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Call Center vs Contact Center: Which is Right for Your Business
December 22nd, 2016

Call Center vs Contact Center: Which is Right for Your Business

Hailee Franco

Businesses often use phones to communicate with customers. When a business employs a group of people specifically for this purpose they call them agents and name their offices “call centers”. This ter...

Businesses often use phones to communicate with customers. When a business employs a group of people specifically for this purpose they call them agents and name their offices “call centers”. This term gets used often in the business world. It defines any office that uses phones as their main line of communication.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services are changing the way these centers function. They add new ways for businesses to interact with their customers. These new features are evolving call centers into contact centers. So what is the difference between a call center vs contact center?

Call Center vs Contact Center

What is a call center?

A call center communicates by voice only and uses no other channels to speak with their customers. They do this using either a Public Switch Telephone Network or VoIP service to make calls. This line of communication is the most popular way customers contact businesses. This makes call centers an important part business communications.

Call centers handle both inbound and outbound calls. They handle customer ordering, billing issues, tech support, and special promotions. These centers divide work among agents for inbound and outbound calling. They may also divide work based on departments like support, sales, and billing.

Call center benefits

  • Voice communication is the most popular communication channel for customers.
  • Customers feel they receive better, more effective, customer service over the phone.
  • VoIP features like “predictive dialers” and “call queuing” make it more efficient to handle large call volumes.
  • Using only voice communication cuts down on employee training and service costs.

Call center downfalls

  • Not every customer is comfortable speaking to an agent on the phone.
  • It can get expensive to operate a call center 24/7. This means some businesses may not be able to offer around the clock support.
  • Call centers are often outsourced overseas to lower costs, causing language barriers between the agents and customers.

What is a contact center?

While a call center uses only voice, a contact center communicates using many different channels. These channels include web chat, video conferencing, email, and fax. Voice communication may also be a part of contact centers communication offerings. If you have ever used a website’s “Chat Now” button then you have spoken with a contact center agent.

A contact center gives customers many ways to “contact” a business at any time, even outside of business hours.

Contact center benefits

  • Contact centers offer an all-in-one communication platform.
  • Utilizing email and online support makes it easier for a business to provide support at any time of day or night.
  • Video conferencing is available, making it less complicated to provide tech support or showcase products.
  • Offering many channels allows customers to use the communication method they are most comfortable with.

Contact center downfalls

  • Contact centers require more employee training.
  • Businesses may need to employ more agents to handle each communication channel.
  • Additional channels can come at an extra cost, making the service more expensive than voice-only communication.

Which is the right fit for your business?

Call centers are often a smaller part of a contact center, meaning you can use both. Call centers are a good choice for businesses who are looking for a viable customer support option that won’t break the bank. A contact center gives businesses the ability to evolve their communication channels as their customers change or the business grows.

Deciding which is the right fit for your business will depend on your needs and budget. VoIP services are a simple way to give your business all the features necessary to operate a contact or call center at an affordable price. Only you can decide which is best for your business.


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