We have all grown up hearing about the call centers or at least have had the chance of listening to call center software executive itself. For decades, call centers have been recognized as the backbone of the customer support systems for businesses.
While the customers reach out to the call centers for any help or support, the representatives call out from the call centers to boost sales. They are called Call Centers since the primary mode of communication used herein is the traditional phone support system.
With the passage of time and the changing expectations of the customers, call center executives have started using different channels to interact with their customers besides using the traditional phone lines and cloud phone system. So, it won’t be wrong to say that the Call Centers have evolved into Contact Centers. However, both Call Centers and Contact Centers have a common goal of improving their customer’s experience.
But there are definitely a few differences between the traditional call centers using the legacy premise systems and the contact center that uses various modern technologies to interact with the customers.
We try to understand them by discussing both the call center and the contact center in detail here in the article.
A Call Center
A Call Center is an office where a number of call center executives work together with a common motive of improving their customer’s experience. The mode of communication used here is the cloud phone system. There are two types of call centers:
- Inbound Call Centers
In the case of inbound call centers, the executives receive calls from customers and help them with any queries related to billing, tech support etc. Such call centers work on bringing down the call resolution time and increasing the agent’s productivity.
- Outbound Call Centers
Just on the contrary, in outbound call centers the agents make calls instead of receiving them. These calls can be aimed at any of these motives–increasing sales, making marketing offers, performing surveys, requests for fundraising, or for collection of debts.
A Contact Center
A Contact Center can ideally be described as ‘a technological shift’ in the traditional model of a call center. It makes use of several modern technologies to connect with the customers other than the traditional calling.
The traditional model of a call center is increasingly becoming outmoded due to the increase in the expectations of the customers together with the advancement in technology. In this competitive era, while the companies are looking for the most innovative and modern methods of reaching out to their customers, the customers in return are looking for multiple, quick ways to connect with the company too. The main motto clearly remains the minimum wastage of time on both ends. This is where call center software helps a lot. It is loaded with features and it becomes very handy while helping the customers.
Call Center Vs Contact Center – Defining Boundaries
The agents in the call centers make inbound and outbound calls using either the traditional phones or the cloud phone system.
The contact centers handle customer communications over a wide variety of channels such as app chats, SMS, emails, push notifications, and several others. Imagine a contact center as a modern communication center where status updates on orders are delivered through SMS, promotions are made through push notifications, technical support is offered through a video or an app chat, surveys are carried out through Facebook messenger and the sales inquiries received are directly resolved over a traditional phone call or cloud phone system.
While call centers simply handle voice communications, contact centers handle a host of other communications.
The contact center of a company is integrated with its CRM or Customer Relationship management system. Customer relationship management is a system where any kind of interaction between the organization and the customers is not just tracked but also coordinated and managed.
A number of companies prefer to buy call center software while others adopt a cloud-based solution for the purpose. During this pandemic time with the use of cloud phone system and best call center softwares many companies like HSBC have given permanent work home to their call center staff.
Call Center and Contact Center – What is common
Even though there are differences between a Call Center and a Contact Center, there is something common between the two. And that is their purpose. Both the Call Center and Contact Center have a common goal of improving the customer experience.
Whether a customer wants to place an order or wants to resolve a technical issue; whether they connect with the company with a phone or by other channels such as emails, SMS, app chat, what they are looking for is simply a quick resolution to their problem. And that is what both call centers and contact centers work for.
In simple terms, the traditional Call Centers have come a long way in the last decade. And a contact center is actually a modern call center. For you, contact center software and virtual phone numbers will be the best communication mediums.