Call Center vs. Contact Center: What You Need to Know
Although often used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between outsourcing your customer services to a contact center vs a call center. Discover how to choose the best option to help your organization succeed!
It’s a common misconception that contact centers and call centers are the same. They have many similarities, but they also have key differences. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between a call center vs contact center and why you should offer your customers multiple support channels to contact you.
Call Center vs Contact Center: Understanding the Differences
A contact center is where customers can reach your customer support through phone, email, chat, or other communication methods. There are typically multiple agents available to help support customer needs. A lot of examples of these types of contact centers take care of inquiries related to customer service, technical support, and sales departments.
Call centers, on the other hand, provide a place for customers to contact your company through phone calls. In contrast to call centers, contact center agents can handle different types of communication methods like emails, chat messages, social media inquiries, and phone calls.
Call Center vs Contact Center: Which is Better?
Contact centers allow companies to interact with their customers in more ways, which will increase brand loyalty and satisfaction. The downside of contact center systems is that they are usually more expensive than call centers or self-service options.
The benefits of call centers are they are usually cheaper than contact centers. The drawbacks of call centers can be that agents can only take calls, and if a customer prefers other methods of communication, they cannot contact your company.
Why Offer Different Support Channels?
Nowadays, when people use multiple channels for all their needs, from researching products online to buying goods online or over the phone, companies should offer consumers more than one way or channel to interact with them.
Types of Support Channels:
- Phone Calls
- Email Inquiries
- Chat Messages
- Social Media Platforms
- Help Center Resources
It’s beneficial to offer different communication channels because not all customers will want or be able to contact your company in the same way. You should also provide several support channels so that you can reach more types of prospects who may never have contacted your company. Offering multiple ways for customers to contact you will also help you answer their questions in a timely manner.
If your company cannot take the call, then make sure that you have other ways for customers to contact you! This way, they can get an answer right away and won’t be left with no support at all. You want to make sure they feel comfortable reaching out, so communication is not an issue. You want them to know that they can contact you at any time, so you’re always ready to help!
How to Choose Between Using a Call Center vs Contact Center
Many people are confused about what these two terms mean and why one would be a better choice than the other for your business. A call center is often more suitable if you’re looking to provide customer service via phone. In contrast, a contact center might work better if you want to handle communications in-person, such as at an airport or retail store kiosk where customers can chat with someone live on screen.
Companies may choose to work with a contact center if they have people who want to chat with someone live on screen. Contact centers are also helpful if your company has an automated system that can’t always handle questions by itself and requires human intervention from experts where they’re available.
For example, a company might use both contact centers and call centers because it’s important for them to provide excellent customer support 24/hours-a-day, no matter what channel the user prefers.
Choosing between these two options depends largely on how often users need assistance and the type of content they would like to access.
Questions to Choose the Best Contact Center or Call Center
Here are a few questions you can ask to help determine which contact center or call center is best for your company:
- Which communication channels does it cover?
- What type of customer service will be offered?
- How large is the call center or contact center?
- Are any of these channels more responsive than others based on users’ needs?
- Do customers have access to an agent via phone 24/hours a day?
- Is there a different contact center for each type of customer service, or does the same contact center handle them all?
- How many people work in this contact center on average per day?
- What’s their average response time to answer calls and emails?
- What type of corporate culture does this contact center have?
- Do employees work remotely vs on-site in this contact center?
- Based on the metrics provided, how much would it cost our company to outsource its customer service?
Questions to Ask Yourself
When choosing which contact center or call center to work with, it’s important to consider what type of customer service you need, your budget, and your business goals. Consider the following questions when deciding what contact center or call center is the right fit for you!
- What type of customer service do I need?
- What are my budget considerations?
- Are there any legal requirements that this company must meet according to state law?
- How many hours a day will they be available for me on average?
- Will they provide training before going live, so I’m not starting from scratch once onboarding begins?
- Is their pricing fair considering all factors like their level of support?
When choosing which call center vs contact center to work with, it’s important to consider what type of customer service you need, your budget, and your business goals. Keep the above questions in mind when deciding what contact center or call center is the right fit for you!