Everyone must think ‘contact center’ and ‘call center’ are just synonyms. But no, there’s a key difference between the two. The contact center is the platform or hub that manages customer communications and customer services across various channels. It includes phone, email, live chat, messaging, and social media.
Contact center software provides all customer-facing services at a single platform. Whereas a call center is a hub where customer conversations is taken exclusively via phone channels. The call center focuses on inbound and outbound phone calls.
The differences don’t end here; there’re more pointers between call centers and contact centers to learn. However, everything vary according to business objectives and services to customers.
Let’s take a look at the prime variation between a contact center and a call center.
One of the basic differences between the two; is the different modes/channels of communication they use to engage with customers. Call centers use phone channels to communicate with customers.
The conversations happen in real-time, where agents take care of it. So, to handle peak volume hours, you have to hire more staff, which in return can be expensive.
Contact centers, on the other hand, use digital channels like email, social media, live chat, etc., to communicate with customers. Digital channels support in delivering faster solutions with better customer experiences.
Customers have also become more digitally advanced. On average, a customer spends six hours a day online. Brands and businesses have to expand digital channels to meet customer expectations.
Presently, contact centers are offering omnichannel customer service and customer relationship management. Contact centers are widely preferred across the industries that require multichannel communication, like healthcare, education, travel, hospitality, etc.
As for call centers, it focuses entirely on phone-based customer communication used to handle inbound and outbound calls. They mostly manage and handle telemarketing and sales-related calls; in addition to technical support.
Contact center software has a more digitized process of queue management as it provides omnichannel support. Customer inquiries from any channel can be routed to the respective department and agent via an advanced queue management system. It prevents routing of chat, call, or emails to agents that has great engagement.
It plays a vital role in improving support efficiency while reducing call drop rates. Contact center software reduces the resolution time using automation to route tickets to the right agents. The system utilizes keywords, previous customer history, agent skills, and channels for routing.
Meanwhile, in a call center, all communication and conversation are done via phone channel. So, they have automatic call distributors that route incoming calls to the right agents. This helps call center managers to improve operational efficiency.
Call centers have high manpower (agents or representatives) dependency as all the calls happen in real-time, taking up the agent’s bandwidth entirely. Staffing is the solution during peak volume hours. There’s an option of hiring seasonal employees, which in the end will add support costs.
As mentioned above, contact centers use different channels to help businesses scale customer services. An agent can handle two or more chat and email conversations in parallel. The system enables fast resolution without compromising on customer experience. You don’t have to bear any extra support costs.
Nowadays, customers prefer to find answers to questions on their own. This is where self-service solutions enter. Customers don’t have to wait for an agent or stay on hold for long as they can use self-service. They could simply use chatbots, fill in their queries and related answers will be given to the customers in no time.
The call center uses an IVR system for customers. Customers can simply follow up the steps and press the keys as instructed by the prerecorded audio. They can connect with an agent immediately if the issue is not resolved through self-service. Self-service helps in workload management.
Call centers are a traditional and standard approach that provides a personalized human touch to communication. Contact centers offer multichannel support with a variety of state-of-the-art predictive capabilities to businesses. Both have their own perks and disadvantages so, choosing completely depends on your business and the services you need.
After the situation because of Coronavirus, adapt of contact centers is a good idea. The convenience of working from anywhere and anytime is an addition that helps your business characterize critical priorities.
Sarv’s cloud telephony solution can help you with all; achieving set performance, profitability, and productivity in the business.
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