Contact Center vs Call Center: What's the Difference?

Contact Center vs Call Center: What's the Difference?

As top contact center software vendors focus on offering businesses the tools necessary to revolutionize customer experience, the contact center vs call center argument becomes more and more relevant. Often used interchangeably, contact center vs call center differences alter the scope of ideas discussed, thereby making it important for business leaders to understand what really sets the two apart.
 
The differences between a contact center vs call center can also offer many businesses the clarity they need to identify outdated technologies that are currently still being used in the organization, and make changes accordingly. As the terms are interchangeably used, business leaders are often oblivious to the niche details that could be making all the difference between a contact center vs call center - and how upgrades can be made with a contact center integration, in the event of only having a basic call center.
 
In an age where competition is fierce and customers are spoilt for choice among an endless array of options, knowing the differences between a contact center vs call center can enable businesses to not just reach customers in a timely manner, but across any communication channel that they prefer. While a call center can only support voice calls, a contact center can support much more, such as omnichannel communication, campaign execution and contact center intelligence.
 
Therefore, knowing the differences between a contact center vs call center can provide businesses with the leverage they need to build a unique customer experience that ranges from tailor-made journeys, to intelligent recommendations. By learning what sets a contact center vs call center apart, businesses can go beyond traditional voice calls, and transform their customer service to one that is always in tune with every customer’s needs.

Contact Center vs Call Center: How Communication Channels Differ

One of the biggest differences between a contact center vs call center has to do with the number of communication channels that each offers. A call center, as its name suggests, only offers traditional phone calls that customers can rely on for reaching a business. Agents answer these calls, ideally through cloud based VoIP software, and resolve queries on an ad hoc basis.
 
A contact center, on the other hand, delivers a range of communication channels for both agents and customers, which include (but aren’t limited to) voice, SMS, IM, email and social media. What’s more, all these communication channels can be integrated such that interaction from any channel can be consolidated into one unified profile. Taking things a step further, unifying customer data in such a manner across a CRM pipeline can equip sales teams to improve their customer outreach efforts with added context and insight. As a result, the ability to integrate a variety of communication channels in itself becomes one of the biggest reasons to adopt a contact center vs call center.

Contact Center vs Call Center: How Agent Skills Differ

The level and caliber of skills required on the part of agents is another key differentiator between a contact center vs call center. While call centers require good speaking and problem solving skills, contact centers require these and so much more; good written skills and social media etiquette are the top two. Another contact center vs call center difference is highlighted in contact center call recording software, that offers managers insight into which contact center agents are performing, and which ones need extra training. 
 
While call recording is one of the benefits of e contact center software, it isn’t confined to contact centers alone. But it can offer deeper insights than when used in a call center. For example, speech analysis from call recording software can be tallied with data pertaining to other channels, in order to conduct an accurate analysis of customer sentiment. This isn’t possible in a call center, thereby further highlighting the differences between a contact center vs call center. 
 
As a result, deeper analytics of this sort can enable businesses to build customer experiences that are based on understanding a buyer’s story, and crafting experiences that are rich as they are valuable. In essence, businesses that learn the difference between a contact center vs call center will be able to get clarity on how adopting a contact center can reap massive rewards for their business, while keeping costs at a minimum. Bearing the contact center vs call center differences in mind, businesses can now also be more informed when they demand specific tools from contact center vendors, so they only implement what is truly best for their business.

Contact Center vs Call Center: How Technologies Differ

Differences in technology are one of many points to consider between a contact center vs call center. In essence, contact centers consist of all the technologies used in call centers, and more. This technology set shall further extend, depending on the specific contact center strategy that a business has established. 

While a call center consists of the basics such as a VoIP softphone, IVR and basic call tracking capabilities, a contact center additionally includes advanced tools such as email management, social media management, campaign management and omnichannel analytics. Contact centers may also be integrated with CRM software, thereby further expanding the technology differences between a contact center vs call center.

As businesses grow, contact center software needs to also evolve accordingly. Whether it’s to offer international customer service or implement automated agents, contact center vs call center differences matter here. For businesses running a call center, scaling up will require more money, effort and time, as an upgrade first needs to be made to a contact center, before any other initiatives to scale up can take place.

Once the contact center vs call center gap is bridged by implementing the right technologies, businesses can then perform an assessment of which goals need to be met and which problems need to be addressed, to further expand their technology set. This way, businesses can understand the differences between a contact center vs call center - and integrate the right tools and technologies that are necessary for maintaining key qualities of customer service.

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