A contact center is a hub for managing customer communications and customer service across multiple channels, including phone, email, live chat, and social media. Customer-facing teams use a contact center software as a single platform through which they can handle conversations coming in from all channels.
A call center, on the other hand, is a hub for customer conversations that occur exclusively via the phone channel. A call center system is used to handle all inbound and outbound phone calls.
But the differences don’t end here. Contact centers and call centers are used for varying business objectives and deliver different experiences to customers. In this article, we’ll take a look at the key differences between a contact center and a call center.
Understanding the differences between a contact center vs a call center
1. Channels of communication
Contact-center: Phone, email, live chat, social media, and more
As previously mentioned, the most basic difference between a contact center and a call center is the channels they use to engage with customers. Call centers, as the name suggests, only use the phone channel for communication. Since phone conversations happen in real-time, a call takes up an agent’s bandwidth is entirely. So, the only way to handle peak volume hours is by staffing up for peak volume hours. However, running a large team can turn out to be quite expensive.
On the other hand, contact centers use digital channels – such as email, social media or live chat, in addition to phone – to engage with customers. In comparison to using the phone as the single channel of communication, using different channels helps in delivering faster solutions and better customer experiences. For instance, with email, you can distribute the load across the team better. Plus, since agents can handle three or more chat conversations in parallel which also reduces staffing/workloads.
Over the years, customers have become more digitally advanced. In fact, customers spend an average of six hours a day online. To keep up with the evolving expectations of customers, brands have expanded their support on different channels. This gives customers the freedom to raise their issues and seek help from any platform they prefer. With contact center software, brands can effortlessly interact with customers and deliver an omnichannel experience.
2. Omnichannel queue management
Contact center: Queue management across channels
Call center: Not applicable
A call center requires a single solution to manage conversations coming in, as all conversations happen only via the phone channel. However, in contact centers, although you’re providing support on multiple channels, you still need one tool to handle all conversations.
A contact center software uses omnichannel queue management to manage conversations coming in through all channels. This enables every incoming request to be viewed from a single platform, allowing admins to easily distribute work across the team. Similarly, agents can use a single solution to manage their workload across all channels. pg slot