What is a Contact Center?
The term “contact center” is often associated with telemarketing or lead generation. Still, contact centers have evolved over the years to deliver a much more comprehensive range of services to businesses. These days, the typical contact center includes staff to handle inbound and outbound calls and data entry, customer service, sales, data analytics, HR, sales training, and more.
In this scenario, a company needs a contact center to take a proactive role in service delivery and ensure that customers have a positive and satisfying customer experience. They are usually the first point of contact for customers with a problem. Alternatively, a contact center can support existing customers or help with training, pricing, or other pricing-related questions. They are also used to ensure that customers have a satisfactory experience when dealing with the company.
Contact Centers are hubs for managing customer communications and customer service across multiple channels, including phone, email, live chat, social media, etc. So basically, the Contact center is used by customer-facing teams as a single authentic platform through which they can manage conversations from all sources.
What Is The Real Role Of The Contact Centre?
The contact center can be as complex as a company needs it to be. However, the role of a contact center can be described as a “single point of contact.” Therefore, the contact center can handle as many types of calls as the company requires. It is the contact center’s responsibility to ensure that in and outbound communication is dealt with effectively.
Moreover, a contact center may involve more than one channel, such as communication through email, social platforms, live chat, or a chatbot. As a result, companies can utilize the contact center to handle a wide range of inbound and outbound interactions.
What is a Call Center?
A call center is a central location where people are trained to answer telephone inquiries arising from the public, including hours of operation, languages spoken, and any other information they feel is pertinent to the consumer. Call centers provide best-handled inquiries to consumers who are referred to them.
The call center’s workers are trained to provide helpful information and well-handled customer inquiries to the public. They provide attentive, friendly, and valuable service to the public. They are trained to make sure that they can respond to the public’s needs and questions. Call centers can be categorized by the type of customer they handle:
- Direct: These call centers handle all customer inquiries. The customer has to dial the number and speak to a representative.
- Indirect: These call centers handle all customer inquiries that the direct calls have not handled. These call centers may or may not be located near the direct calls. They may have a toll-free number with a live person, which the customer can speak to.
- Virtual: These call centers handle all customer inquiries that the direct calls have not handled. They are a telephone-based answer system.
What is the difference between call centers and contact centers?
- Channels of Communication
The most fundamental difference between a call center and a contact center is their channel of communication.
Call centers only use the phone call channel for communication, while contact centers use digital channels – like email, social media, or live chat, in addition to phones.
- Traditional vs. digital
Contact centers operate more in the digital area than call centers. That is why contact centers have an edge when it comes to delivering proactive support. Companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Slack have adopted a proactive customer service approach as they won’t call centers to use the phone channel for communication and predict issues as effortlessly as contact centers do.
- Automation & Ticket Routing
Contact centers use automation to route tickets to suitable agents based on their keywords, previous customer history, agent skills, etc. That’s how contact centers reduce customer resolution time, thus delivering a streamlined experience to customers. Along with routing tickets, automation is also used to categorize tickets, update ticket properties, and most importantly, follow up and close the loop with customers in contact centers. (unlike Call centers.)
- Omnichannel Queue management
Another significant difference between call centers and contact centers is that call centers require a single solution to manage conversations coming in, as all conversations happen only via the phone channel. However, we still need one tool to handle all conversations in contact centers yet provide solutions to multiple channels.
- Self Service Management
Customers, in the era of digitalization, love to find answers to their questions on their own. In contact centers, you can embed a chatbot in a self-service portal which is not the case with call centers. However, call centers nowadays also offer self-service through an IVR, which is quite time-consuming compared to contact centers.