Traditionally many companies, especially telecommunications companies and service organizations, have used call center agent companies. As the name implies, call centers handle calls. You may also have heard about contact centers, but what are they? Which one is best? Let’s look at call center vs contact center and see what the difference is between them.
Difference Between Call vs Contact
The main difference between a call center and a contact center is that they offer different services.
These services have been used for many years and only deal with phone calls. The calls are both inbound and outbound as they are known in the trade, or incoming and outgoing to you and I. When you phone up your bank or your phone provider, you are almost certainly speaking to an employee in a call center. The call center could be owned and operated by the company, or an external organization. The emphasis within a call center is on the calls, and their success is monitored through their call statistics like how quickly are calls answered or how many calls are dealt with per hour.
In customer service terms, a ‘contact’ is somebody who has contacted the organization through any means. Therefore a contact center deals with communication in all types whether it be the phone, email, coupon or social media. If you enter a competition to win a box of chocolates, your entry whether on a torn out coupon from a magazine, email, or website, the entry goes to the contact center. They pass the details to the chocolate company and you are now a contact so you will receive information or marketing from that company. Contact centers monitor their success on statistics around the number of contacts and the channels used i.e. phone, coupon, web etc.
Although the terms are used interchangeably, you can clearly see that there are differences between the two. So which one should you use?
Offer the Following Services:
- Telephone Customer service for incoming calls.
- Telephone Customer service through outgoing calls.
- Handle heavy volumes of telephone contact.
- Telephone technical support i.e. a helpdesk.
- Telephone support for order placement and status.
- Telephone surveys of customers and potential customers to provide better service.
- Can be on-site, off-site, or virtual.
- Agents often adhere to a specific customized script.
Benefits of Using a Phone Center.
Very large companies often have a phone center service as part of their business. If you are a company dealing with a large number of incoming and outgoing phone calls, then a call center is vital. Call centers are particularly beneficial to businesses, as it means they can concentrate on their business while the time intensive phone queries and interactions are handled by someone else.
- Handle large numbers of incoming calls.
- Deal with large numbers of outgoing calls.
- Tend to be experts at what they do as they concentrate on one thing.
Contact Centers Offer These Services:
Incoming customer service for all contacts in multiple formats; mail, email, social media, phone, web queries, live chats.
- Outgoing customer contact through multiple formats; mail, email, social media, phone, live chats.
- Contact centers are normally operated by an external company like KPI Connect specializing in being a contact center, not a specific business.
Benefits of Using a Contact Center.
Contact centers handle large numbers of queries through all types of media. Contact center agents require good people skills due to the social media transactions they carry out. A thoughtless comment on social media can easily go viral.
- Handle queries on different communication channels.
- Deal with heavy volumes of mixed media contact.
- Generally available 24/7.
- Works well for businesses in different countries and time zones.
- Other forms of media usually are more cost effective than phone calls.
- Live chat is growing in use and customer satisfaction as it becomes more successful.
Contact Center, or Call Center, or Both?
Both call centers and contact centers provide customer service, but as you can see, both perform different functions and there are benefits to both. Depending on your business needs, you might require specific services from one or the other, or possibly even both.