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From the blog

Call Center vs. Contact Center– What’s the Difference?

Contact Center

Contact CenterWhen you hear the words call center and contact center, what comes to mind?

You would probably think it’s the same – but it is not.

When you hear or think of these words, you would most likely conjure up images of people wearing headsets sitting in front of a computer, wearing animated or penchant facial expressions, either answering or making calls.  

These terms get thrown around a lot that we think they are interchangeable. It is true that

they are related, and they share similarities, but each one cannot be more different than the

other.

The difference between the two lies mainly in the methods of communication involved as well as the overall customer experience.  To better understand these two terms let’s start by defining each one.

What is a Call Center?

A call center is a centralized office or a facility, that is equipped to handle large amounts of customer requests communicated through the telephone, usually for an organization. Communication and interaction with the customer are primarily done by phone.

They are further classified into two types, namely, an inbound call center and an outbound call center.

An inbound call center receives incoming calls, usually from customers needing additional information or general queries, product support or feedback.

Outbound call centers, on the other hand, are operated more for the sole purpose of telemarketing,  market research, getting a solicitation for a charitable or political donation. In general, callouts are done in outbound call centers.

The earliest form of call centers can be traced back to the 1960s with the usage of a PABX system. Soon after, when call center operations were set up to provide customer support for airlines and financial institutions, the technology used at call centers evolved.

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system and IVR or Interactive Voice Response were introduced. ACD enable call routing to agents who are available and with a specific skill set while the IVR allows computers to interact with customers through voice or by input on the phone keypad.

What is a Contact Center?

A contact center is very similar to a call center – inbound and outbound calls are also being handled. However, requests or customer interaction is not only through the telephone, but also through different digital communication channels such as email, chat support, SMS, etc.

In addition to ACD and IVR technology, they also make use of cloud services and VoIP, Voice over Internet Protocol. This platform allows customers to reach out using their communication channel of choice.

It is essentially a one-stop shop of customer care necessities. It has a call center, messaging center (for SMS), e-mail department, live chat department –  all under one roof.

A contact center, is also, frequently used by organizations as the home base of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). It is where most of the customer interaction takes place which allows capturing, storing, tracking, and gathering of customer data is made possible.    

Conclusion

Both a call center or a contact center provides the essential functions of customer service or act as  extension support of your company. Your customer may not be able to distinguish the difference between the two and may mix up the usage of both terms but what’s important is that your company is able to deliver on your customer’s expectations to guarantee satisfaction and maintain loyalty.

Executive Boutique provides customer support, business process outsourcing, and technical support services from our state-of-the-art facility in Cebu City, Philippines. Our servicing platform supports most communication channels such as voice, email, and live chat.

Why choose to be tied down to a long-term service commitment when we can work with you on a project basis? We also allow you the flexibility of modifying our services rendered to adapt to your business need.

Interested to know more? Contact us today!

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