Making the decision to outsource your customer service operations is a big one. It can be difficult to determine which type of call center is right for your business. In this article, we will outline the key differences between call centers and contact centers. By understanding the difference, you will be able to make an informed decision about which type of center is best for your needs.
What Is a Call Center?
A call center is a type of customer service center that handles an overflow of phone calls. A call center may be used by businesses to route callers to the appropriate department or employee, or it may be outsourced to a third-party company that specializes in handling customer service calls. A call center can also be used by organizations to make outgoing calls, such as for telemarketing or market research purposes.
What Is a Contact Center?
A contact center is similar to a call center, but it also handles other forms of communication beyond phone calls, such as email, chat, and text messages. A contact center may be used by businesses to provide customer support, sales, or other services. Like call centers, contact centers can be either in-house or outsourced to a third-party company.
Key Differences Between a Call Center and Contact Center
Both call centers and contact centers are typically used to route callers or customers to the appropriate department or employee, but they have some key differences.
Omnichannel vs. Single Channel Communication
In a call center, communication occurs over a single channel, typically the telephone. This type of communication is referred to as voice-only or single-channel communication.
A contact center, however, supports omnichannel communication, which means that customers can contact businesses through multiple channels, including voice, chat, email, and social media.
While call centers are focused on making and taking phone calls, contact centers are designed to provide comprehensive customer support across all channels.
Proactive vs. Reactive Support
A call center is primarily focused on handling inbound calls. Call center agents are usually reactive, meaning they only respond to customer inquiries and do not proactively reach out to customers.
In contrast, a contact center is a type of customer support that handles both inbound and outbound calls.
Contact center agents are usually proactive, meaning they take initiative to reach out to customers, even if the customer has not contacted the company first. This proactive approach allows contact centers to build better relationships with their customers and prevent issues before they become problems.
Online Self-Service vs. Traditional Customer Support
A call center provides traditional customer support through phone calls, whereas a contact center encompasses all forms of customer communication.
In addition, a contact center typically offers Online Self-Service (OSS) options, such as a knowledge base or FAQ section, that allow customers to find answers to their questions without having to contact a support representative. OSS can be a valuable asset for both customers and businesses, as it reduces the number of support requests and frees up representatives to help with more complex issues.
As the world of customer support continues to evolve, call centers are increasingly being replaced by contact centers that provide a more comprehensive range of services.
Centralized vs. Specialized Services
Call centers are typically organized into three main categories: inbound call centers, outbound call centers, and blended call centers. Inbound call centers handle incoming calls from customers, while outbound call centers make outgoing calls to customers. Blended call centers handle both incoming and outgoing calls.
Contact centers, on the other hand, typically offer a more centralized approach to customer service. This means that all customer service options are offered through a single point of contacts, such as an email address, chat interface, or phone number.
Consistent vs. Inconsistent Customer Experience (CX)
The main difference between a call center and a contact center is the customer experience (CX).
For call centers, CX is typically more inconsistent because there is less of a focus on developing relationships with customers. The interactions are usually shorter and more transactional in nature.
Meanwhile, contact centers often have longer interactions with customers and a stronger focus on developing relationships. This allows for a more consistent CX, as a staff is better able to understand the individual needs of each customer.
Why Contact Centers May Be the Best Option for Your Business…and Your Customers?
In today’s competitive business world, providing excellent customer service is more important than ever. Since contact centers provide a more comprehensive range of services, such as chat, email, and social media support, they are often better equipped to handle the needs of modern customers. In addition, by consolidating all of your customer service channels into one platform, contact centers can help to improve efficiency and cut costs.
Whether you already have a call center, or you are considering investing in one, upgrading to a contact center is a smart move that can provide numerous benefits for your business and your customers.
Choose 3C Contact Services as Your Contact Center
At 3C Contact Services, we utilize solid value-driven relationship-building techniques to maximize customer interactions over the phone, via email, and on live chat. Having a broad range of IT and help desk service specialists on our team, helps keeps our costs (and in turn yours) low without compromising service quality and expertise.
As one of the most renowned technical support companies in North America, we have access to a number of technological and customer service-based resources that can help you grow your business and expand to a variety of markets. Contact us today to learn more about our services.