When it comes to customer service, contact centers and call centers may seem like two sides of the same coin. While contact centers and call centers do have many similarities, such as utilizing similar technology, customer service best practices, and communication protocols – there are also significant differences between them. Determining the difference between contact centers and call centers is important in deciding how to better operate your business’s customer service efficiency.
What is a Contact Center?
A contact center is an all-inclusive term for any customer service, sales, and technical support operation. It’s a multi-channel operation, meaning they use phone channels (voice calls), email contact, website contact forms, text message contact, and even social media contact to communicate with customers. Contact centers are designed for 24/7 communication with customers and can handle large volumes of inquiries from different sources simultaneously.
What is a Call Center?
Call centers are the traditional form of customer service operations – using voice or audio communication as the primary means of contact with customers. While call centers still very much exist in our current digital age as part of larger contact center operations – their focus is on providing quality customer service through one-on-one contact via voice calls. Unlike contact centers, call centers are not multi-channel in nature and they handle customer inquiries one at a time.
What are the Differences Between a Contact Center and a Call Center?
Contact centers and call centers differ in many ways, from the channels used for contact to the customer service best practices employed. Although contact centers and call centers both provide customer service, there are differences that should not be overlooked.
Contact Channels Used
The primary difference between contact centers and call centers is the contact channels they use to communicate with customers. Contact centers use multiple contact channels while call centers only use voice or audio contact channels. While call centers are limited to telephone calls, contact centers are often equipped with a variety of communication channels such as web chat, social media, text messaging, and more.
At the same time, contact centers generally require more sophisticated technology for managing customer interactions, while call centers rely heavily on simpler hardware and software solutions that enable them to handle large volumes of calls quickly and efficiently. Additionally, contact center solutions often include features such as automatic routing systems for efficient management of inbound calls and systems for automated contact handling.
Volume of Inquiries
Due to the contact channel limitations of call centers, they are usually better suited for low-volume contact operations. On the other hand, contact centers are designed to manage large volumes of contact requests from multiple contact channels at once. This makes contact centers the preferred solution for high-volume customer contact operations, as well as for businesses looking for a comprehensive customer service solution that includes multiple contact channels.
Contact center staffing requirements are usually much higher than those for call centers, as contact centers need to be staffed with agents who can handle multiple types of customer contact. This means contact centers typically require more experienced and knowledgeable agents to provide an effective level of customer service.
Customer Service Efficiency
When it comes to providing customer service, contact centers can offer a greater variety of services due to their ability to interact with customers through different channels. Contact centers can provide personalized responses that take into account the customer’s individual needs, while call centers are limited in this respect by their focus on phone conversations only. Additionally, contact centers often have access to more detailed customer data which they can use to make sure their contact with customers is as effective and efficient as possible.
Finally, contact center solutions can be more expensive due to the technical requirements and personnel needed to maintain them. Call centers are generally less expensive, as they require fewer resources and simpler technologies to operate efficiently. However, in many cases, investing in a multi-channel contact center is more cost-effective over time since it allows you to provide better customer service and contact more customers in less time.
KPI Differences in Call Centers vs. Contact Centers
To determine the effectiveness of contact centers and call centers, contact centers should use a different set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) than those used for call centers. KPIs such as contact resolution rate, contact average handle time, customer satisfaction score, and contact abandonment rate can provide more accurate measurements of contact center performance than the KPIs used to measure call center performance. This is because contact centers need to measure contact resolution rate and contact abandonment rate across multiple contact channels, not just voice calls.
Why Automate Your Contact Center?
Automation solutions can be used to streamline contact center operations and improve customer service. Automated contact handling helps contact centers save time by automatically routing calls or messages to the best available agent, optimizing contact routing for efficiency and accuracy. Additionally, automation solutions can help contact centers measure their performance by monitoring contact resolution rate, contact average handle time, customer satisfaction score, and contact abandonment rate across all contact channels. This allows contact centers to quickly identify areas for improvement and adjust their operations accordingly.
Contact Center Automation Solutions at Intradiem
At Intradiem, we offer contact center automation solutions designed to improve contact center efficiency and customer service. Our automation platform provides contact centers with tools that are integrated with workforce management to route contact requests accurately and quickly across multiple channels. Additionally, our analytics capabilities provide contact centers with the insights they need to measure their key performance indicators and optimize their operations for maximum efficiency. Contact Intradiem to get started today.