scene quite some time ago. While the term was only coined in the eighties, they have been around since the mid-twentieth century, providing customers with personalized service. To this day, they focus on the telephone as their primary form of communication with customers. 

But what is a call center definition? Typically, they are used for sales, customer service, and technical support for clients. Some field inbound calls, others contact customers, and others might do a little of both.

Types Of Call Centers

There are numerous types of call centers out there, each fulfilling a wide range of functions. Each type uses specialized software to help it operate effectively and provide customers with quality service. Here at Selmo, for instance, we cater to many different kinds out there.

The definition of an inbound call center is one that handles incoming calls from customers. Operators provide clients with a wide range of customer services, such as answering customer queries and providing technical support.

What Is a Contact Center?

So, what is contact center service based on? Where call centers are entirely focused on telephone-based service, this type of service instead makes use of various mediums, including phone calls, texting, instant messaging, and email. This kind of flexibility offers an edge over older, more traditional phone-based services.

Contact centers might be used for anything from customer service and technical support to sales. In this respect, they are quite similar to their counterpart.

Types of Contact Centers

There are many different types of contact centers out there, all providing reliable customer support services to their clients. Now that we’ve provided you with a contact center definition, we’ll explain some of the various types out there and detail what sets them apart.
An omnichannel approach provides customers with multiple communication channels to use—telephone, texting, email, and so on. With an omnichannel approach, all of these channels are integrated within the contact center, meaning that client information is centralized and can be easily accessed by all agents, no matter what communication medium is being used.
Want to feel the full power of a predictive automatic dialer can give your outbound call center?

Benefits of Call and Contact Centers

Both of the options under consideration have their own benefits. In this section, we’ll consider some of the advantages of both of these approaches.

Call Center Benefits

  • More specialized service results in happy customers

    Being focused on only one method of communication—namely, phone calls—this approach can help provide customers with high-quality service. This is because such specialized service is likely to increase customer satisfaction. This in turn improves overall performance.

  • A traditional, easily customizable customer service option
    Call centers have been around for some time and have established themselves as a trustworthy form of customer support. Even in today’s fast-paced world, many people prefer to use the phone for banking and other financial services. Talented operators can also provide clients with a personalized experience they wouldn’t receive over text.
  • Often the cheaper option

    Of the two customer service options under consideration in this article, this particular option is usually the cheapest—ideal for customer service businesses looking to cut down on overhead costs.

Contact Center Benefits

  • Advanced analytics enhance the customer experience

    Contact centers that use multiple integrated channels of communication benefit from this interconnected approach. Customer information is gathered from all these channels, resulting in detailed client profiles. Analytics software can use this data to improve the client experience.

  • Reduced dependence on operators
    Telephone-based services deal with customers via real-time phone conversations. For this reason, they’re far more dependent on their operators than contact centers, which on the whole are under less pressure to grow their teams.
  • Can easily incorporate automated and self-service functionalities
    Another benefit of this approach is that it allows businesses to easily incorporate self-service functions. Simple issues can be addressed quickly and easily in this manner, with more difficult problems escalated to operators.

What Is the Difference Between Call Center and Contact Center Services?

Now that we’ve explained what these two options are and what benefits businesses can expect from them both, we’ll now talk about the difference between call center and customer service call center operations.
Call centers only use one channel of communication—namely, the telephone. By contrast, contact centers use text-based options alongside phone calls; for example, SMS conversations, emails, chat services, and even social media interactions.
Many call centers use call recording software to monitor operator performance and track client information. Since they use numerous channels, contact centers have access to a greater amount of data. This allows them to gain a better sense of the “big picture” of an issue and encourages a proactive client support service.
Customer self-service
Self-service functionality can be easily incorporated into contact center services. They might include such features as self-service portals, AI-driven chatbots, and discussion forums. By contrast, IVR menus are the only type of self-service feature provided by the alternative.
Call centers often use IVR technology to ease the strain placed on their operators and to make sure callers are directed to the appropriate department. Contact centers make use of other types of self-service tech, as well as software integrations that help enhance the customer experience.
Agent skills
Both call and contact centers are founded on efficient, helpful agents who can quickly solve customer issues. The former makes use of operators who are talented customer service providers, with years of experience providing personalized assistance over the phone. By contrast, the latter makes use of agents with a broad range of skills, ensuring they can manage the wide range of contact services provided. 

Whatever contact options your business utilizes, using reliable software—like that provided by us here at Selmo—can help make sure that customers are able to get through to the most helpful agent for their situation.

Similarities Between the Two

For all their differences, call and contact centers do share some similarities, as this article has already mentioned. Although the latter kind uses many more contact channels than the telephone alone, their primary focus is still to provide customers with high-quality service and assistance. This is true of call centers as well. Basically, both tend to have quite similar goals, but different ways of achieving them! 

Both options covered in this article also use telephones as part of their services. While it’s true that our society places increasing importance on online communication, sometimes the personalization of a phone call is the best way to get your point across—both as an agent and a customer.
This article has considered what a contact center or call center is, what types there are out there, and what the benefits are of each option.

Both have their advantages and drawbacks. When running a business, executives should carefully weigh their options and consider which would be most beneficial for them.

Whichever you choose, your company will benefit from reliable software to help ensure efficient service and satisfied customers. That’s where Selmo comes in. Our automatic dialing software, CRM integrations, and analytics software can be of benefit to both call and contact centers.

To get a quote for your company, contact us today!

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